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Subject: Misinterpretation of BIX correspondence?
Date: 16 Dec 1993 16:12:45 GMT

In the December 1993 issue of OS/2 Professional (Pg.42) is an add for "BIX:
Your Coach to the Internet."  I am looking for an Internet service provider so
I figured I read through the add.  The first line of the body of the text
reads "Give BIX a try with our new 5 for Free Offer!"  I'm all for any try-
before-you-buy Internet services so I figured I'd give it a go.  I was a
little confused by the rest of the add, however.  The very next line stated
"Join BIX today and get 5 hours of evening and weekend access for $5!"  The
"5 hours for $5" slogan was present throughout the rest of the add as well.

It appeared to me that someone had screwed up when creating the add, but I
wanted further clarification so I emailed (as suggested in the 
ad).  The next day I received a timely response which not only answered my 
specific questions, but also included a wealth of information regarding BIX.  
The technical representative who responded to my question, did, however, 
question my interpretation of the ad and asked me to point out the specific 
lines which confused me.  I emailed a response pointing out the above 
information and asked a few other questions regarding their service.  To this 
email I received, what I thought, was a very belligerent reply.  One of my 
questions addressed their 20/20 billing plan which allows for 20 hours of 
access for $20.  I noticed in the literature that this 20/20 plan was in 
addition to the $13 monthly fee.  I pulled out a Delphi brochure to see what 
their 20/20 plan called for and noticed that there were no extra charges per 
month (a one time $19 set-up fee is required, however).  In my final 
correspondence with this technical representative, I pointed out that I was 
disappointed to see this difference hoping that he/she would respond with the 
appropriate marketing verbiage necessary to convince me that BIX was better 
that Delphi for the following X reasons and that is why their billing rates 
differ (much in the same way that someone might ask Compaq why their PC 
offering is more expensive than, say a comparable Gateway offering).
Little did I know that Delphi and BIX were owned by the same company.  
This was very rudely pointed out to me, however.  The  response I got was as 
follows: "BIX is a separate service, sir.  DELPHI's policies have nothing to 
do with BIX.  Although owned by the same company, each product serves a 
different audience (and population) and therefore has different 

Below please find an exact copy of the two correspondences and their responses.
I have used "Xtechnicalrep" in place of the representative's actual name in
case it is I who am just misinterpreting the text.

My questions are these:

(1) Has anyone else had problems with BIX or ever used BIX?  I had never heard
of them until I saw this ad.

(2) Am I wrong in my interpretation of these responses as being belligerent? 
Might the tech rep just be foreign or use a different writing style than I am
use to?  I found the word "sir" to be very condescending and it seems that the
writer was pre-supposing things such as (1) my knowledge of the relationship
between BIX and Delphi and (2) that everyone uses UNIX and has a .sig that
they can modify (I send email through a cc:Mail gateway that we have setup
here at work and thus attempt to sign my correspondences with my return 

Initial correspondence from to on 12/14/93
Please forward rate information for BIX services to  I am 
specifically interested in SprintNet, Tymenet [sic] access in the Birmingham
Alabama area (area code 205).

I'm a little confused with you advertisement in the December issue of OS/2 
Professional which states "Give BIX a try with our new 5 for FREE Offer!" but 
then goes on to state that you get 5 hours for $5 (as opposed to free).  
Please clarify this.

Response from (I don't want to slander him/her)


There are 9600bps nodes for both Tymnet and Sprintnet in Birmingham, AL.  
These can be provided to you during registration.

I have reviewed the OS/2 Professional December '93 BIX ad - I do not see any
mention of 5 for Free.  Could you review this and point out where it might be?
Our $5 for 5 hours offer still stands for new subscribers.

[followed by 3.5 pages of marketing text and billing information]

Follow-up from
Thank you for your quick reply to my request for information regarding your 
service.  After reading through the information you supplied, a few questions 
still remain:

(1) Is the NewsReader available yet? If not, when do you anticipate its 

(2) Can I try the BIXnav windows software before I buy (I'd like to see the 
GUI interface before I spend the $15+). Also, is a Mac front-end available as 

(3) Regarding the December OS/2 Professional December '93 BIX advertisement 
(pg. 92), the first line of the body of the text (to the right of the circular 
5 hours for $5) clearly states in bold letters "Give BIX a try with our new 5 
for Free Offer!"

Any further clarification of the above items would be much appreciated.

I am a little disappointed to see that the 20/20 plan is in addition to the 
$13 monthly fee (if I'm not mistaken, DELPHI's 20/20 plan has no additional 
charge other than the 1 time $19 sign-up fee).

XReps' response to cconnery's follow-up


You certainly do want to correct your return path or include a .signature
for the e-mail address to send responses to in each message -- you'll
probably get more replies!

1: Newsreader (nn) is going along smoothly, available in January.  But you
   can't hold me to that.
2: No, you can't try before you buy.  You must purchase it from the
   BIX.mall.  By doing so, you will have the opportunity to download
   a pre-release version of the successor, InterNav, which has point
   and click access to some of BIX internet services as well!

   No Mac front end at this point in time, there are plans for a
   solution to this during next year.

3: Thanks for pointing that out: there is an error and our advertising
   firm had made the mistake.  You may have a free keyword: use ""
   for the 5 for free offer.  The advertisment [sic] keyword is for 5 for $5.

>I am a little disappointed to see that the 20/20 plan is in addition...

BIX is a separate service, sir.  DELPHI's policies have nothing to do with
BIX.  Although owned by the same company, each product serves a different
audience (and population) and therefore has different pricing/costs/services.

BIX Technical Associate

                              » From Delphi «

21273 23-DEC 08:28 Business and Productivity
     Good Recipe :)
     From: JULIENNE     To: ALL

Greetings of the Season....I know this isn't the "recipe sig" but here's a
little something posted on a local board I call here back home....just had
to share it :)

                  BEST RUM CAKE EVER

        1 or 2 quarts of RUM
        1 cup butter
        1 tsp. brown sugar
        2 large eggs
        2 cups dried fruit
        1 tsp. baking soda
        1 tsp. baking powder
        1 Tbs. lemon juice
        1 cup sugar
        1 cup nuts

      Before starting,  sample the RUM to check for quality.
   Good isn't it?
       Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cups, etc.
   Check the RUM again.  Good isn't it?  (It must be just
   right).  To be sure the RUM is of the highest quality, pour
   one level cup of RUM into a glass and drink it.  (If the RUM
   quality is not the best, the cake will not be superior).
   With an electric mixer beat 1 cup butter into a fluffy bowl.
   Add 1 seaspoon of tugar and beat again.  Meanwhile, make sure
   the RUM is of the finest quality--try another cup.  Good isn't
       Open a second quart of rum, if necessary.  Add two arge leggs,
   2 cups of fried druit and beat until high.  If the druit gets
   stuck in the beathers, just pry to loosen with a dewscriver.
   Next.  Sift 3 cups of baking powder, a pinch of Rum, a
   seaspoon of toda and a cup of pepper or salt.  (It really doesn't
   matter).  Sample the RUM again.  Good inn'nt it?
      Sift 1/2 pint of lemon juice.  Fold in chopped butter and
   strained nuts.  Add 1 Tbs. of brown sugar (or whatever color
   you can find).  Grease that crazy oven and crank up that cake
   pan to 350 degrees.  Now, pour the whole mess into the oven.
   You don't need a pan.  Just throw it in.  (Where is that oven
     Now check the RUM again.  Good, ain't it?  Now, get someone
   to watch the oven `cause if you feel like I do, I'm gon t' bed.

Grumpa--this Rum Cake's for YOU! ;)
(If you make it--let me know how it turns out <s>

Merry Christmas everybody..."C-ya" after Christmas Day!