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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.

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