Friday, March 28, 2008

How to tell users about needed changes

(or, how not to do customer service)

So my outbound email has been giving me fits lately. Why? Seems Comcast changed something. But Comcast didn't bother to tell anyone...

They changed from allowing port 25 for outbound SMTP traffic quite a while ago., demanding that users use a non standard port instead. What they seem to forget is that not all of their customers use email accounts. Many of us like to have ISP independent accounts (for example I use an account which uses my hobby website domain address, Miltontrainworks. ) so that if we ever move, we don't have to change email addresses.

Comcast expected every other mail provider to switch to their non standard port... not really realistic. Finally I found a workaround, which was to continue to get inbound mail from the pop server I was using before, but to point outbound mail, over this non standard port, at their smtp server. This was something dragged out of them (the chat logs are amusing, at best)...

That worked fine, for quite a while. Earlier this week, it stopped. No idea why yet. Color me frustrated. Comcast support is pretty non helpful, they insist they never said to change to their outgoing for non comcast email addresses.

So color me frustrated till I figure out what to do.

Update. (29 march) It just started working again. Apparently the thing that wasn't broke got fixed.

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