Net accesses …

So, I’m always excited about CanSecWest, and I was yesterday, as I got ready.  I went to do a last minute download of email.  (Yes, the conference provides wireless, and it usually works, after a few initial glitches.  But I like to avoid risks, and I like to have most of my stuff with me on my machine.)

I could pull the email off my main account.  (I have multiple email addresses with Shaw.)  But I couldn’t get any email off the subsidiary accounts.  In order to check if this was some setting gone wrong on my MUA I tried the Web interface.  Same result: I could get at my main account, but not the subsidiary accounts.

Later in the day, at the conference, I was able to access all the accounts.  But I found that, while my main account was still accessible though the original interface, suddenly all the others were using a new “Webmail 2.0.”

I thought this was kind of odd, so I reported this to Shaw through their “ShawHelp” account on Twitter.  You can’t explain a lot in 140 characters, so we passed a few “direct messages” back and forth.

I have previously mentioned that Shaw’s support is not the best, and their attitude to security could use some work.  (As a side result of this, a friend has provided me with an emergency proxy for outbound email.  I tried it this morning, and, unlike Shaw, which requires that you be on their network before you get access to your email, it works from CanSecWest.)  So I shouldn’t have been shocked when I got a message from ShawHelp saying … well, let me quote it:

“Not seeing issues with either of them. You can’t log into cissp? What is password so we can take a look? ^LL”

I had forgotten this.  In the old days, when I stilled tried to call Shaw support when I had a problem, I frequently got asked for my password.  Since I won’t give them my password (what do you think I am, a normal user?), that usually ended any attempt on their part to deal with the problem.

So, here we are, some years later, and Shaw is still asking their customers for passwords.  How many years have we been telling people, “customer support will never ask you for your password”?

On a very slightly positive note, I can say that, two months after they announced it, the Shaw Wifi AP in Lynn Valley is finally operating.

(I suppose I shouldn’t bash too hard on Shaw.  Their tech support and security is abysmal, but the service only goes down about once a quarter.  The other day I was at the barbershop.  They are putting in service through the other major provider in our area, Telus.  Telus’ initial installation had only given them partial access, so they called in Telus’ support.  The support tech managed to shut off access completely, and had been coming back, sporadically, for over a week, without success.)  (Yes, I did manage to get them partial access back …)

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