Personal Contacts at ISPs: Part 2
I’ve talked quite a bit recently about working with ISPs and personal contacts. Today I have an example of what not to do.
One of my ISP friends informed me that another blogger published correspondence from an individual at that ISP, including the individual’s full contact information. The correspondence wasn’t a big deal, the blogger was assigned an IP address by their ISP that was previously used by a spammer. The ISP had a block on the address and he was contacting them to get the block removed. It was totally a misunderstanding on the blogger’s part and the blogger removed the info when the ISP contacted him. Still, once something is out on the net, it’s out there forever.
Don’t do that. Really. When someone at an ISP helps you, don’t go publishing their information on a blog somewhere. They will find out, even if it’s just because their mailbox explodes or their phone starts ringing off the hook with multiple calls about an “emergency” situation. It hurts the person who helped you, who now has to deal with a major increase in volume and work load, and they’re never going to help you again.
This also hurts the rest of us, as ISP employees retreat farther and farther away from contact with senders. Even those of us who are careful with contact information may find it hard to get responses when others in the field are spreading info around.
I know some ISPs can be difficult to get any information from. That’s part of my reason for publishing the ISP information page was to help people find the right contact information. I think it’s extremely important for delivery professionals to understand that you don’t need a personal contact at an ISP to resolve most issues. What you do need is a deep understanding of SMTP, a smattering of knowledge about DNS and HTTP, a firm grasp of privacy issues and an understanding of the dynamics of email.