Tilting at Comcasts

Do you ever get the feeling that dealing with a big corporation is a test for how much inanity you can tolerate? For the past week or so, I’ve been communicating with my cable ISP server. Well, I’ll just go ahead and say that it’s Comcast, and I haven’t actually been communicating, because communicating means both people listen. This has been more like me shouting into the wind.

The issue is that several people have sent emails to my Mac email address telling me that mail sent to my Comcast address has been returned to them as spam. These are personal friends who have never spammed anybody in their lives. Since they knew my Mac address, they were able to tell me about it. Obviously, if these personal friends are being bounced, other people may be as well, people who don’t have my alternate email address.

So I contacted Comcast’s online support people and told them there was a problem with their spam-filtering program. I got a prompt response saying Comcast never bounced any email from private individuals, only from people known to send out large volumes of spam. I wrote back — and I may have been a teensy bit testy — and said that obviously wasn’t true, and that I’d like them to do some more checking. That brought another response saying that people who were bounced should file a complaint with Comcast through a complicated process that nobody except true spammers would ever bother with. I wrote again, and this time I was even testier. That got me a response that said the problem was due to an “outage” in my area, and that they were looking into it. I wrote saying there was no outage, since I was still getting email to my Comcast account, including lots of viagra ads, and that the point was in their spam-filtering program, not my email reception. The person who sent the mail must have already known that, of course, since they didn’t phone, but sent an email to tell me there was an outage. I haven’t heard from them again.

If you are one of the people bounced when you tried to email me, it’s because Comcast has decided you are a mass spammer, not because I rejected you.

Every day, I get sweet-talking mail from Verizon offering me all kinds of goodies they claim are better than Comcast’s service. If it weren’t for the fact that Verizon doesn’t have any better track record with customer satisfaction than Comcast does, I’d switch in a minute. I may do it anyway, and throw myself on Verizon’s mercy.

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