Qwest Tries To Clarify $5 Per Spam Fee

from the nice-try dept

After people began to notice Qwest's ridiculous DSL terms of service, the company relented and changed some of them -- but leaving in a clause that says they could charge users $5 for every spam that they send over Qwest DSL lines. The clause raised questions about what would happen to users whose computers had been taken over by malware and turned into spam zombies, but the company now says people whose machines are hijacked have nothing to worry about. But some people aren't taking the statement at face value, with some commenters at Broadband Reports noting the company's comments only say it won't terminate the account of somebody with a zombiefied machine, not that it won't levy the $5 per spam fine.

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  • identicon
    Vasco DaGameboy, 19 Jan 2006 @ 9:39am

    Dont trust them

    Unless it is in writing and signed in blood, don't put it past Qwest to start strongarming people into paying a "settlement" fee in lieu of the $5/message. I.e., "Well, we COULD charge you $2000 for the 400 spam messages we traced back to you, but we'll settle for 10%, or you can sign this 24 month contract."

    Even the so called "new" companies just can't resist kicking against the goads once the world starts to change. They get too comfortable in their current mode and want to keep the status quo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2006 @ 10:00am


    If someone has their system compromized, then the fastest way to fix the problem is when the activity is noticed, shut down the connection.

    When / if, the user contacts the ISP, the user should be informed of the fact that their system has been compromized.

    After the first "offense" the user should be instructed on how to fix the problem, and be required to keep the system patched and up to date. That is the sole responsibility of the user.

    This will force the issue with users who dont care/know their system has been compromized.

    If they dont know, they can be informed and can take action, if they dont care, then they wont have access to the internet. Win win situation. If they switch over to a throw away dialup, then the spam/zombies wont push out quite as much info.

    While it sucks to have to "mother hen" users, most haven't a clue and need to be informed.

    Some of this stuff is so transparent due to the way MS handles things that even people who are up to date and computer literate can be subjected to that.

    Anyway, just my nickle.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JP Muzz, 19 Jan 2006 @ 12:50pm

    ya, never know!!!

    I have worked for Qwuest DSL and i can say I understand alot of these consernses, if anyone reading this thinks for 1 min that "it'll never happen" then read this, http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10726635/

    then tell me it can't happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    cobain, 19 Jan 2006 @ 1:46pm


    If you break the law you should pay the price. Spamming is against the law, so be it.

    I'm sure ISP's are not dumb enough to charge people 5$ per spam if there computer has been comprimised. Besides there looking for the people who send millions of emails a day, not someone who sent 10 messages cause his pc was comprimised.

    my 2 cents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    zer0skill, 19 Jan 2006 @ 2:23pm


    I would just play my own game, Charge me $5 per spam on my zombied computer, and I charge Microsoft $10 per spam sent from my computer because it wasn't secure or didn't stop it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mark, 19 Jan 2006 @ 6:51pm

      Re: Well...

      I'm just glad I've got cable...they just made cablephone available and I dumped Qwest the same day. Comcast seems to be able to apply billing changes or fix errors the same billing cycle. After Qwest took 3 months to "correct" my long distance rate errors, and the 4th bill still wasn't correct, they signed their own termination. Besides, right now it's $20 cheaper than Qwest is here, and they discount the video and broadband connection when you get more than one service. Gee, thats what I was waiting on Qwest for- service!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Earache, 19 Jan 2006 @ 10:02pm

        Re: Well...

        I did the same, dumped Qwest a few months ago for another voip provider even cheaper than Comcast. Now it gives me an odd satisfaction whenever I open an offer to "come back to Qwest" in the mail. They did the same thing when I dropped their DSL for cable.

        Why doesn't Qwest put more effort into keeping their existing customers happy (especially now that they face some real competition)? Instead they try to lure me back with ludicrous 3 month specials.

        Overall to me they come off as an inept greedy company. They've ticked me off since I realized when I got DSL that they charged me for a second line fee on top of my DSL charges. Would have made them a lot more money to drop the charge.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eskayp, 19 Jan 2006 @ 11:35pm

    Qworst Revenue Enhancement

    There is no doubt Qworst has alienated a large fraction of its customer base, whether by POTS or DSL.
    So it is not surprising that they are trying to implement increasingly predatory approaches to improving their revenue stream.
    Being ignorant of the finer points of spamming, I assume a zombie could generate thousands of spams per day.
    At $5.00 per pop, I can see Qworst's income improving dramatically.
    It even makes business sense for Qworst to start creating their own zombies on our hardware.
    Damn! And I almost had our mortgage paid off.
    Oh well!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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