Ugh. Just had this horrible conversation with a Comcast “Tech” named O-Jay who was unable to help me set Comcast’s webmail as my default email application. If you’re trying to do this too, don’t waste your time. Download Thunderbird or some other email client.
When you install most email clients they ask when you first run the application, “Would you like this to be your default email application?” Installing the toolbar from Yahoo does this for Yahoo mail, as does Google’s gmail, and I’m sure MSN Live Mail also can set itself to be your default. The goal here is so that when you click on email links on various web pages your browser will automatically open a “Compose Message” window with the recipient’s email address already typed in and sometimes even a subject if the link was created to insert one. All you have to do is type your message and press “Send”.
This should be available with Comcast’s webmail also. It can’t be that hard to do. It would be a little easier if their tech people understood your question instead of pasting parts of a script to the chat session that are so far off the mark you just want to reach through the pixels and poke the guy in the eye.
Also, know that before I got to chat with OJay I was forced to go through a series of “Frequently Asked Questions” and some not-so-frequently asked questions in an attempt to solve my problem before I had to tie up one of their valuable tech people to figure this out. The “troubleshooting” section was almost as far off the mark as OJay but I was unable to capture any of that part of this time-wasted effort.
My chat session with OJay the tech support guy from Comcast:
chat id : 31943544-24c9-411d-b9b4-ca2eaeed38cc
Problem : Want to set Comcast webmail as my default email application in Internet Explorer.
Terry > Want to set Comcast webmail as my default email application in Internet Explorer.OJay > Hello Terry_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is OJay. Please give me one moment to review your information.OJay > Excellence is not our aim, it is our standard. It is great to have you on chat though I am sorry that you had to take your time to do this, I understand your concern and would like to apologize for this inconvenience. I am very happy to get in touch with you and I am here to provide you the best resolution to your concern. My name is O-Jay.How are you doing today?
Terry_ > I’m fine. How are you?
OJay > I’m glad to hear that you are fine.
OJay > I am doing okay, thank you for asking.
OJay > How may be I of service to you and provide you supreme customer experience?
Terry_ > I can’t figure out how to set comcast webmail as my default email program. I have done it with gmail and yahoo in the past…
OJay > No worries, Terry. I can actually help you set your default email
OJay > What is your operating shysteM?
OJay > system*
Terry_ > Vista
OJay > And what browser?
Terry_ > browser is IE7
OJay > I understand that you want to set comcast webmail to be the default homepage of IE is that correct?
Terry_ > No. I want it to go to “Compose” when I click on an email link in a web page.
Terry_ > Right now clicking a link takes me to Outlook which is configured for my work email.
OJay > Where will you find your compose button?
Terry_ > Have no idea what you mean. There is no compose button. There is only an email link on a web page. Clicking it takes me to a compose window using Outlook. I don’t want it to use Outlook. I want it to use Comcast.
OJay > Can you provide me the exact link?
Terry_ > mailto:email@example.com
OJay > I see, so when you use @Probasix.com, when you try and compose, it is outlook>
Terry_ > Is there someone else there that understands this? There have been “mailto:” links since the start of the Web in 1992. Clicking on one opens your DEFAULT email program. I want Comcast webmail to be my default. This is possible if you use Yahoo webmail or Gmail or Hotmail. If you don’t understand what I am trying to do can you get someone else who knows what a “mailto” link is?
OJay > Yes, Can you please provide me a minute to ask.
Terry_ > No problem.
OJay > If you do use MailTo, please encode the included e-mail address(s) to reduce the spam for that address.
Terry_ > I don’t want to create a mailto link, I want to click on one. Encoding is something the web programmer would do.
Terry_ > This is not helping me and you obviously don’t understand the problem.
OJay > You may need to configure the mail to in the comcast email website Terry.
OJay > Please read this article
OJay > http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art20536.asp
OJay > It only opens outlook,
OJay > When a visitor clicks on a link, their computer will open up a New Message window from their primary email program. It won’t use a browser-based email program like the AOL or Gmail web interfaces, only email client programs like Outlook and Thunderbird. Note that there is no space between the “mailto:” and the email address; putting a space after the colon will break the link.
Terry_ > Ugh. There are dozens of email programs. When you install one, like Outlook or Thunderbird, it usually asks “Do you want this to be your default email application?”
Terry_ > This can also be done with webmail based email services, like Gmail or Hotmail or Yahoo Mail. I want COMCAST to be my DEFAULT email application.
OJay > I am really sorry I do not have the answer to your query. As much as I would still want to help you, however, all my resources here are Comcast Tools and Search Channels which only contain Comcast-related Information. As Comcast Account Executive, I still would want to help you, but please understand that my scope is limited to Comcast. For any other unrelated Queries, you may refer to the service provider Representatives. Thank you for your Understanding.
OJay > Can you try and reconfigure that with Comcast again?
Terry_ > I don’t want to know how to set up a mailto link. I want to use one that someone else set up.
OJay > Do you have your own Comcast. email we can set up, Terry
Terry_ > It’s very simple. You click on the mailto link on someone’s webpage and it loads up a compose window so you can type an email to them.
OJay > Yes, I saw that Terry. However, we do not have any idea how to set up mailto.
OJay > Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s look at customizing the mailto link. Assume that you are building a list of visitors who want to receive your monthly newsletter, and you want to be sure that newsletter signups are very clear. You can use the mailto link to specify the subject line of that new message window, as follows:
Terry_ > Basics? huh? I’m not designing a web page.
OJay > Sorry, about that, that is not for you, Terry.
Terry_ > Obviously.
OJay > Have you tried to set it up like when you set up yahoo>?
Terry_ > Yahoo was setup automatically when I installed their toolbar.
At this point I realized that I should probably INSTALL COMCAST’S TOOLBAR! I thought, maybe, I could fix this myself before OJay could find someone else to answer my question. This can be done by going to http://www.comcast.net/toolbar3/ and following the directions. In the middle of the install it said all of my browser windows had to be closed and asked if I wanted the program to do it for me. Why not? My chat session with OJay was in a Firefox Window and I was trying to install the toolbar in IE7. Oops. When I answered “Yes” Comcast’s Toolbar install closed EVERY browser window, including Firefox. So I lost contact with OJay. Interestingly, once the toolbar was installed it restarted all my browser sessions, including the chat session with OJay. Although, according to the chat window he had left the conversation. I guess he had another problem to solve.
OJay > Analyst has closed chat and left the room
There was a survey to follow. Was the chat session helpful? LOL. Was the tech able to solve my problem? More LOL.
Oh! Now I have a Comcast toolbar on my WORK computer. I went to a web page that had a sample mailto: link to try it out. Unfortunately when I clicked on the link, kind of as expected, my browser loaded a “Compose Message” window using Gmail.
I think I’ll stick to Gmail for work and Yahoo for personal mail. If you can get Comcast webmail to be recognized as a default email application then please let me know. :)