Rants & Essays

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

By Marcus Pan

It's been a while since I had another story to write for the IDT collection. Things were moving along smoothly up until a few days ago when Terri Tickle, an unrepentant spammer that happens to be a mortal enemy of mine, had one of her friends mailbomb me again. This is a habit of hers that she brings back every month or so. She'll get her little spammer's panties in a big ol' wad and suddenly my mailbox would jump to, oh, 3000 or so messages on an off day. On a good day she's good for 10,000 or more. Lookit me maw! I be popular!


I was using Pine to get rid of all the bombing letters as they came in with no trouble. But I thought I could get back to my work quicker without having to worry about logging into Pine every now and then to clean it up if I was to speak to someone in IDT's technical support department. I logged into #ircsupport on EFNet to have a block put on my address that would bounce back and/or refuse any further messages from the bomber. But unfortunately Neil, the only "tech rep" available at the time, was completely and utterly useless. He didn't have much of a clue at anything and frankly resembled an eight year old in action. To respond to my note of, "Hey, I'm being mailbombed," his only response was, "What do you want me to do about it?" When I suggested doing his job, he became unresponsive He ran away…and would no longer respond to any of my questions or requests. What a baby.

Unretrievable E-Mail

It was early on the morning of the fifth of March when I slapped my mouse enough to kick the computer out of sleep mode. I noticed that I had mail waiting. So I went to get it. The IDT system responded that my password was invalid. What? I checked again. Same thing. So I logged into #ircsupport again. It was just as much of a joke as it was before, only this time the joke's name was David Carson, known as "leapfaith" in the IRC room. David informed me that my account was canceled "for violation of Acceptable Usage Policy." What? He tried to run away too…his answers became vaguer and vaguer. If there's one thing IDT's technical support staff can't do it's answer a simple question. I was informed that I had to call their customer service line the next day. David, it seems, was pretty much helpless and quite worthless in this situation. Color me surprised. The funniest part about the whole thing was here I was…still online! Great security there, guys.

While I was trying to get more information out of him such as, for example, the number to call (he forgot that piece of information even though he was so adamant about my calling tomorrow) and exactly what schmecklehead thought I was suddenly an abuser, someone finally realized that, OH MY, there's an abuser logged in! I was cut off at 1:38AM. I had a dilemma now…wake up Laura for her password or go to sleep. I slept. No, really…y'all haven't seen my woman when woken up at 2 AM over something computer related…

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Well, it happened to be the next morning in the lab when I tried to get things settled. First I was told that the abuse department, who I just had to speak to in order to get this matter cleared up, was the only ones who could help me. Everyone else's hands were tied (customer service, technical support, everyone…no help). They were scheduled to come in around noon. Noon came…no wait! They were scheduled to come in around one. One came…no, wait! They aren't coming in today at all! Gee, Pan, so sorry…you don't have any Internet access until Monday morning. Uh…yeah, right. Like I could go a few conscious hours without geeking somewhat…don't these people realize I'm addicted? Don't they know that I go into withdrawal? Have hot flashes and get the sweats? Don't they know that I need my Internet? Not until Monday…fluke that man.

So I made two phone calls. One was to the cool ass people who run Zenweb. I told them IDT went wacky on me and I need a mail account and fast. Two hours later, pan@zenweb.com with something like 5GB or so of mail space (insert geek version of Tim Allen grunt here) comes along. Then I called IDT's customer service. And I told them that abuse went insane, my account was canceled, I want to keep it that way (I guess I finally cracked?) and don't even dream I won't be watching my credit card statement to see if it appears again. "It's already canceled," rude, gruffy customer service guy said. Ok, fine. I hang up. Then I double check that the Zenweb mail account is working; it is - quite fine actually. Seems quicker than the IDT server, but that's probably just me being biased.

Guess I Cracked

Ah well. You all knew I couldn't hang there for long. That doesn't mean the IDT Sucks site will go down, nor does it mean I won't continue to watch IDT, IOS and all other affiliates. I still have people on the inside…kinda. ;) I just had to crack and take a step away before they made me show up in Hackensack, NJ in full regalia; tanker jack-boots (straps only…laces are lame), completely perfect pre-mosh-pit eyeliner, and borrowing my buddy JohnnieB's awesome black trench; and start kicking "tech rep" teeth down their shitters.