Several days ago, I had an on-line chat with a customer support person at Comcast (my cable Internet provider). I posted a blog entry about it which was humorous, but I thought you might like to see what actually went down. I had Comcast email me a transscript of the conversation so I could save it for posterity.
Note that is has been slightly edited for spelling and grammer, since I typed pretty quickly and sometimes stupidly. I have also removed the name of the customer support analyst to protect that person's privacy.
Also note that the conversation is somewhat asynchronous, so I am often typing while the anyst is reading my responses and vice versa.
Analyst.WXYZ > Thank you for contacting Comcast, my name is [Analyst]. To whom am I speaking, and how may I help you today?
christopher.d.schultz > Hi, this is Christopher Schultz. I'm having trouble contacting smtp.comcast.net.
christopher.d.schultz > It works about 50% of the time when I send an email.
christopher.d.schultz > I just have to re-send a few times and then it will get through.
Analyst.WXYZ > Do you receive an error message?
christopher.d.schultz > Are you experiencing any downtime or are you servicing your email servers?
christopher.d.schultz > The message I get is from my mail client, but I can give it to you if you'd like.
Analyst.WXYZ > No we are not experiencing an email outage at this time.
christopher.d.schultz > Okay, let me get the error message.
christopher.d.schultz > mmm.. of course, now it's not misbehaving. :(
Analyst.WXYZ > The fact that you can send after multiple attempts indicates that it is an issue with the mail program.
christopher.d.schultz > I'm happy to simply try sending a few times (the error message is something like "smtp.comcast.net cannot be contacted. Either the server is down or there is a communication link failure".
christopher.d.schultz > I've used this email program and these settings since I signed up for Comcast, and have not had problems like this in the past.
Analyst.WXYZ > What I may suggest is that you go to www.micorsoft.com and download a new email client.
christopher.d.schultz > Ugh. I don't want virii ;)
christopher.d.schultz > Also, I use UNIX. So OE is a no-go.
Analyst.WXYZ > I do understand how frustrating this is. It does not mean a virus it could be a missing dll or something that an update will fix.
Analyst.WXYZ > You can still use oe just down load a new one.
christopher.d.schultz > No, I meant that OE is more likely to get me a virus than anything else :)
christopher.d.schultz > Anyhow, I'm happy with my mail client and confident that it works. I just wanted to report connection issues.
Analyst.WXYZ > Not really.
Analyst.WXYZ > Are you having a connection issue with any sites on your browser.
Analyst.WXYZ > If you ever need to refer back to this issue with Comcast, I have a reference number for our conversation here today, the number is:
Analyst.WXYZ > 17673178
Analyst.WXYZ > Any further assistance today?
christopher.d.schultz > No connections issues with the browser (but the browser is the email client).
christopher.d.schultz > No further assistance will be necessary.
christopher.d.schultz > Thanks for your time.
Analyst.WXYZ > To protect your computer and connection to the Internet, please ensure you have the latest security updates from Microsoft (www.microsoft.com/security). If you have any questions visit our Online Security Section in the Service Center on Comcast.net.` Thank you for contacting Comcast, and have a great day.
Analyst.WXYZ > Analyst has closed chat and left the room