Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the MindSpring/Earthlink Merger

In September 1999, MindSpring and EarthLink, the two most highly rated independent Internet service providers in the country, announced their agreement to merge. Now that the merger has been approved, the new company bringing together their award-winning customer service staffs, superior member benefits, and leading Internet technologies to create the very best Internet experience possible for all current and future members.

Following are a collection of questions and answers designed to help our members understand how their Internet access service will or will not be affected by the merger.

What is the name of the new company, and where is it headquartered?

The new company is called EarthLink and is headquartered in the current MindSpring offices in Atlanta, Georgia. The new EarthLink will continue to have regional and corporate offices throughout the country.

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Why was the EarthLink name chosen and not the MindSpring name?

It was determined that the EarthLink brand name is recognized nationally more than the MindSpring name.

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Will I be able to keep my EarthLink or MindSpring e-mail address?

Yes, all customers will be able to keep their current e-mail addresses.

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Will my monthly costs change?

Most customers of both companies already use a $19.95/month unlimited access plan, so we do not expect the merger to result in price changes for most customers. If any prices do change that affect your billing plan, you will receive plenty of notice.

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Will my current EarthLink or MindSpring account change?

Your current account will remain the same. However, the goal of this merger is to provide our members with the very best Internet access possible, which means creating new products and services. We will notify you of any new products or enhancements as they are released.

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Will I have a new access number?

The merger should not cause any customer's access number to change. Please understand, however, that dial-up access numbers do change from time to time in an effort to balance the network and give you the best service. As always, we will give you timely notice if you are dialing into a number that will be changing.

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Will my software change?

No. But you can expect the new EarthLink to offer periodic software suite upgrades, with the first major revision including the best features of MindSpring version 4.0 and EarthLink version 5.0. We will let you know when these upgrades are available so you can take advantage of them.

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Will the merger affect my connection (e.g. busy signals, speed, etc.)?

If there is any affect to your Internet connection, it should be positive, as the knowledge, skills, and resources of the new company are put to work for you.

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Will the billing system change (e.g. due date, delivery, method of payment, etc.)?

The newly merged accounting departments of EarthLink and MindSpring have been working together to create an even better billing system for the customers of the new EarthLink. Our goal throughout this merger is "business as usual" wherever possible. However, if any changes are needed as part of these enhancements, we will ensure you have plenty of notice.

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Will I have to call a new phone number for customer service and technical support?

Initially, no. Although we will publish a new primary number for customer service and technical support at some point in the future, we will make every effort to ensure that the numbers you are dialing now remain active.

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Will I have to wait longer for customer service and technical support?

The combined Member Support staffs of EarthLink and MindSpring will allow us to continue to have sufficient staff on call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle your support needs in a timely manner.

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Will the quality level of customer service and technical support that I receive change?

By combining the two top-rated customer service and technical support staffs in the Internet industry, we will continue to provide the very best service possible to our customers.

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Will the new company continue using the MindSpring Core Values and Beliefs?

Yes. Sky Dayton, the founder of EarthLink, and Charles Brewer, the founder of MindSpring have created a revised EarthLink Vision Statement which includes the Core Values and Beliefs. This can be found on the "About Us" section of http://www.earthlink.net and http://www.mindspring.net.

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If you have any questions or comments regarding the EarthLink/MindSpring merger that are not addressed on our website, please fill out the following form. We will respond to you as soon as possible.