View Full Version : Complaint about customer service to Chris Russell

04-30-2005, 04:51 PM
I submitted a detailed problem report about the fact that numerous outgoing emails were being blocked as spam, complete with messages about the IP.

So, I get back a "blow off" email, saying it the problem was at the destination and itís my problem to solve.

Called customer service to tell them that was not the right answer, and it turns out that the IP is indeed my shared IP address, which is being blocked by outblaze.com. After I pushed the customer service rep acknowledged that the problem could be solved by switching my domain to a different server. However, his first three answers were all that it was either my problem, or something that no-one could do anything about.

It also turns out that the guy who answered the phone was the same guy who sent the email. When I complained about the 'blow-off"email - why bother sending an email if I have to call anyway to get any action - I got an apology "for the inconvenience", but no feeling that he felt he should have been more proactive.

Someone should tell him that the purpose of "customer service" is to solve problems, not to give pat answers in the hope that I will go away.

Westhost customer service seems to becoming more like that from my cable TV company - keep it up and I'll find another young hungry ISP like Westhost used to be when I first started with you.

Corrado Fiore
05-02-2005, 03:04 AM
If I understood correcly, your outgoing email was being blocked because the IP address of your SMTP server was blacklisted by Outblaze.com.

I ran into a similar problem some months ago (I was using another provider).

In such a case, the first thing I would suggest is to un-blacklist your IP address using the blacklist provider's website. Usually, they publish a form in which you enter your SMTP IP address and verify that it's not an open relay (i.e. it can't be used by spammers).

Or you could use a different SMTP server, like the one (probably) provided you by your local ISP.

I can understand your feelings - being blacklisted is a nasty problem - but I can't find anything wrong in WH response. As long as it's not a WH problem (i.e. their network/servers work fine), they can't solve it for you.

Be assured that just switching IP address is a patch, not a real solution --you could run into the same problem at any time.


05-02-2005, 11:27 AM
I'd be the first to agree that this is just a patch.

However, considering that the problem was created by another unknown Westhost customer who shares my IP - the Westhost explanation is that someone had a virus that was sending spam, but for all I know they started a marketing campaign - Westhost shares at least some responsibility for partnering me with someone who created the problem.

Getting a response to my initial email telling me to contact the recipient is still completely unacceptable - that means they either didn't read the email, or don't understand the problem. In either case, its a total waste of my time to send an email, and teaches me that I have to call support to get anything done.

05-04-2005, 03:56 PM
Etratek - Let me first say that there are no excuses that can be made for the service that you claimed to have received. At WestHost, we pride ourselves on client service and what you described is not what we are about. There is no doubt that the person you dealt with was unfamiliar with this sort of situation and the proper steps needed for resolution were not applied and for this we apologize. Rest assured that this will be taken as a learning experience and further education will be passed along.

Unfortunately, in the shared hosting environment, regardless who the host is, e-mail blocking due to someone else's spam settings can affect more than one other account. This is assuming that you do not have a dedicated IP address associated with your account. In this case, outblaze.com has blocked an IP and sadly, you are a victim of circumstance. With a dedicated IP, the only way you would be blocked is if outblaze became overzealous and blocked off an entire class of IP's. Or, unless they blocked you specifically for any reason.

Please send a ticket in to my attention (Scott Hull) at: ordering@westhost.com and provide me with the following information:

1) Your domain name
2) Any ticket number you may have on this issue

If you are indeed on a shared IP address, you may want to consider upgrading to a dedicated IP address for only $1.00 extra per month (https://corp.westhost.com/addons/).

I will look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.