Cruzio Newsletter - Number 85, June 13, 2005 1. Cruzio DSL Price Special: $19.95/mo for 1 year 2. What Is This, a Broadband Price War? 3. Free Brown Bag Workshop on Webmail This Thursday 4. Office Services in Watsonville 5. Free Watsonville Wednesday Workshops, 3 to 6 pm 6. www.cruzio.com's New Look 7. micruzio.com, Our Spanish Language Web Site 8. Take Action to Protect the Internet! 9. Buddy Bucks 10. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees 11. About This Newsletter 12. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) 1. Cruzio DSL Price Special: $19.95/mo for 1 year Cruzio is running a new DSL special: the price is just $19.95 per month for a year, for new DSL customers who start a one-year contract before August 31, 2005. This is a great price for a premium service. Visit http://www.cruzio.com/services/highspeed_access/ for more information, and https://quartz.cruzio.com/dslorder/order_dsl.html to sign up. DSL 3.0 and 6.0, even faster speeds, are also excellent deals right now: they start at just $19.95 per month for 3 months. Cruzio DSL 6.0 is up to four times the speed of cable Internet! If you are already in the midst of a Cruzio DSL contract, we are unable to switch you to this low price right now, but we are working on it. We will let you know as soon as the special is available to you; please contact us (email@example.com) if you are concerned about your price. We are sorry we cannot lower everyone's price at once, but our wholesale circuits are under contract, and wholesale prices have only been lowered for new circuits. Remember that you can always lower your bill by recommending Cruzio to a friend (see item 8). 2. What Is Happening, a Broadband Price War? If you pay attention to prices, you'll notice that DSL prices are falling. The titans of the telecommunications industry are battling for control of the broadband lines into people's homes. (These titans are fewer and fewer in number, as the giant corporations combine and purchase each other.) Cruzio's policy, as always, is to charge the lowest price at which we can reasonably maintain our business. This means that when our wholesale prices decrease, we pass the savings on to you. The pricing Cruzio offers is both low and sustainable; we have matched or nearly matched large corporate prices every step of the way. But we are also concerned that the price war will hurt the Internet, as prices plunge below the cost of providing service. Cut-rate pricing is a short-term benefit which will end in fewer choices for consumers, as Internet providers drop out of the race. In the long run, we expect fewer providers to lead to higher prices and less variety in the content you get. Although they spend a great deal on marketing, other broadband providers still don't give you the high quality customer support you receive at Cruzio, or contribute to the non-profit organizations in your community. Cruzio is here for you and Santa Cruz County. Yes, there is a broadband price war. And yes, when Cruzio gets a lower wholesale price we pass it along to our customers. But we are in this business for the long haul, and we hope our customers are too. A short term, low price contract is not nirvana. See item 7 below for more ways you keep your broadband options open. 3. Free Brown Bag Workshop on Webmail This Thursday "Maximizing Cruzio Webmail", Thurs, June 16th, 12:00-1:30 PM 903 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz -- Free! Do you know that a full-featured Webmail program comes free with your Cruzio email service? Cruzio Webmail includes folders, extra storage space, calendars, and many other configurable features. You can even choose the background picture and the voice that tells you new email has arrived. Use it over the Web -- it's fast, easy, and works well with your spam filter. Learn about Cruzio Webmail's many features at our upcoming Brown Bag workshop. Led by able Cruzio Technical Support Manager Stephen and knowledgeable Support Lead Mike, the workshop is free and information-packed. Questions, as always, are welcome. You may choose to accompany the workshop with a yummy lunch for $7 (order online). To register -- space is limited! -- visit http://events.cruzio.com 4. Office Services in Watsonville When we moved into our Watsonville store, savvy Store Manager Gershom quickly noticed a lack of office services in the downtown Watsonville area. Some folks needed computers with Internet access, others wanted to use a laser printer, and still others had to send faxes or burn CD's. Cruzio has made all these services available to the public at low prices. Please stop by the Watsonville office for any of these tasks, or to pay a bill or ask a question. We are always happy to help a customer. Our Watsonville office is at 23 East Beach Street, inside the Plaza Vigil, across from City Plaza Park. 5. Free Watsonville Wednesday Workshops, 3 to 6 pm Every Wednesday, beginning June 15th, 2005, 3:00-6:00 pm At Cruzio, 23 E. Beach Street, Plaza Vigil, Watsonville Free and open to the general public! Bilingual computer expert Gershom Toriz, Cruzio's Watsonville Store Manager, will be holding regular Wednesday Workshops in Spanish and English on topics such as basic computer operation, parts of the computer, how to use Web browsers and search engines, and how to find information on the Internet. It's a great chance to learn about computers and the Internet in a comfortable environment -- questions are welcome! After the class, attendees will receive 2.5 hours of free computer rentals -- usually $8 per hour. A great deal. For more information, see http://www.cruzio.com or http://www.micruzio.com . 6. www.cruzio.com's New Look Did it surprise you? After 4 years of our black-and-green Web masthead, we decided it was time to lighten up. Cruzio's talented Webmasters released our redesigned pages at http://www.cruzio.com early last week. It's not just the site's appearance that's lighter. Our pages have been optimized so they now load much faster. Also, you will see some new items in the header: we've added a "Members" section, where you can find resources and information that you'd like to use *after* you've already got a Cruzio account. For example, are you interested in chat, instant messaging, or music downloads? Try our new "Things You Can Do" page to find links to all these popular Internet services. "Resources," one of our less popular categories, is gone from the masthead, but the links have been placed judiciously onto other pages, and are not lost. Please let us know if you have trouble finding anything, or if you love the new graphics, or any other opinion you wish to share. There is a "Suggestion Box" on the bottom of every page on our Web site and we love it when customers send us their thoughts. 7. micruzio.com, Our Spanish Language Web Site Please visit our new Spanish Web site, http://www.micruzio.com . This extraordinary site was created in-house by our many multilingual employees, who did their own translation of technical information and found interesting resources for the local Latino community. Cruzio also conducted focus group sessions with members of the Watsonville community to learn what people in our area want to see on the Web. We are adding new information to this site all the time; if you visit regularly, you'll see new content every couple of weeks or so. Many thanks to the Cruzio Spanish Team, Cruzio Marketing, and our tireless Webmasters for putting the site together. Bien hecho! 8. Take Action to Protect the Internet! The Internet has open access to a wide variety of Web sites partly because you can choose your own provider, such as Cruzio. Right now, even in a smaller market like Santa Cruz you can choose from dozens of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). If the number of Internet Providers dwindles to two (SBC and Cable), will access to new technologies be open to all? What will happen to the price of Internet service, to creativity, and to innovation? This month, SBC is going before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to ask permission to merge with fellow corporate monolith AT&T. Not so many years ago, SBC and the other "Bells" were forced by antitrust action to *separate* from AT&T due to anticompetitive behavior. Help keep the lines into your house open to your choice of information sources. This is one of the few times when SBC must pause to get public approval; make the most of it by letting them know that there should be some public input on public utilities. You have been invited to comment on the merger, and we encourage you to do so. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to CPUC Public Advisor, 505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103, San Francisco, CA 94102. If you are the kind of person who appreciates a boilerplate letter to copy-and-paste (as I do), here is a start for you: Dear Public Utilities Commissioners, Because of their anticompetive behavior, I think that the merger of SBC and AT&T will be damaging to the growth of a healthy, free and prosperous Internet. Telephone lines are a public utility, and should include choices for members of the public. This merger will tend to reward monopolistic practices and limit competition in the Internet and telecommunications market, and I urge you to vote against it. If you write a letter, we'd love it if you dropped a note to email@example.com to tell us you did! 9. Buddy Bucks Recommend us to friends, family, colleagues, people you barely know: if a new customer gives us your email address, account number, or full name when they sign up, you'll get $10 credit to your account. That's $10 each, for as many friends as you send in. To celebrate the opening of Cruzio's new Watsonville store, until July 1, 2005 we are *doubling* our Buddy Bucks offer if you refer a new customer from Watsonville, Freedom, Aromas, Pajaro or Corralitos. That's $20 credit per referral! 10. Feed Hungry Folks Instead of Paying Late Fees If you're late on a payment to Cruzio, turn it into a donation to hungry people in our community. We will waive your late fee if you bring 3 cans into our office for our Second Harvest Food Bank barrel. Learn more about this charity at http://www.thefoodbank.org 11. About This Newsletter Cruzio doesn't like to waste bandwidth with extra email, but we sometimes have events and announcements that users need to know about. This seems like the most efficient way to let people know what's happening. Hope it's helpful. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. By the way, we would love to have a regular, predictable schedule for this newsletter...but we simply do not send it unless there is real news enclosed. Thus the haphazard datelines. 12. How to Reach Cruzio (dial-in or tech support) To reach the Cruzio Information Center, for online technical and sales information: http://www.cruzio.com/support To dial in to Cruzio, set your software to dial one of the numbers below. Dialup: 459-9408 Nationwide Dialup: Look up local number on our Web page: http://www.cruzio.com/support/dialup_isdn/nationwide_numbers.html or call Cruzio toll free, 1.800.303.3302 To call Cruzio: 459-6301............Use this number to check Cruzio's system status, pay your Cruzio bill, find out more about our hours and location, or to reach someone in customer service and technical support. 722-6200 .......... Cruzio's number in Watsonville. To send email to Cruzio, use one of these addresses: email@example.com ......for technical support firstname.lastname@example.org .......for billing and ordering information Cruzio's locations: Santa Cruz: 903 Pacific Avenue, Suite 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Watsonville: Plaza Vigil, 23 E. Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 Cruzio's hours: Sales hours: 10am-6pm, Monday through Friday; 10 am - 2 pm Saturday Technical support: 10-6 pm, Monday through Friday, 10am - 2pm Saturday System monitoring, including customer-alerted emergencies, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year (leap years, 366 days) Thanks very much from Cruzio: Chris, Peggy, Julianne, Kathy, Mark, Tapati, Stephen, Paul, Gershom, Jessi, Michael, another Chris, Maria, James, Juana, Krissie, Nikkie, Mike, Don, Bruce, Edgar, Brian, Jhonee', Derrick, Westi, Andrew, and Jaime; Jake, Annika, and Carly (the kids) Annika, age 10: "I'm the third tallest in my grade -- Kevin's hair shouldn't count."