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  ISP Ban?
How do you convince ISP's to take action against their users that violate our (and subsequently their) terms of service?

This is a very good question! We thank you for posing it and hope that the following information provides you with the assistance you need.

Dealing with troubled community participants is never easy. It can be a real headache to resolve, especially if you believe you have tried everything possible to work with the person before removing them from your community.

When you have exhausted all other options then it is time to contact the person's ISP. These other options might include:

1. Discussing the participant's conduct with them directly and urging them to reconsider their participation in the light of any breaches of your terms of service.
2. Banning their IP address from your community site if this is feasible.
3. Documenting any violations of your terms of service and also any instances where these violations also violate their ISP's terms of service.
4. Documenting any correspondence you have with the participant.

(Items 3 and 4 will be crucial if you need to take the further steps described below.)

On the occasions where you feel that you have no other option but to report the user to their ISP then our best advice would be to take all documentation you have regarding this member and send it to the appropriate ISP's e-mail address. This is often abuse@"isp domain name".

The documentation you send should include:

1) An email explaining the overall circumstances of the situation.
2) The member's e-mail address and/or IP address which identifies the ISP.
3) Copies of chat room logs or message board posts indicating the violation(s) of your terms of service.
4) A copy of your terms of service.
5) Any correspondence you have sent to the member to try to resolve the violations of your terms of service.
6) Any correspondence you have received from the member.

The more documentation you have to support your case, the better. Also, an important tip when addressing the ISP; be constructive but assertive in your request.

While we fully understand how dealing with this situation can illicit a great deal of anger, if you approach the ISP in an aggressive manner they may not be as amenable to assisting you. Direct your request productively and positively. Be sure to cite any problems as being caused by their customer and not by themselves and be ready to answer any questions that the ISP might have.

Also ensure that the ISP realises that you are concerned for their reputation and that you believe their customer is damaging the ISP's image.

Be aware, the ISP may not agree with you, and may not be able to enforce a ban, since their own terms of service may not support that action. In this instance, your best recourse is to make further direct requests to the individual to desist and to utilise whatever banning tools you are able to enforce.

Again, we thank you for posing this question and wish you the very best in resolving this situation.

- Jon Nix and Pam Thomas
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