Saturday, August 25, 2007

Western Digital My Book 500GB

I've been using IDE drives in USB/Firewire enclosures for add-on storage, a 200GB and a 250 GB. I had filled up the 250GB and switched to the 200GB. But I didn't want to eat up all my UPS power with both of them running so I turned off the 250GB. The downside is that then I couldn't tell what I had on the 250GB. Duh!

One of my RSS feeds came up with "Western Digital 500GB 7200 RPM USB 2.0 External Hard Drive - My Book Essential Edition for a low $114.75 - 10% off using Paypal = $103.27 free shipping."

Not bad. And it's quiet as a mouse.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Globat e-mail, Part 3

I resell web hosting and e-mail from an account at Globat. I've written about them several times (Cheap Web Hosting, Globat e-mail, Globat e-mail, Part 2, and Globat Support). Overall, these have been satisfactory in the end.

A couple of weeks ago, my customer called me complaining about spam. I looked around on Globat and found that they have a facility called GloSpamShield. It looked like a pretty good system so I tried to order it. I got several different stories but in the end they added it to my account for $29.95. So far, so good.

Then I went to my control panel to enable it. It wouldn't enable on any of my accounts. To make a long story a little shorter, an escalation to Lou Rio got Luis Banda on it and he got all but one enabled. That one NEVER got enabled. That problem might have been a sign I should have heeded.

The default level is "Medium" and is the recommended starting point. At that level, my customer didn't see any difference in spam so I bumped it to "Medium - High." Then pretty much everything got blocked. So I turned on "Held E-mails." It worked very differently on different accounts. Some would have lots of held e-mails and some would have none. There was no rhyme nor reason.

After a number of tickets with Globat support, I gave up and went to turn off GloSpamShield. It wouldn't turn off! At this point, Luis Banda quit responding. I had to contact billing and request a credit for GloSpamShield which they promptly gave AND turned off the feature. I guess money talks.

Whew. I thought I was done but I had just started.

My customer called me fuming! He sent an e-mail to a bank to meet a deadline and it was rejected by Globat as being "unsolicited bulk e-mail." This guy sends less than 10 e-mails a week.

A panic call to Globat revealed that this domain had been blacklisted. They agreed to whitelist it immediately but could never explain why it had been blacklisted.

This e-mail rejection and promised whitelisting has happened 3 times so far. Each time, I have been assured that the domain was whitelisted and that they would get me an explanation. None has been forthcoming.

Today, I think I figured it out. In attempting to rescue this customer, I created new e-mail accounts at another ISP and forwarded the Globat e-mail accounts to them. Remember that these are virgin e-mail accounts. Never been seen or used. Oh, and the account names aren't subject to dictionary attacks.

Within 48 hours, these new mailboxes are now getting bounced e-mails saying that they have sent virus infested e-mail. The only way that spammers could have gotten these e-mail accounts is to have hacked into Globat's mail servers' forwarding information.

And I'm still not getting any response from Globat support.