Here is the full text of today's press report regarding the Better Business Bureau's revocation vis-a-vis Netpliance:
Better Business Bureau cites Netpliance for complaints
By Andrew Park
Monday, February 26, 2001
Netpliance Inc. faces a growing consumer backlash because of its problems supporting its i-opener Internet appliance.
Netpliance is no longer in the retail business, but Friday the Better Business Bureau released a report stating that the company has failed to answer or resolve multiple complaints filed by its customers. Because of the poor record, the bureau's board of directors revoked the company's membership in the group Feb. 14.
A Netpliance spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Netpliance marketed the i-opener to computer novices as an inexpensive and easy way to connect to the Internet, and it generated only a few complaints in its first year in business.
But in mid-December, the bureau began receiving multiple calls a day from customers reporting problems with receiving their merchandise, connecting to the Internet and reaching technical support and customer service lines -- and the calls have not slowed down, local bureau President John Etchieson said.
Netpliance stopped selling the device last month and moved forward with a new strategy targeting business customers with broadband services.
Etchieson would not say how many complaints the bureau had received on Netpliance. But, he said, it was more than any other company he had seen in the last two years.
The Texas attorney's general office has received 19 complaints from consumers about Netpliance since October, and the company has resolved only four.
Meanwhile, Etchieson said he has has received a request from a regulatory agency for copies of the complaints the bureau has received on Netpliance. He would not identify the agency.
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