What happened to Downeast.net (and Jordan Networks) ?

Several friends up here in Maine have been left without an ISP when downeast.net apparently shut down a few days ago. They disconnected their servers and phones and disappeared. Years ago they were run by 2 local very cool people ‘Merlin’ (Don) and ‘Morgana’ (Jean) but I heard they sold the ISP part of things and were just doing web hosting now (http://downeasthost.com/ and a great local host for non-profits, ellsworthme.org). These sites are still running and I’d highly recommend them.

The dialup service… even if it comes back, seems to be a mess now.

After hearing the ISP was down I suggested one person call to see what they knew but they were apparently in the dark too.

I’ve spent a while tonight practicing my google fu and here’s what I’ve found. Warning, this is long and boring and I really only did for downeast.net customers who might want someone to call to find out what they hell is going on (and when they are getting their money back)

The downeast.net website is down right now but is cached on google here.

Off that cached site I found:

Office Address

  • 93 Main Street
  • Waterville, Maine 04903
  • 1-207-667-7414
  • Toll Free: 1-866-856-7009
  • Fax: 1-207-667-1840

However googling that address shows it’s the mailing address for a number of businesses including;

Doing a quick nslookup it shows that www.dialmaine.com and www.downeast.net both have the same IP address, 66.241.113.2.  So I’m guessing this is who bought downeast.net’s dialup service:

http://www.dialmaine.com/ is still up and running so I’m going to encourage my friends who are livid about their ISP disappearing with no notice to start bugging them

Phone Numbers

  • 1-800-610-6274: for customer service and sales (Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday Closed.)
  • 1-888-734-3410: for technical support (Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday Closed.)

and in fact, a little further digging shows that downeast.net’s nameservers and dialmaine.com’s both resolve to http://www.arcusdigital.com/

Administrative Contact:
Troutman, James  troutman@arcusdigital.com
93 Main Street
Lower Level
Waterville, ME 04901
US
207-861-7067    Fax: 207-861-7063

Googling his name and downeast net brings up his linkedin profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jtroutman

where he includes a detailed explanation:

Manager & Founder

Speed of Light, LLC (Dialmaine.com, Downeast.net)

(Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Internet industry)

March 2002 — August 2007 (5 years 6 months)

Managed and guided the operations of this small facilities based wholesale and retail Internet services company. SoL operated two brands (dialmaine.com launched 03/02 and downeast.net acquired 07/05) and was co-owner of a 3rd brand (maineline.net, acquired 01/06). Provided complete outsourced technical services and wholesale network infrastructure to other ISPs, including two other facilities based companies in the wireless broadband and DSL business. Sold business to a group of former employees, now known as Jordan Networks, Inc.

Speed of light LLC search gives a phone number of 207-667-4587 and the same 93 Main Street, Waterville address. Another yellow pages search gives 207-680-2300

but now we have YET another business to look for, Jordan Networks.. sure enough, googling them and downeast.net gives:

Jordan Networks Inc. d/b/a Downeast.net
P.O. Box 5093
Ellsworth, ME 04605
www.jordannetworks.com

Note that the above website is down too. It’s owned by:

Registrant:
Speed of Light
93 Main St
Suite 6
Waterville, ME 04901
US

Administrative Contact:
Rogers, Dwight  drogers@arcusdigital.com
93 Main St
Suite 6
Waterville, ME 04901
US
+1.2076802400

and they have a news release on the dead downeast.net website from 8/15/07 saying “Jordan Networks Inc. was started by long time Downeast.Net employees; Danette Rogers, Dwight Rogers, and Charles “Chuck” Crawford, all of whom are partners in Jordan Networks Inc.” They give the same contact phone numbers as Downeast.net

Jordan Networks Inc.
www.jordannetworks.com
207-667-7414
1-866-856-7009

Doing a bit of searching for Dwight Rogers I found his LinkedIn profile:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/201/954

Where he claims to still be working for ‘Speed of Light LLC’ (see contact info above)

So I searched for Chuck Crawford & Charles Crawford.. no luck.. ok how about Dannette

Hey look a myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/mygirlznu for her & even some info on Dwight..but you have to be her friend to read the full thing.. or view googles cache here. Sure enough in bottom left they state they are owners of Jordan Networks (and they had last logged on TODAY). Dwight’s myspace URL (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=403691535) is the first in her friends list, again locked.. no luck on the google cache this time.

However, in these myspace profiles they give their home town as Benton, ME. So a google search for “dwight rogers” “benton, me” got me to: https://www.usa-people-search.com/Find-Dwight-Rogers-ME.aspx and you’ll note Dwight W. Rogers, age 31, is on there. So for $1.95 you can get his home phone (and birthday).

So I don’t know whose to blame or what’s going on. E-mail to support@downeast.net bounces,

support@downeast.net
SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:<support@downeast.net>:
host banzai.jordannetworks.com [66.241.112.155]:
550 5.7.1 <support@downeast.net>… <support@downeast.net>:
User unknown

the phone numbers are apparently off.. so for all of you left w/o e-mail and an ISP, if you feel so moved, I’d start calling around or making some myspace friends.

Good luck. If anyone hears any more information about what’s going on please let me know and I’ll post it here.

-Matt

  • Thanks for the information. We were beginning to think we were crazy and I’ve been trying to search for what is going on myself. 11/30/08 we had internet access. 12/1/08 we have nothing. all email help addresses have bounced back. This is a lousy way to do business.

  • Oh another thing, apparently our email addresses linked to downeast have been shut off also. The email address bounces back as undeliverable.

  • no one’s mentioned what they’re doing if downeast.net had been withdrawing money from a credit card every month. does this mean my/our number(s) is/are floating around? what are folks doing about this possibility short of canceling their card, which for me would be an significant task? if there are charges, who best to contact to investigate? and who best to report this to, on the net– feels just shy of a scam.
    (yes, praises to jean and don of downeasthost.com)
    thanks very much.

  • I ran into James Troutman at some point when I was working for ISPs in Maine. He was definitely an ISP aggregator at the time.

    I wish I had as many nice things to say about Don. He was terrible to me whilst growing up in technology, had a short fuse and a rash temper. I had too many run-ins with him to forget them.

    It’s interesting that these seems to be a corollary between ISPs and the economy. There was the battle to ‘Unlimited’ and then a battle to bandwidth, now cost. The margins are so slim now and bandwidth got so oversold that we’re starting to see situations like Comcast turning back from unlimited and trying to QoS people’s bandwidth down from what it’s sold as.

    Internets are on fire, got to run and end this speculation prematurely.

  • Call credit card company and cancel/refuse any charges from jordan networks.

  • A. Non Amous

    It’s obvious that their webserver has screwed itself up. And it’s likely that the skillset it not available there to fix it.

    Unfortunately, when companies change hands, new owners are not always the best at changing the listing of responsible parties.

    BTW, the address for http://www.downeast.net goes back to a web cluster. It happens to be a web cluster that I helped build. I can pretty much assume that one of two pieces of equipment have failed. Possibly a third.

  • Whether their webserver failed or not this doesn’t explain their disconnecting phones etc. It’s clear this was a ‘cut and run’ on their part, my guess is the finances got really bad and they thought it would be easier to just disappear than to actually explain to customers what was happening. That’s really why I wrote this post, to help those who are screwed by this call the appropriate people on their disrespectful business practices.

  • Sarah Robinson

    Thanks for the legwork, Matt. I called most of the numbers and you get the same voicemail as the Tech Support line for Downeast.net. BTW, you can’t just cancel the automatic monthly withdrawal from your credit card, you must close that card and get a new one. Instead, I am opting to dispute the most recent charge by Downeast Net and will dispute future charges–if there are any. My credit card company suggested that I send a copy of the Ellsworth American article with my dispute.

    My biggest question, is does anyone have a suggestion of a good, reliable ISP? I have to stay with dialup. Don’t suggest Prexar to me, I left them in August and went to Downeast Net!

  • Jean McKillop

    Bryan wasn’t always the easiest young man to deal with, as he might even admit himself. We all grow and learn, and Don did the best he could, as we all do with everyone, but there were definitely two sides to this story.

    There may still be a happy ending to all of this. Stay tuned. Even those of us not responsible for any of this failure have been searching for the best possible outcomes for folks concerned.

  • Jean at downeasthost.com is recovering our email from loss of service by downeast.net through our website service at downeasthost.com. Thank-you Jean!

  • Hi there. Matt did some good investigating, a few details wrong, but pretty close to the mark. I’ve been in the ISP business several times since the mid 1990s, and have worked as a consultant on a lot of sales and mergers of ISPs over the years. Finally, I got tired of the fast pace and high stress (and low margins!) and sold the businesses and went off to do less stressful work.

    After getting alerted to the situation and finding out what had happened to the downeast.net customers (which was intentional on Jordan Network’s part), I worked with the McKillops and the folks at Airolink.net in the past two days to quickly get Jordan Networks out of the picture. We reached an agreement this morning. We are still assessing things, but have restored basic service, and are picking up the pieces. We are committed to ensuring continued services for all customers, and all prepaid services will be honored.

  • Press Release:

    Downeast.Net LLC, former owner of Internet dial-up and email services provided under the label of Downeast.net, has recently been working with Jim Troutman, another former operator of the Downeast.net network, to rectify the recent problems with Downeast’s Internet and email service.  Downeast.Net, LLC and Troutman have noted the recent grave mismanagement of the Downeast.net dialup-up and email business by its most recent operators, Jordan Networks, Inc., and are working together to transfer business to a new company.

    Jordan Networks is no longer associated with Downeast.net at all, and all operations will be undertaken by Airolink Wirless, LLC, a company owned by brothers Mike and Charles (Chuck) Crawford.  Chuck will be a familiar presence to many Downeast.net clients, as he has provided technical support to them for quite some time.  Neither Downeast.Net, LLC nor Troutman have had any direct hand in running the business since 2005 and 2007 respectively, but both parties have been so concerned about the unacceptable way in which Downeast.net customers have been treated that they decided to band together to find a solution.  Email and dialup access both have already been restored, and all services, including technical support, should be online by next week.  More updates to follow.

    — Jim Troutman

  • The Ellsworth American has an updated article detailing some of the things mentioned above and also has some interviews with downeast.net customers.

    http://ellsworthmaine.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18238&Itemid=1

  • I noticed today that one of the mailing lists I run had about a dozen addresses from downeast.net unsubscribe today. I wrote support@downeast.net asking what was the cause and got this note back:

    From:
    Stephen Dame
    Date: March 24, 2009 10:13:57 AM EDT
    Subject: Re: Mass unsubscribe

    Matt, Downeast and Dialmaine went out of business in December and we migrated their customers on 2/20 only keeping the active email accounts of paying customers alive. So any bouncebacks should just be stale addresses that are no longer in use.

    Regards,
    Stephen Dame
    http://www.207me.com