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What happens when free ISPs are overrun and can’t support their users?

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Comment The Register's Tim Richardson decided to put his email where his mouth is and sign up to Tempo's Screaming.net service. After losing all his old email and getting little or no help, he's not a happy bunny. Reports of fights breaking out in Tempo's stores may have been exaggerated, but then again... Tim writes: Screaming.net may be about to explode onto the ISP marketplace in the UK like a supercharged twister, but it's likely to make a lot of enemies if it doesn't buck up it's ideas and sort out its telephone support service. And fast. I have spent more almost 14 hours trying to speak to someone about problems I've encountered during registration. The most serious of these is why my Screaming.net email account won't send any email. The other, is how come I've lost all the old emails in my Inbox when I upgraded to Internet Explorer 5? It may be a simple matter of adjusting a setting here or reconfiguring something else there. Hell, I'll even hold up my hands and say that some of it may even my mistake, but then like most people, I'm not a software expert. But until I get to speak to someone at Screaming.net's installation hotline, I'm left getting increasingly annoyed at being left in limbo by an ISP that doesn't have the resources to support its own service. According to Doug Walker, a spokesman for telco LocalTel which underpins the service, I'm just one of a handful of people who's had trouble getting through. Truth is, LocalTel, Tempo and their overhyped progeny were unprepared for the fallout when they let this particularly popular genie out of the bottle. With all the pent-up frustration inside me, and countless other users, it's no wonder they called it Screaming.net. Is there any truth in the rumour that someone's about to release Pullyourhairout.net? ®

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