MWEB blocking Gmail
Is MWEB blocking Gmail accounts?
Judging by ongoing problems experienced by some of my customers, and various posts on http://mybroadband.co.za and other internet forums, this would appear to be the case.
Starting some 3 months back, there have been numerous complaints from users of Gmail e-mail services that they are unable to send e-mail to recipients with a @wmeb e-mail address, or to forward e-mails they receive from a gmail account to a MWEB account.
At the time, there were claims supposedly made by MWEB that they were blocking all Gmail accounts as this free e-mail service was being used by spammers. (I was unable to find the original notification today).
MWEB is strangely silent on the matter. A search of their site mweb.co.za turns up ‘no results found’. Perhaps such information is only available to registered logged in account holders? Should this be the case it must surely be a breach of the full disclosure requirements of South Africa’s Consumer Protection Act.
Trying to find an answer from their ‘helpdesk’ is a trial of patience; long delays while your call is queued, finally being answered by a ‘call-centre’ operator who no doubt is not even located in South Africa, more likely on the Asian sub-continent. And when does a call-centre operator know about such things anyway: Never!
Gmail not being blocked:
MWEB Guy assure’s us MWEB is not blocking Gmail. (see comment below) This should be reassuring news. However, 4 months after receiving this response (January 20, 2010), I still get almost daily referrals from Google for search terms relating to MWEB and e-mail non-delivery/non receipt. the words ‘MWEB’, ‘blocking’ and ‘ Gmail’ are frequently common on this list of search terms, however apparently the problem is not limited to Gmail, as other mail domain names have been seen. The client I mentioned who could not send mail to her customer with an MWEB mail address from a Gmail account STILL has this problem as well, and has resorted to using another e-mail service.
MWEB blocking Gmail for spam?:
We can all agree SPAM is a problem. However it seems a strange method of dealing with spam for an ISP, which claims to be a Tier 1 internet service provider, to block an e-mail service universally across all their clients accounts. Surely it is the RIGHT of the consumer to CHOOSE such measures, not to have them imposed upon them indiscriminately. Such activity could quite easily be construed as “Denial of Service”. And the last time I looked, there were commercial laws regarding “Denial of Service” in place in South Africa
MWEB likes to consider itself a high value service provider for business internet accounts, as well as personal accounts. I Know of a number of businesses which use MWEB mail for their business e-mail. Surely they must be losing clients if they cannot receive mail from customers making use of Gmail?
Similarly, businesses using other hosting and e-mail solutions must be affected, especially those providing services or products to the public consumer market. Gmail is a commonly used and popular e-mail service. I make use of Gmail on occasion, even though I have my own dedicated mail service ‘graphicline.co.za’, with as many addresses available as I require!
MWEB blocks Gmail for ADSL users too?
There are also posts on mybroadband.co.za forums relating to MWEB ADSL users who are not using MWEB e-mail accounts, making use instead of their Gmail service. These customers evidently also have difficulty connecting via MWEB ADSL to their Gmail accounts, and are unable to synchronise the Gmail with desktop e-mail clients, e.g. Office Outlook!
The reassurance received from MWEB: It does seem strange for an ISP to take such stringent measures. Perhaps many of these issues were temporary in nature; due to technical errors – they happen! At lest I would like to think so!
I have never been an MWEB service user. I have heard too many complaints from those who are or have been users of their service. Issues such as HARD CAPPING of international internet traffic on their ADSL services – which notably are among the highest priced of those on offer in SA. Surely Hard Capping (no international access) is a ‘Denial of Service’, and I seem to remember reading somewhere that ICASA (Independent Communication Authority of South Africa – the regulatory body) regards denial of service as illegal. (And even Telkom ignores that with regard to ADSL)
Admittedly, it is very difficult for any ISP to provide uncapped and unshaped ADSL, at cost effective rates when they themselves have to plan and budget for the levels of service they can offer. The new Seacom cable and other coming networking options is going a long way to overcome the problems ISPs face.
I would suggest anyone disatisfied with any service should vote with their pocket, and make use of another ISP; for example, Afrihost.com offers a quality service, at least as good as MWE. Customers are able to easily configure their e-mail accounts, and decide which e-mail senders to block without being subject to domain wide restrictions imposed by the service provider. (Afrihost provides hosting and e-mail service for Graphicline.co.za)
Still experiencing blocked mails?:
If anyone is still experiencing similar problems, please contact MWEB Guy via http://www.facebook.com/mweb.guy or leave a message here using the comment box.
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