Telefónica has a bad reputation

We’ve been setting up a new email server at Clevernet for the past few weeks. While researching issues related to mail not arriving at the intended destination, I ran across this sweet nugget: “Net is UCEPROTECT-Level2 listed because of 551 abusers. Your ISP TELEFONICA-DATA-ESPANA Internet Access Network of TDE/AS3352 has to fix this. See:

Basically, what this means is, our static IP happens to be in a block of addresses known for sending massive amounts of spam and try as we may, there is nothing (or little) we can do to get our IP unblocked (get a clean reputation).

Telefónica, the formerly state-run telecommunications monopoly here in Spain, controls probably 90% of all Spanish internet traffic. I tried calling their office this morning to ask them about this issue but when I dialed the toll-free number, 1004, I got the dreaded “all circuits are busy” error and when I dialed again 30 minutes later, I got a busy signal. I would have gone to their office in person, except for the fact that they don’t have a customer relations facility in the Canary Islands. I can clearly recall major frustration when Ma Bell was first broken up, but:

  • the customer service number was never busy (but you did have to wait on hold for hours)
  • you NEVER got a “all circuits busy” error – after all, what kind of trust does such an experience generate in potential and existing customers?
  • Ma Bell had an office in every major city, and probably most minor cities too

I hate sounding like a whining expat, but I think most Spaniards (including those that actually work for Telefónica) would agree that Telefónica really sucks and if given even the smallest opportunity to bail, they would. If you want another opinion on just how dreadful Telefónica is, get a load of this story.

If the competition weren’t so expensive, I’d work with them more often (in fact, this site is hosted on the EasyNet network). At least they get some priority treatment as resellers of Telefónica connectivity, and that does filter down.

In all fairness, there are many factors contributing to the problem stated above. The biggest is the thousands and thousands of customers running cracked versions of Windows with no, or completely outdated, anti-virus software and hard drives full of infected versions of commercial software and pr0n downloaded via eMule. The situation reminds me a little of life in the states in the early 90s, but with one significant difference: the viruses of this decade are 1000 times more complex than anything we encountered back in the day, and trying to explain to novice users what the solution is (are) is a difficult task. One has to wonder just how out of hand it will be when developing nations suddenly find themselves in possession of a critical mass of this technology, but lacking the knowledge required to keep it under control. I guess the fun never ends…

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