I moved into a new house, got a new Comcast account for my internet & cable, and not four weeks later, they had blocked port 25, for exactly the same reasons they did it before.
I called the number again, and Eric was very competent and agreed to put in the unblock request. He also helped me to understand why Comcast suggests using a port other than 25. Itâ€™s not as ineffective as I had thought, but I still donâ€™t think itâ€™s worth the invconvenience.
His reasoning goes like this: By blocking port 25, they prevent most spamming viruses from getting to open relays that typically run on port 25. Even if the virus is updated to use port 587 (Comcastâ€™s suggested port), Comcastâ€™s mail server requires authentication, and so it wonâ€™t be able to send (of course, if they hijack your local Mail client, none of that will matter).
Now, if open relays start appearing that listen on other ports, then it wonâ€™t matter.
The real problem is this: Comcast claims that they had reports that spam was being sent from my IP address (at the time it was assigned to me), but they wonâ€™t tell me anything about these reports. Now, Iâ€™m certain no spam has gone out from my house. My wireless network is locked up tight, the access logs donâ€™t show any unauthorized accesses, and Iâ€™ve never run Windoze, so thereâ€™s no way I got one of those viruses. So, the report must be in error. But I have no way to track that down.
Hopefully, thought, Iâ€™ll get unblocked. And maybe the FCCâ€™s point of view will eventually prevent them from blocking port 25 after all.
Customer Service Experience
Before remembering that I had written an entry about this problem (which had the info I needed), I tried using the regular Comcast online chat customer support. The first time I called, they insisted this was a permanent block and there was nothing I could do to remove it. That, of course, wasnâ€™t true. This time they tried to pull the same shit, and after explaining to them that I was able to unblock it before, she said no, now itâ€™s really permanent. As it turns out, itâ€™s not.
I also have been trying to get a PIN number, so that I can get online access to my account. The agent could only give it to me if she called my Comcast Digital Voice number (a service I have but donâ€™t use because it makes my bill cheaper). She couldnâ€™t even call the number listed on my account (which I do use).
Here are a couple of photos showing our conversation (their stupid chat client doesnâ€™t allow copy-and-paste):