ISP Customer Service a Dead Art Form?

from the lets-hope-nobody-notices-our-screw-up dept

The e-mail and connection reliability of major ISPs frequently leaves plenty to be desired. MIA e-mail is most frequently thanks to botched spam fighting efforts, such as when Verizon customers suddenly stopped getting e-mail from outside the country. Or more recently when BellSouth's spam fighting system was so poorly implemented, people weren't getting any e-mail, forcing them to revert to their previous spam fighting solution. Huge outages thanks to network upgrades or transfers is also a concern, as many of the customers caught in the Adelphia, Comcast, and Time Warner cable switcharoo can attest.

PBS's Bob Cringely laments that there really are no consumer protections for these kinds of outages, and that ISPs are increasingly willing to bumble their way through botched network upgrades or capacity issues while hoping impacted customers don't notice. Users seem increasingly willing to click through mouse-print EULAs that leave them with no room to complain if their service stinks. One obvious solution would be to upgrade to a business line with some kind of reliability guarantee - but if the best solution is to upgrade to a more expensive business line, isn't this just encouraging ISPs to make their consumer lines worse and worse in order to convince everyone to upgrade?

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  1. identicon
    Kate, 1 Dec 2006 @ 8:43pm

    Now wait just one damn second...

    While theoretically e-mail delivery isn't that hard of a task, people don't seem to understand that sheer amount of e-mail that most ISPs process on a daily basis. The company that I work for process 2.3 BILLION messages DAILY. Not weekly, not monthly, over 2 BILLION messages every signle day of the week. Our spam filtration methods outwardly reject more than 30 million messages before they even hit our mail servers. Again, that figure is daily.

    Neither QMAIL nor POSTFIX were ever meant to handle that kind of e-mail density. Furthermore it doesn't necessarily help that e-mail USERS are partly to blame for all of this nonsense. Customer's who feel it is vital to save every single message on their ISP's server, causing their spool files to become bloated cause severe issues for the mail servers trying to process these messages. I might also add that e-mail is NOT teleporation, most users consider their e-mail to be down if it takes more than 2 minutes to process a message.

    Fact of the matter is, everyone wants dedicated mail processing without having to pay for dedicated server service. If you must have your e-mail omfgrightthisverysecond suck it up and pay for dedicated mail hosting. E-Mail is NOT, I repeat NOT instant messaging. It's really easy to blame the ISP when you know positively nothing about the service you are paying for or how the process works.

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