I was having problems sending email via my hosting account. I sent the following question to cablevision via their live chat:
Howard Greenstein: I am having trouble sending email via my paid-for hosting domain. It seems to be blocked. Is optoline blocking the outgoing SMTP email port?
Cablevision: Welcome to Cablevision, Howard Greenstein!
There is 1 question ahead of you, thank you for waiting.
You are next in line, thank you for waiting.
Your Optimum Online Tech Support Specialist will join you momentarily.
Cablevision: Your Optimum Online Tech Support Specialist, Dennis.L, has arrived.
Dennis.L: Welcome to Optimum Online's Live Technical Support!
Verifying Account ...
An Optimum Online Technical Support Rep will be with you shortly.
Dennis.L: Hello, my name is Dennis. Thank you for contacting Cablevision today, Howard.
Dennis.L: I have received your question, I understand it and I'm sorry for the inconvenience, I will be happy to assist you with that today.
Dennis.L: Please give me a minute or so to verify your account information. We will then take some troubleshooting steps to resolve your issue.
Howard Greenstein: you type fast
Dennis.L: Thank you for waiting, Howard.
Dennis.L: To help control the amount of spam and viruses that originate from the Optimum Online network, we are implementing outbound Port 25 SMTP filtering. Filtering port 25 is a common spam control measure used by Internet Service Providers and the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to the war on spam.
Dennis.L: You might be affected if you use a mail server outside of the Optimum Online network, run your own mail server, or similar scenario. There are other alternatives if you are affected - including VPN and SMTPS that your email service provider is likely to support. Please contact your email server host for information on these alternatives.
Dennis.L: By switching your outgoing mail server setting in your email program to mail.optonline.net, you will be able to send emails via our mail system without issue.
Howard Greenstein: i don't want to use mail.optonline.net - it gets filtered by other people's spam filters
Howard Greenstein: mine doesnt'
Dennis.L: I understand and I'm sorry for the inconvenience, if you would need to use an SMTP server other then mail.optonline.net, please contact our Business Optimum Online Sales department at 866-575-8000, and they will be glad to upgrade your account to a Business class account, this way you can continue to use the other SMTP servers.
Howard Greenstein: It it not acceptable that you are dictating that I can't use my own paid for legitmate email host
Howard Greenstein: I will be sending a letter to your customer service
Howard Greenstein: that is also not accepatable
Howard Greenstein: who shall I contact?
Dennis.L: Any one you contact will tell you the same that I did, you can send a letter to our corporate office if you like.
Howard Greenstein: yes, I would like to do that, as I look into alternative providers I believe they have a right to try to keep my business
Howard Greenstein: I've been a customer since this was offered in my area and have been generally happy.
Howard Greenstein: It would be a shame to have to get DSL instead
Howard Greenstein: perhaps if enough people complain they will reconsider this policy
Dennis.L: The vast increase in Spam over the past years has hindered our network's performance. Cablevision reserves the right to protect the integrity of its network and resources by any means it deems appropriate. This includes but is not limited to: port blocking, e-mail virus scanning, denying e-mail from certain domains, and putting limits on bandwidth and e-mail. This is stated in line item 26 (a) in our Residential Terms of Service located at www.optonline.net/tos.
Dennis.L: Can I assist with anything else regarding Optimum Online?
Howard Greenstein: yes, I understand the technical and business issues. thank you for your response and have a nice day.
So, now I have to use their outgoing server. But my email will say my address is not from their server (ie. I'm sending email as someone @ howardgreenstein.com but it is coming from someone at optoline.net) - and many people's spam filters will flag this and not allow mail through. Now I have a quandry. My hosting provider, who is generally good, won't do anything to change the way I send email (use a different port, use a vpn or some security). So, do I change hosting providers, or chance that people don't get my email? The war on Spam is certainly reducing my rights as an email user.