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SpamCop processing delay


Armageddon

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This might be something that's been discussed before, but being a newbie in the forum I take the liberty...

I usually use the Forward button in my mail program (Netscape) which works just fine. However, if forarding a message received 1 minute ago, I might end up waiting for hours before SpamCop has processed and is ready to report. A perhaps 3 minute old message has suddenly become a 6 hour old message, since SpamCop doesn't take it's own delay into account when calculating time. This gives an incorrect report time statistic. To me, I reported in when it was 0 hours old, but when being able to send the reports, it has become several hours old. That's not my fault! But I still have to "pay" for it, by having my available MB's depleted. The all to often occurring delays in SpamCops processing times have so far costed several MB's. To bad!

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Granted, there are issues that others are reporting about delays in the reporting time. However, I don't have a clue as to how you're equating these delays into "cost of fuel" .... "fuel" is used on a basis of "bits processed" ... the only direct impact of time against fuel I cann 'see' might be if you were processing spam that was already coming up on the three-day limit on reporting it at all, but you're only talking "several hours" in your complaint/query.

If you're talking about "your average reporting time" .. as far as I'm concerned, this has been screwed up since it was implemented. However, one should note that the time is actually based on the top-most valid header line (usually your ISP's time stamp), not exactly the same as when "you received it" .. as technically, that e-mail might have been laying around on your ISP for a number of days before you actually connected and "saw" it. And there've been cases like HotMail screwing up a server or two, and the date/time has been wrong (often by years) on their servers.

Check your mail-box more often. Don't report stuff over 2 days old.

Is what you were asking about answered?

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Nope.

The fact is that any forwarded spammail eats fuel, regardless whether you report or cancel. Fuel seems to be deducted when forwarded spammail is received by SpamCop.

Since it seems futile to report anything older than 7 - 10 hours, I consistently delete such spammails without sending report. What annoys me is that - in the extreme cases - SpamCop has delayed processing of a fresh spammail until it has passed the 3-day limit. Still deducting fuel, but "nothing to do" since it has passed the 3-day limit. OK I must admit it is some time ago thias happaned, but still, right now for instance, the processing delay is about 3 hours, which I find unsatisfactory. Even more annoying is that, living in Europe, even when submitting spammails when USA is asleep - or at least should be, at arount 07.00-09.00 UTC the processing time has been significant.

So it's basically a question of whether it's satisfying or even acceptable to "pay" for spamreports being delayed by SpamCop, submitted minutes old and being able to report only when they are beginning to get grey hair.

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please see http://alpha.cesmail.net/graphics/spamstats.gif to see what's happening these days <g>

The fact is that any forwarded spammail eats fuel

Yes, that's the way the type of account you're using works. Have you checked into going the SpamCop Filtered E-Mail account that is charged at a flat fee per year? Depending on your spam load, this may be to your advantage?

So it's basically a question of whether it's satisfying or even acceptable to "pay" for spamreports being delayed by SpamCop

Entirely your call ... There is still the "free" account that can be seen as a time saver and offering the expertise to usually come up with a more correct target for your complaints, as compared to spending the time tracking all the data yourself.

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Entirely your call ... There is still the "free" account that can be seen as a time saver and offering the expertise to usually come up with a more correct target for your complaints, as compared to spending the time tracking all the data yourself.

Wrong! The fuel going to waste due to internal SpamCop delay did initially cost real $$. The "free" service contains nag screens and the pay option gave the impression of being quicker, something not quite true. Internal SpamCop processing delay is just as nagging as delay-timers.

However, due to non-existing customer service at SpamCop, there is nowhere to direct complaints about the processing delays.

Of course, using SpamCop and participating in spam reporting is my option, but when having paid for something, is it strange that one reacts when the level of service is not maintained?

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Wrong! The fuel going to waste due to internal SpamCop delay did initially cost real $$. The "free" service contains nag screens and the pay option gave the impression of being quicker, something not quite true. Internal SpamCop processing delay is just as nagging as delay-timers.

However, due to non-existing customer service at SpamCop, there is nowhere to direct complaints about the processing delays.

I had a look through your account and see only one report that you have cancelled. There are five reports sitting in there waiting for you to review and send and there are two reports from Friday that timed out of the system.

The time delays are a known issue, but a cause hasn't yet been pinpointed. Julian and Michael are working on it as I type.

Richard

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Wrong! The fuel going to waste due to internal SpamCop delay did initially cost real $$.

Again, the "fuel" is used to pay for the bits of data processed. That's the type of account you're using. I'll ask again, have you looked at going the Filtered E-mail type of account that is a flat fee? You don't have to use the e-mail side of he house, and you can continue to forward your spam, if that's your choice.

The "free" service contains nag screens and the pay option gave the impression of being quicker, something not quite true. Internal SpamCop processing delay is just as nagging as delay-timers.

Can't argue the logic, but pointing out that going "paid" includes other options and capabilities that you may or may not be using. I manually report most of my spam, reserving SpamCop for those "interesting" spams, or when I've got a load of it and I'm inclined to use the SpamCop tool for the time savings as compared to doing my own research. Even then, I still use the cut/paste box to submit it.

However, due to non-existing customer service at SpamCop, there is nowhere to direct complaints about the processing delays.

That's a bit ambiguous there ... JT over in Georgia, Julian in Washington, a handful of Depities spread around the U.S., the majority of the SpamCop reporting system in California, and folks like me volunteering time to monitor both these Forums and the newsgroups .... and if/when these problems are brought to light, there's usually someone around that can take a look at something and/or pass the word up to the few that can actually get into resolving it. Sure, there may be time issues based on the geographic spread of folks and hardware, the solution may not be immediate, but I have to disagree with your blanket staement of "no customer support"

Of course, using SpamCop and participating in spam reporting is my option, but when having paid for something, is it strange that one reacts when the level of service is not maintained?

I'll tell you that I'm the wrong person to be asking about the situation you're upset about. Having dealt with copomputers and automated systems for so long, I don't have the same exceedingly high expectations of things that some current computers users seem to demand. When I look at the stats of the processing performed by the SpamCop system, I'm actually a bit in awe that it works as well as it does. Dig deeper and note that the processing by the SpamCop hardware is just a portion of the process, it's the waiting for data from so many other systems and servers to generate the internal data and decision points that causes a lot of the "delay" in handling a single spam submittal, compound that by the thousands of reports handle hourly, wow!

Going back to the way things were .. the e-mail submittal scenario was introduced so folks could handle this as kind of a background process. Gather up the spam, do a mass submittal, then move on to other work, while SpamCop chewed on the spew. Then, when one had the time, you could work the actual verifying, selecting, and sending of the reports. This seemed to meet the needs of many.

Now we're seeing the folks that expect an "immediate" response to their submitals, not knwoing that the spam is sent via e-mail to a computer in Georgia, which then generates a connection to a computer in California, passes the spam for processing ... the parsing then creates queries that go to DNS servers, open-relay databases on other servers, open-proxy databases on other servers, checks for modified abuse address on another server, looks to see if there's any internal special handling required on any of the results found thus far .. then passes that results back to the system in Georgia to generate the e-mail to "you" to advise that the parse is completed .... and per the above remarks, thousands of these transactions a day, and all this on top of reporters using the web-based submittal form, the e-mail servers handling loads of regular e-mail for all those users and most of these folks have numerous accounts that get POP'd or Forwarded every so many minutes .... bottom line, I've got a whole different perspective on things ....

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1. About my statement concerning non-existent customer service.

The good support and explanations given by such as yourself is one thing. But the thing is that when paying for any service a business-client relationship is established. Relying on the good will of a community for support and customer service is simply not professional! I do beleive that SpamCop/Ironport has some hunch that might be the case, since they ask for opinion on the issue in the survey that random (?) users stumble on to.

2. Having established a business-client relationship, the customer - in this case me - shouldn't have to care about the technical stuff behind the scene. OK, I do realize that it is a complicated process, but should I, as a customer, have to take that into consideration? Or should I have forseen that in my crystal bowl?

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1. About my statement concerning non-existent customer service.

The good support and explanations given by such as yourself is one thing. But the thing is that when paying for any service a business-client relationship is established. Relying on the good will of a community for support and customer service is simply not professional! I do beleive that SpamCop/Ironport has some hunch that might be the case, since they ask for opinion on the issue in the survey that random (?) users stumble on to.

So, you would prefer that SpamCop's "customer service" be a minimum-wage staff reading/writing from a scri_pt instead of using experienced users to field the simpler questions - and paid staff handling the problems the users can't help with?

2. Having established a business-client relationship, the customer - in this case me - shouldn't have to care about the technical stuff behind the scene. OK, I do realize that it is a complicated process, but should I, as a customer, have to take that into consideration? Or should I have forseen that in my crystal bowl?

SpamCop's method of providing help to users wasn't a secret that was revealed only after you paid for your account. If the type of service a domain provides with their services is a concern to you - then "YES", you should investigate before you buy.

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Having established a business-client relationship, the customer - in this case me - shouldn't have to care about the technical stuff behind the scene. OK, I do realize that it is a complicated process, but should I, as a customer, have to take that into consideration? Or should I have forseen that in my crystal bowl?

One of the weaknesses of spamcop is communication (FAQ, initial web page information, etc.).

Yes, spamcop is a business. However, it is more like a cooperative for ISP's to handle spam than it is a business offering services for individuals to *do* something about spam.

Few people at spamcop, even the users who frequent the forum and newsgroups, technically non-fluent. And to understand the concept behind spamcop and what good it does to report spam, a little bit of technology is necessary. I disagree that the average user is incapable of understanding and also think that when the tech types start explaining they often 'tell me more than I want to know' about how it works. (though I have found it fascinating and will sometimes try to really learn the tech stuff)

Basically, spamcop is a tool for the reporter to use. Understanding about the limitations of that tool (in this case, how timeliness is decided and how best to use your time to report spam) is necessary in order to get the best performance. (If you don't put a car in gear, you won't go anywhere)

Wazoo explained the purpose of email submittals and Richard explained that the delays are being worked on. Many users of spamcop are willing to wait on 'fixes' because it is the only reliable tool to find proper reporting addresses on the internet. As Wazoo said it is all pretty remarkable and no one has been able to duplicate it. So your choices are to use spamcop (with all its limitations), do it entirely on your own, or not report spam.

Miss Betsy

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I am really new at this and can not even find out if my post was posted. My problem is the same as this discussion. If I did not have DSL and was dependent on dial up networking I would not have time to use SpamCop. I think SpamCop doing great things but I am wondering is there has been a recent slow down of some kind as it seems qute a bit slower than when I started using SpamCop about a month ago.

Dale

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I am really new at this and can not even find out if my post was posted. My problem is the same as this discussion. If I did not have DSL and was dependent on dial up networking I would not have time to use SpamCop. I think SpamCop doing great things but I am wondering is there has been a recent slow down of some kind as it seems qute a bit slower than when I started using SpamCop about a month ago.

Dale

Hi, Dale!

...You seem to have missed the last sentence in Richard's reply, above, in this thread.

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Nope.

The fact is that any forwarded spammail eats fuel, regardless whether you report or cancel. Fuel seems to be deducted when forwarded spammail is received by SpamCop.

Since it seems futile to report anything older than 7 - 10 hours, I consistently delete such spammails without sending report. What annoys me is that - in the extreme cases - SpamCop has delayed processing of a fresh spammail until it has passed the 3-day limit. Still deducting fuel, but "nothing to do" since it has passed the 3-day limit. OK I must admit it is some time ago thias happaned, but still, right now for instance, the processing delay is about 3 hours, which I find unsatisfactory. Even more annoying is that, living in Europe, even when submitting spammails when USA is asleep - or at least should be, at arount 07.00-09.00 UTC the processing time has been significant.

So it's basically a question of whether it's satisfying or even acceptable to "pay" for spamreports being delayed by SpamCop, submitted minutes old and being able to report only when they are beginning to get grey hair.

Hi, Armageddon,

...You may want to ask for a refund. Please see Pricing. That page doesn't seem to include an e-mail address to which to write to request the refund -- hopefully another contributor will offer one (I think it might be service <at> spamcop.net) *** EDIT: according to Wazoo's reply in "sluggish servers at Spamcop?", my guess as to the e-mail address for refunds was almost correct -- it should be service <at> admin.spamcop.net ***.

...The suggestions made above that you may wish to consider either the free reporting option or the $30 e-mail + paid reporting option seem appropriate to your situation.

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Steve,

Thanks for the serious reply.

My dial-up charge-per-minute ISP is at the moment eating the content of my wallet, but I have been promised a 2MB ADSL by the autumn. If I'm lucky, that will coincide with running out of the present fuel, meaning that it's time to consider the prolongation. Since the ADSL will be a flat monthly cost, I will get fuel over in the aforementioned wallet to do as suggested.

Cheers

/ Johan

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It seems to me as a "newbie" that some of the old hands at this game are defending SpamCop which is needless. We are all desiring the same things....

a good service. You old hands, remember we are not "complaining" about the

response time, we are trying to make it known that it is deteriorating and we are trying to do something to see if we can speed things up.

We also want to know if there is anything we can do to make the system work better. Adopting a "take it or leave it" attitude doesn't help anyone and only

alienates those of us looking for help.

Again, we all want the same things, please don't feel it necessary to defend

SpamCop. If we didn't think it a good thing we wouldn't be here.

Just let us know how to use the system better.

Dale

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Steve,

Thanks for the serious reply

Wondering if I should wonder what this might mean in reguards to all the typing I've done this far in this Topic alone ..???

Hi, Wazoo,

...My guess (and it's just a guess, mind you) is that your replies were far too detailed and technical for the OP. :) <g> You tried to explain to hir exactly how it all works whereas all s/he wanted to know was whether it seemed kosher to charge fuel when SpamCop.net didn't actually do the spam reporting. It does, naively speaking, seem that s/he paid for something (spam reporting) that s/he did not actually get. You and I understand (well, I kind of understand :) <g>) why that happened but the bottom line (IIUC) is that this customer is unhappy with the product.

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Steve,

Thanks for the serious reply.

My dial-up charge-per-minute ISP is at the moment eating the content of my wallet, but I have been promised a 2MB ADSL by the autumn. If I'm lucky, that will coincide with running out of the present fuel, meaning that it's time to consider the prolongation. Since the ADSL will be a flat monthly cost, I will get fuel over in the aforementioned wallet to do as suggested.

Cheers

/ Johan

Hi, Johan,

...Just to clarify for my benefit: is the "fuel" you mentioned both in your original post and also in this latest post your ISP "dial-up charge-per-minute" or is it SpamCop "fuel?" My answer assumed it was SpamCop fuel that was being consumed.

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Steve,

The fuel I have been talking about is SpamCop fuel. On top of that, I have a monthly internet bill from my ISP of about $200,-/month. With reference to my empty wallet, to go for an extra $30 will be possible when I have received the DSL connection.

/ Johan

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Steve,

The fuel I have been talking about is SpamCop fuel. On top of that, I have a monthly internet bill from my ISP of about $200,-/month. With reference to my empty wallet, to go for an extra $30 will be possible when I have received the DSL connection.

/ Johan

Hi, Johan,

...Thank you for clarifying. That is what I understood you to be saying.

...Perhaps one of the more expert SpamCop participants can offer better guidance but my guess is that if you are going to spend $30, don't buy $30 worth of fuel -- you would (I think) be better off buying the Filtered email account which costs $30.

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It seems to me as a "newbie" that some of the old hands at this game are defending SpamCop which is needless. We are all desiring the same things....

a good service. You old hands, remember we are not "complaining" about the

response time, we are trying to make it known that it is deteriorating and we are trying to do something to see if we can speed things up.

We also want to know if there is anything we can do to make the system work better. Adopting a "take it or leave it" attitude doesn't help anyone and only

alienates those of us looking for help.

Again, we all want the same things, please don't feel it necessary to defend

SpamCop. If we didn't think it a good thing we wouldn't be here.

Just let us know how to use the system better.

Dale

If you want to know how to use the system better, then you are going to have to understand some of the 'technical' things.

That's the dilemma for people answering posts - many newbies don't want to know the technical side, but then there is no answer except 'take it or leave it'

spamcop was started by Julian. all the first users were 'volunteers' who helped with technical suggestions and donated toward the cost of servers, etc. by paying for fuel. Then as spamcop grew, the email service was added and then became a separate business that used the spamcop bl to filter and where people get reporting as part of the email service. Julian no longer owns spamcop, but he is still the only decision maker as far as what the parser will do and what the policies are. Julian's strong point is writing code, not customer service. His policy is 'take or leave it.' Occasionally, he will take suggestions and he works extremely hard at fixing bugs. (see Richard's post) Techies are patient because they understand the problems and there is no where else that you can get the same service.

I don't quite understand your comment about 'defending' spamcop. The only defending I would do is to agree that a 'user' group is more helpful than a help desk.

The best suggestion is to use the email service for the flat rate reporting fee if you want the most for your money. You don't have to use the other email features. 'Paying for fuel' is really just making a donation and getting some premiums the way you get a premium when you donate to NPR. It has nothing to do with the cost of the service which is free. (and I know that doesn't make sense when spamcop is a business).

Miss Betsy

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