9 Comments - Add A Comment

Part One of this story.

So at this point, things get a little sketch. I called Comcast's Customer Security Assurance team. Unfortunately it was a phone call, so no transcripts. And I called with the idea in my head that they were going to solve my problems, so I didn't think to try and record the conversation.

So I got right through to a human very fast. It was a guy with a very stern voice. I told him that I was having problems with port 25 being blocked. He told me to wait while he looked up my account. Then he came back and before we could even get into my port 25 problem, he proceeded to scold me because my port 80 was open. Port 80 is the port web traffic goes over. He went on and on and on how port 80 was forbidden. I asked him if he had bothered to look and see what was running on port 80? All that is there is a a redirect to this web site (hosted on my real collocated server) and a personal bookmark page (that you can't see because it's password protected). He said no it didn't matter what was there. Just having port 80 open was a strict violation of their TOS. You can't do ANYTHING on port 80.

This is completely absurd. What possible reason could they have to ban this? It can't be for excessive bandwidth use. An average gzip compressed web page is maybe 10K. Compare that to something like bittorrent use. Web traffic is an insignificant drop in the bucket. I could see if I was running a real enterprise website, in that situation the could take issue with it. But its a PERSONAL bookmark web page, and a redirector to this very blog that no one even reads. WTF.

So then we got to the port 25 mess. This guy was a complete dick. He absolutely didn't give a shit about anything I was saying. Most of the time when I asked him something, he wouldn't even respond until I was like "well, are you going to answer me?" Again with the 'no port 25 use at all'. I said I don't send anything I only receive. No port 25 use at all. How could my accepting incoming mail possible pose any kind of risk to anything at all??? "its not my job to argue with you about the rules, it is what it is". He told me "it is what it is" several times during this phone call. Again he told me once you are added to a port 25 block, there is no way to get it unblocked. I told him thats bullshit, there is no such thing as a router that on adds new rules, and doesn't let you delete or modify existing rules. I then went on to tell him if it's a policy thing, then lets talk to whoever we need to talk to, we'll make sure my system is secure, and get port 25 unblocked. He told me HE is the guy that makes the decisions. Unlikely. He again told me that once a block is made it can't be undone. Again he told me "it is what it is".

During this conversation he also brought up the spam excuse. I quickly interrupted him to tell him there is no way a single spam has ever been sent from my system. I've got all macs. He then went on to tell me that macs can get viruses and spam bot infections too just like pee cees. I told him thats complete bullshit. I don't know if I told him he was talking to a mac tech or not, but there has yet to be a single OS X virus live on the internet. Only 'proof of concept' viruses made on a test computer. He's completely full of shit. But he also doesn't care. Every comment I made, was followed by silence. He had nothing to say. His job seems to be to scold/intimidate comcast customers. He had zero interest in my what my problems were, or how we could solve these problems. He was only there to yell at me and send me on my way. If I treated my customers the way this guy treated me, I would NEVER get any call backs. I would be out of business.

There was much more absurdity in this phone call but it was 5 days ago and I just don't remember it word for word. I sure wish I had recorded the conversation, then I could have typed it out word for word. I also wish I took the guys name. But I'm sure he's trained to be a dick & intimidate customers he talks to.

BUT the good news is RCN is available in Stoneham now. So I can switch to an RCN package that has internet twice as fast as our current comcast plan (10 MBits down), more TV channels than we get now, and a static IP address that doesn't get ANY ports blocked at all, all for $10 LESS than what we pay for comcast. Then I can run my little bookmark page, and host my personal johnmasone.com email in peace, without getting random port blocks, and without being told any server automatically means business, business if forbidden on residential internet. Comcast can lick my balls.

I also found this great group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15135185550
Join it if you hate comcast!! hahaha.

- - - I hate posting this article because I know there was more stuff that I'm forgetting about this phone call. But oh well this is all I can remember.
Comments

  • haha
  • sounds like he was beating around the bush- probably because making 12.00 hour is not enough training to get into end user personnal issues...you can open this port yourself as long as it is not being used by anything else- shouldn't be a comcast issue- trust me- this is the default port that telnet uses and i never have a problem with telnet with a default port of 25.....you probably mean that thier McAfee FireWall on your pc is blocing it...if this is the case spend 50 dollars and buy Norton with more options to unblock ports- or just use ZoneAlarm.....
  • October 5th, 2009 6:32 PM

  • Kitione.Toroca
  • please open Port 25 of my SMPT server
  • December 27th, 2008 8:25 AM

  • Learning to Hate Com
  • I am amazed that Comcast can get away with such tactics. I am utterly disgusted with their entire business practice, and lack of concern for their customers. As of last week, my imcoming port 25 has been blocked. After much frustration trying to figure out why I wasn't receiving anything I finally deduced it was Comcast. Here is my chat with Comcast yesterday (names have been changed to protect the guilty): Subject > Port blocking Comcast > Hello Me_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Comcast. Please give me one moment to review your information. Comcast > I will be more than happy to assist you today with regards to your concern. Comcast > Hi Me. Comcast > How are you doing today? Me_ > ok Comcast > That is nice to hear. Comcast > Can you please tell me more about your concern? Me_ > It appears that Comcast has started blocking incoming port 25. Is this right? Comcast > I see. Comcast > I understand how important this issue for you. Comcast > Do not worry. I will be more than happy to assist you with that. Comcast > Actually, port 25 is very susceptible to virus. Me_ > Port 25 is the standard email/SMTP port. No more susceptible than any other port. Me_ > Has it been blocked? Me_ > Can you confirm? Me_ > Outgoing port has been blocked for some time, but not the incoming Comcast > Actually, Comcast supports outgoing port 587. Comcast > Did you send messages containing attachment exceeding 10Mb? Or send more than 100 messages a day? Me_ > I understand that. I am looking for confirmation whether port 25 is now being block from entering my house. Me_ > I have tested extensively, and as of last week it appears that all traffic over port 25 is now being blocked Me_ > I have switched all outgoing traffic to port 587, but this doesn't resolve the incoming traffic Me_ > How do I speak to someone who understands the problem? Comcast > I see. Comcast > Let me check for that information. Comcast > One moment please. Comcast > Thank you for patiently waiting. Comcast > Kindly click on this link http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=3609&fss=port%2025 . Comcast > And on the Port 25 Blocking part, kindly click on "one-click fix". Comcast > The last resort, you may need to send out a request activation email to abuse@comcast.net Comcast > Do you have an alternate email account? Me_ > That link only pertains to outgoing port 25 Comcast > Yes. Me_ > ...not incoming Comcast > Yes. It is an outgoing port. Me_ > I am still talking about the incoming port 25 Me_ > not outgoing Comcast > The incoming port is 110 not 25. Comcast > Port 25 is an outgoing port. Comcast > Are you still there? Comcast > Due to inactivity, I will need to close the chat session if a reply is not received in one minute. Comcast > If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again. Comcast > Analyst has closed chat and left the room Morons. I couldn't endure the worthless conversation any longer. I refuse to do business with these people. I will speak to their Abuse dept when they open today, but expect to be switching providers ASAP. Truly sad.
  • December 13th, 2008 10:07 AM

  • John Masone
  • If comcast "gave you" another port, then the problem you were having was with sending, not receiving. Incoming mail always comes in on port 25, you can't just change it, doesn't work that way. You'd have to somehow tell all the mail servers in the whole world, "oh by the way when you talk to my server, use a special port"
  • October 30th, 2008 12:58 AM

  • MR. FEELGOOD
  • GUYS, I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. I JUST CALLED COMCAST CSV AND THEN THEY GIVE ME ANOTHER PORT.
  • October 30th, 2008 12:00 AM

  • Frustrated In Florid
  • I suffered the same fate in early July, being accused of being a spammer by Comcast. After failing to get through on any "customer service" (a joke!) telephone number, I reread the e-mail and changed the port settings in my Outlook and Outlook Express myself, and restored service. This, after GoDaddy helping me ascertain that Comcast had blocked e-mail service from GoDaddy one day. I sent a full complaint letter and copy of the e-mail to the FCC, FTC, my state's attorney general office, my local cable authority (city manager), and a known local Comcast office address, documenting everything. I also copied the legal counsel at Symantec, as I believe Comcast knows that I don't use McAfee products on my PC and, in reading their e-mail carefully, it's really just a grab to sell their customers McAfee-partner software! And I just got off the phone with Paul from Comcast Security Assurance who informed me that their information which "proves" there was a problem on my end is proprietory and thus not able to be shared. I informed Paul that my complaint still stands and that they cannot prove anything. Comcast is simply a corrupt entity that needs - and yes, I know what I'm saying here - government control to stop perpetrating fraud against consumers. The US legal system is based on guilty until proven innocent, which Comcast seems okay to ignore. The best thing to do is document your problems to the chain of authority as I described herein and, eventually with enough complaints, someone will investigate.
  • August 19th, 2008 5:31 PM

  • Toby Thaler
  • Same story, except Taj (phonetic) at "Abuse" number, 1 888-565-4329, did not deny he could readily remove block on Port 25. Upon being pressed, he claimed there was spam activity (or at least a "complaint") related to my assigned IP. But he also asked "if I was running a business" and talked about huge quantities of P2P, uploads, etc. that would trigger a block. I'm a low key public interest lawyer, doing mostly volunteer work. Our broadband usage is extremely low. Since this was the second time Comcast had blocked our outgoing Port 25 for this claimed reason (they never told the facts about the "complaint" the first time either), he warned "if it happens again, block will be permanent" and suggested I take computer for professional screening. Main computer is Mac (only PC on WAN is on infrequently), I've got firewalls on, only open port requires password (for my own SSH remote access). And they're adamant that they won't tell me the nature of the complaint about spamming. So if we're being a problem why don't they just help us solve it instead of clamping shut my outgoing email (SMTP port 25)? Comcast are totally dishonest jerks [for future google searchers: "Comcast service is run by assholes"]. If you do a google for "comcast port 25" you'll find lots of threads like this one. p.s. I'd happily use port 587, but Eudora (the best email server I've found) cannot be configured to make it work. Claims to have a port 587 setting, but it doesn't work with Comcast's SMTP server. Security guy who turned off block first time in spring admitted as much.
  • July 18th, 2008 2:56 PM

  • Bruce Macdonald
  • I live in France and I am having tremodous difficulty in sending e-mail messages to my friend at mugsg@comcast.net. I have been plagued with this problem for over six months. Sometimes my messages to mugsg@comcast.net get through (rarely) but most of the time my messages are bounced by Comcast filters. I have checked with my server (orange.fr) and they tell me the problem is Comcast's. My friend in Arizona has checked with Comcast. He gets the same run-around that you describe in your blog. It's take it or leave it. I send e-mail messages to many countries in the world, and it is only Comcast that give me problems. I certainly agree that a server should try to block spam. Hoever, I am not a spammer, never was and never will be. In this high tech world, Comcast should get some high tech geeks. Bruce Macdonald 145 le Pré de Cure 01630 Challex, France.
  • May 30th, 2008 1:49 PM

  • Bruce Macdonald
  • I live in France and I am having tremodous difficulty in sending e-mail messages to my friend at mugsg@comcast.net. I have been plagued with this problem for over six months. Sometimes my messages to mugsg@comcast.net get through (rarely) but most of the time my messages are bounced by Comcast filters. I have checked with my server (orange.fr) and they tell me the problem is Comcast's. My friend in Arizona has checked with Comcast. He gets the same run-around that you describe in your blog. It's take it or leave it. I send e-mail messages to many countries in the world, and it is only Comcast that give me problems. I certainly agree that a server should try to block spam. Hoever, I am not a spammer, never was and never will be. In this high tech world, Comcast should get some high tech geeks. Bruce Macdonald 145 le Pré de Cure 01630 Challex, France.
  • May 30th, 2008 12:55 PM
Leave A Comment


Contact Me

Advertisements