Comcast - maybe not as bad as I implied

Never let it be said that I'm not capable of admitting when I am wrong.

After my last blog post where I wasted several hours on fixing up email when Comcast pulled the plug on port 25 I got a blog comment directly from Comcast. Initially I was very impressed when companies seek out problems and try to react proactively. The same thing happened when I bitched about network solutions but when I replied to them they completely ignored me.

So Comcast - lets see what you have got:

  1. They searched out my complaint and offered to help   +1 
  2. They replied to my email - in under 2 hours.... very well done  +1
  3. They said they did try to notify me:

    We normally send an email to the primary email address (if you do not use your email address, I do recommend forwarding it to an email that you do use). 
    Well yes apparently I do have a email address - which I never use of course. Sane people stopped using email addresses that change with your ISP many years ago and they have no way to give them an alternate.
    So I checked the account and sure enough there it was. Score one more for comcast and I take back my comment about not being told.  +5

  4. But wait a minute lets just read the email.....

    ACTION REQUIRED: Comcast has determined that your computer(s) have been used to send unsolicited email ("spam"), which is generally an indicator of a virus. For your own protection and that of other Comcast customers, we have taken steps to prevent further transmission of spam from your computer(s).
    I find this VERY unlikely - I run plenty of security scans, I am behind hardware firewalls, I rebuild my machine regularly and I've very paranoid about running software.
    Note also that nowhere in the email does it tell me WHAT they have done? There is no mention of port 25 anywhere.

    If you use Outlook Express, the steps we have taken to protect the Comcast network will not allow you to send email until you apply a simple one click fix available at
    Well I don't but even if I did are they seriously suggesting I follow a link and DOWNLOAD AN ACTIVEX control... heck this is how most of their customers probably got infected anyway. Of course this update can only possibly fix things if you are using the comcast mail servers because every mail provider seems to use a different alternate port.

    If you are using a third-party client other than Outlook Express (Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, etc.), please click here for instructions.
    Note that the link initially takes you to a page all about Outlook Express and finally we see our first mention of port 25. But it tells you to change it to port 587. This port doesn't work for any of my mail providers.
    The email never mentions what to do for 3rd party mail providers - so while the email would have speeded things up for me it wouldn't help anyone who just follows the instructions on GoDaddy or whatever

    Overall  -10 on the email guys.

  5. My response to them explained how useless the email is to many customers and then they went quiet. I guess there is no canned reply for someone with good suggestions... more minus points. I also asked for proof I am sending Spam - I would like to try to tidy that up if its true... no surprise they sent nothing. You would think if they wanted to help they would be able to do something there. And Yes I've scanned with all known tools..

So I apologize for saying Comcast doesn't tell you - because they do. However I still maintain that they need to be able to have technical conversations with their customers instead of relying on canned responses.


I predict an identical comment being attached to this blog by the comcast RSS feed bot ;-)

Published 06 October 2008 10:22 AM by zman
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