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Customer Service Comparison

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Say what you like about Dreamhost, their customer service rocks.

I’ve been using Boxbe for some time as an email whitelist service to quarantine all email not from my contacts (if sent to one of my catch-all email addresses). This works great to stop SPAM while still letting me review easily for any potential ham. There are two problems with this approach: (1) it’s slow (2) it requires proxying all my mail through 4 different mailboxes.

So I was looking for some solutions. The Dreamhost support people (after I finally explained to them what whitelisting is) told me how to do it with their server-side filters. Unfortunately, since they’ve disabled procmail support, this requires creating hundred of filters by hand through a weird web GUI. Not awesome, and certainly not feasible.

So I was also in touch with the Boxbe people to see if things could be improved from their end. I asked three things.

I asked if they could please allow importing GMail address books without the use of a GMail password, so that I could keep them in sync without exporting my contacts to a file all the time.

The response: “Currently, there are no plans in the works for this.”

I asked if they could add a view to see approved email similar to how they have a view for waitlisted emails.

The response: they pointed me at their waitlist view, as though that solved the problem.

I asked if they could ping Dreamhost to get the ban on forwarding catch-all email addresses to Boxbe lifted.

The response: “At this time, Boxbe is a stand-alone application service, but we will pass this along to our Product Development team.”

All in all, an awful customer service experience. I then found out they have a GetSatisfaction forum. I checked it out, and found that any real problems posted there are replied to with robot-like requests for the user to email support. I really don’t think they get it.

4 Responses

randy stewart

Sorry you had trouble with our customer support.

For your first question – if you use Boxbe for Gmail, you don’t need to continually import your address book. If you send someone an email, they are automatically added to your Guest List.

For question 2, I’m not sure what you are asking. If you have approved a sender, their messages go into your inbox. If you have not approved a sender, their message goes to the Waiting List.

Could you add a little more detail to question 3? Do you want to forward email like “admin@singpolyma.com” to Boxbe? If you are using Google Apps for this domain, you can use Boxbe to protect any/all email addresses that you would like to use.

Let me know if that helped at all.

Cheers,
Randy

randy stewart

Ok… I found your questions in our customer service log. Sorry for the vague answers to your questions.

Question 2 – You can view recently approved messages in the Waiting List by sorting by status. The status of “Fwd: Self” shows messages that you have recently approved from within the Waiting List. Your Waiting List won’t contain messages from senders that are on your Guest List.

I’m still unclear on question 3 even after reading your customer service inquiry.

Cheers,
Randy Stewart
Boxbe Product Manager

Stephen Paul Weber

Hey randy,

I’m not using Boxbe for Gmail because the incoming email address is not my Gmail address. I just keep my addressbook on Gmail.

For question 2: I just want a webpage where I can see the most recent 5 emails that have been forwarded through, so I know they’ve been through and if they’re missing I know to look for them somewhere after the boxbe filter pass.

For question 3, Dreamhost, like many email providers, allows “catch-all” email addresses. That is, any email at *@singpolyma.net gets delivered to the mailbox. These email addresses cannot be forwarded because the huge amount of SPAM you get at them can cause Dreamhost to be blacklisted with the email provider you were forwarding to. This issue goes away (in theory) if the provider has explicitly told Dreamhost that they won’t blacklist them for allowing this (which totally makes sense in Boxbe’s case).

randy stewart

Stephen-

Just to preface, the Boxbe Public Email service that you use is only used by a tiny percentage of our members. While the service isn’t orphaned, we don’t expect to be doing a lot of development around it in the future.

Given that, I don’t expect we’d be developing the feature that you describe in question 2. If more of our users started to use the Public Email service, this may change.

For question 3, we may develop a “Boxbe for your Domain” in the future, but no specific plan to offer what you’ve suggested. We’ll keep the wildcard in mind, but I would imagine that processing all of the mail from *@domain.com would be prohibitively expensive for us to filter as part of a free product offering.

Additionally, in our experience, the signal to noise ratio there would be very, very low.

Cheers,
Randy Stewart

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