MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Internet Providers

May. 30, 2009
Jun. 1, 2009
Oct. 31, 2009
Nov. 2, 2009
Nov. 3, 2009
Nov. 4, 2009
Nov. 6, 2009
Nov. 7, 2009
Nov. 9, 2009
Nov. 13, 2009
Nov. 24, 2009
Nov. 25, 2009
Apr. 27, 2011
May. 4, 2011
May. 30, 2009

item.93031

Alan Harper

I just renewed my internet service contract with Megapath (3 times the cost of competitors, and, so far, worth every penny!). I received the following email upon my renewal:

The Customer Portal offers additional information such as IP Address, Billing information, a step by step explanation of what to expect.... The Customer Portal is located at: URL: http://www.megapath.com/login/

When I tried to log in I was astonished to get the message

The page you have requested has functionality that is specific to Internet Explorer version 5.5 and greater browsers.

Do they really think that all of their customers use Windows?

Jun. 1, 2009

item.93053

Gregory Tetrault

Alan Harper said:

"I just renewed my internet service contract with Megapath...

When I tried to log in I was astonished to get the message

The page you have requested has functionality that is specific to Internet Explorer version 5.5 and greater browsers.

Do they really think that all of their customers use Windows?"

No, but they don't care about the other 5-10%. I have HughesNet satellite internet. HughesNet offers tools to configure your hardware and improve connection speeds. All the tools are Windows only. Whenever you call tech support, the agent assumes you're using Internet Explorer under Windows.

The attitude that its OK to give short-shrift to 5-10% of customers seems to be prevalent in most fields, not just computer-related fields. Apparently managers slept through their 100-level business courses in college.

Oct. 31, 2009

item.103534

Gordon Wolfe

My internet service provider, Comcast, recently sent an e-mail touting the fact that they were "concerned about our user's security" and offering free MacAfee. Well, of course, MacAfee only runs on Windows. I replied asking what product was available for the Macintosh. They replied to me saying they were concentrating on areas where they could be most effective. Translation: "Too bad for you."

Nov. 2, 2009

item.103573

Gerald Kreienkamp

I had a similar though worse experience with Verizon. When I signed up for a speed boost offer on my Verizon DSL, the person taking my order tried to sign me up for their "security" bundle for which they charged a monthly fee. I told the order taker that their security software only ran on Windows and I had a Mac, so the offer was of no value to me (and I wouldn't have signed up for it anyway).

When I got my next bill, I found the guy had put the security package on my bill anyway. I had to make one irate call to Verizon to get the charge removed. Beware any telco or cable weasels. None of them are honest.

item.103579

Arthur Kent

Gordon Wolfe states:

"My internet service provider, Comcast, recently sent an e-mail touting the fact that they were "concerned about our user's security" and offering free MacAfee. Well, of course, MacAfee only runs on Windows. I replied asking what product was available for the Macintosh. They replied to me saying they were concentrating on areas where they could be most effective. Translation: "Too bad for you.""

I hear you. My provider is also Comcast, and I've always been tempted to ask them the question, "Since you have no such software for us Mac users, why can't we get a discount?". I'm sure I would get some useless answer. This is just another example of a narrow minded organization. And, they have the gall to state that they do indeed support Mac users. What a crock of BS!

It's just too bad that in my area, the only other (reasonably fast) option would be through the phone company, Qwest. But, from all that I have read, Comcast is faster. So, I'm basically stuck.

item.103631

Mark Kaufman

McAfee (the correct spelling) *does* in fact offer a firewall and anti-virus product for Mac, including Snow Leopard support from the day 10.6 was released...

item.103632

Elert Gibbs

That should be the worst of your Comcast woes. Comcast has THE worst customer support, bar none. I wouldn't use them even if they reduced their outrageous pricing to sane levels.

Nov. 3, 2009

item.103660

A Kaleberg

Given Windows vulnerability to viruses and take overs by scammers building botnets, giving away anti-virus software for Windows probably saves ISPs money. Macs don't have the same problems, so giving Mac users anti-virus software has a much lower payoff.

People who envy Windows users for getting free security software remind me of Homer Simpson complaining that his roommate at the hospital had a breathing machine, but that he had to breath for himself.

item.103668

Gregory Tetrault

Mark Kaufman said:

"McAfee (the correct spelling) *does* in fact offer a firewall and anti-virus product for Mac, including Snow Leopard support from the day 10.6 was released..."

The free WaterRoof firewall negates the value of McAfee's firewall. McAfee VirusScan for Macintosh cannot stop new Trojan horse attacks, our biggest malware threat (though it can detect previously released Trojan horses). It cannot stop live web site-based attacks (via JavaScript), and it cannot help with Flash cookie-related problems. McAfee VirusScan detects Windows viruses or worms in e-mails and can detect possibly malicious macros in Microsoft Office documents (that can harm Windows PCs but not Macs). McAfee Antivirus for Macintosh is, for the most part, protection for the Windows users you interact with.

McAfee shows its support for the Mac platform by having a Home page and a Product page that both fail to mention or link to McAfee VirusScan for Macintosh. You have to go to the Small Business page to find a link, and then the link page has no price. When you go to the Small Business Store, there also is no price. That's because you must buy licenses. The minimum number of licenses is three and costs $110. I then went to the Home and Home Office Store, but it carries only Windows products. The Mac product is just a neglected foster child in the big McAfee family.

item.103671

Antonio Tejada

Elert Gibbs wrote:

"Comcast has THE worst customer support, bar none."

Believe it or not, the big cable company here in Switzerland, Cablecom, has customer service so atrocious it makes Comcast look like a shining pillar of customer friendliness.

(Think Comcast making you wait on hold for an hour is bad? Try not getting through for *two weeks* and having registered mail go unanswered. During which your contract self-renews for another year. Luckily I decided to never become their customer.)

And at least most basic telecom services in USA, including Comcast, don't require a contract. Here, they always do, even for things like ordinary landline service. The Swiss usually get things right, but they totally drop the ball in telecom customer friendliness.

item.103705

MacInTouch Reader

I doubt ISPs will offer antivirus software until they start getting complaints of spam or viruses being distributed by infected Macs.

Someday that may happen but for now its not a problem.

Meanwhile, if you are running Windows on your Mac, the offered software will work just as well as it does on other Windows hardware.

The software may or may not be up to date.

Meanwhile RoadRunner has announced that they will cease providing dialup access Nov. 30 because, "With fast Internet connections readily available when traveling, Road Runner is discontinuing Dial Access on November 30, 2009."

RR has said in the past that such connections are not designed for use when their cable internet service is out of order. (Which never happens, ha ha)

I guess they expect me to carry my Mac Pro and monitors to some place with WiFi. Or pay somebody for a backup dialup account.

Nov. 4, 2009

item.103755

Jack W

TWC sent me a letter announcing a $5 increase in RoadRunner to $50.

That's probably why they are cancelling dial-up. They want you to subscribe to their more expensive cable connection.

I cancelled their digital cable connection because they jacked up the price.

I'm open to competition when something besides AT&T and Dish come along.

Jack W

item.103789

Skot Nelson

Re:

That's probably why they are cancelling dial-up. They want you to subscribe to their more expensive cable connection.

While there are still areas and people who use dial-up, less than 10% of American adults now use dial-up.

They're probably canceling it because of a lack of customers. Dial up has become a niche service.

Nov. 6, 2009

item.103917

MacInTouch Reader

To clarify, RoadRunner dialup was a free service intended for use while traveling for customers who have paid RR cable Internet service at home or work.

It was NOT for folks who can't get RR internet at home due to location.

Nov. 7, 2009

item.103924

Fredrick Matzner

Re: Time Warner Road Runner discontinuing dial up access.

I have to dial up when away from home, believe it or not. Does anybody have suggestions on alternate dial up services? There used to be dozens, but except for creaky AOL, I'm not aware of others.

item.103978

John Grout

For cable internet and travel backup, I use Dialup4Less.com. For just under $72 per year ($6 per month), I get 25 hours per month of dialup and 100 MB of Web space plus access to my email (POP or Web mail) and Web space through any Internet connection. They have local numbers in most metro areas and many small towns in the USA and Canada and have Mac-friendly manual setup instructions. Other than being a satisfied customer, I have no connection to Dialup4Less.com.

item.103986

Antony Gravett

Re: Fredrick Matzner's request about dial-up ISPs.

A happy customer chiming in: I've used fastermac.net for years and the service has been very good via a large number of dial-in numbers.

http://fastermac.net/dialup_prices.html

item.103987

Andrew Main

Fredrick Matzner writes:

I have to dial up when away from home, believe it or not.

EarthLink's DSL service (I have the basic 1.5Mbps for $40/month) includes 20 hours per month of dialup for this purpose. Though I'm guessing the reason many services are now dropping dialup is because most people don't use it even when traveling, it being so easy these days to find wireless access nearly anywhere.

Nov. 9, 2009

item.104009

Peter Bloom

The last 4 years I've been using www.turbousa.com and really like it. It's Mac-friendly, cheap, reliable and has lots of connection numbers. Pretty fast, too, with their free TurboMac software.

Nov. 13, 2009

item.104302

Bob Bonner

Believe it when I say that Dial In Free (http://www.dialinfree.net) is the real deal. I was a little skeptical at first, wondering what strings were attached. The only real "string" is that if you need technical support, there is a five dollar charge. However, the setup is so simple that unless you really don't know what you're doing, you'll never encounter a charge. All you need to do is get your local number, create a dialer, and boom, free internet. The only drawback is, Dial in Free is only available in the 231, 616, and 269 area codes.

Nov. 24, 2009

item.104976

John Griffin

OK, this one takes the cake! I have a ZTE MF636 USB device (Rocket Stick) on my computer. As soon as I upgraded to Snow Leopard it became next to useless. I checked with Rogers and found that the incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 was acknowledged and a firmware updater was posted which I quickly downloaded. Guess what? The firmware updater that allows me to use the ZTE Rocket Stick on my Macintosh computer can only be applied on a PC running Windows.

If this isn't the worst case of stupidity or blatant Mac Marginalization, I don't know what is!

Nov. 25, 2009

item.105014

John Grout

A Web report on think-forward.ca claims that replacing the version of option.com's GT Connect software available from Rogers Wireless with an updated GT Connect available on option.com's AT&T support page at URL

http://support.option.com/att/

at the link

"New! GT Connect for Mac 10.4.11, 10.5x and 10.6.x and Manual"

will unbrick Rogers Wireless ZTE Rocket Sticks on Snow Leopard.

Section 5.2 of the GT Connect manual describes how to configure a 3G/EDGE/GPRS connection.

According to the Web report, the 3G/EDGE/GPRS profile to use for a Rogers Wireless ZTE Rocket Stick is

"APN:internet.com User id: wapuser1 password:wap"

I would recommend that one confirm this procedure... especially the profile information... with Rogers Wireless support before use.

item.105018

Jeff Schaffer

John Griffin is quite lucky if this is the first time he's experienced updaters that only work on Windows. I've had the same experience with hard drives, hard drive enclosures, many, many times with CD-R and DVD-R drives, digital cameras, modems, routers, DSL and cable modems, cell phones, printers...

It has gotten a lot better in the last few years, but nowhere near perfect.

Apr. 27, 2011

item.134098

Gregory Tetrault

Verizon offers high-speed internet via their fiber to the home service (FiOS). Verizon provides a DSL modem/gateway device (usually a Westell VersaLink 7500 or 327W) that supports wired and wireless home networks. Those devices are compatible with Macintosh computers running OS X. However, the Verizon website for wireless networking makes no mention of Macintosh or OS X. I found Verizon's instructions for setting up wireless networking with the above gateways, but again only Windows computers are listed. The same was true for their web page about adding a computer to an existing network. The Verizon web site did have instructions on how to connect an iPhone or iPod Touch to a wireless network. Apparently, in Verizon's view, Macintosh computers are not worth mentioning.

May. 4, 2011

item.134266

David Broudy

It's not correct to state that FiOS does not work with OS X machines. I've been doing it for 3+ years both wired and wireless and also with several different iOS devices.

There's really nothing to configure. You can get into the router settings pretty easily and turn on various security options e.g. MAC address filtering, but there's nothing that *must* be done for the Westell router to work with OS X and iOS. It just... eh, works.

item.134273

Douglas Watson

I figured out a while ago one reason that Verizon doesn't give any instructions on their website for connecting a Mac computer (and it is true, they don't, and the guy who comes to install it doesn't usually know anything either). None are needed. The computer self-configures everything. The only thing you have to do is enter the wireless password on each wireless device. "It just works." The only way I have found to screw it up is to use the software on the CD that they provide.


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