Cloudflare protection is preventing access to some sites for no good reason

  • Symptoms:
    Sometimes a retail web site is blocked at Cloudflare’s ‘Checking your browser’ screen.
    The latest problem is with scan.co.uk.
    Two attempts today gave errors Ray ID: 65e9e757c82fce57 and ‘65ea0f4bdee4ce57’.
    (I hope Cloudflare can find these in the logs and tell me what is wrong)

  • Why I think this is a fault with Cloudflare:
    Web site scan.co.uk is working - I can visit it using Edge on my Android phone.

  • Why this is a problem for me and for retailers:
    I do a large number of searches for a product that I have been unable so far to obtain because it is in short supply.
    This frustrating problem is ruining my experience and endangering Cloudflare’s reputation no matter what the cause.

  • Environment and usage:

  • Microsoft Edge and Windows Defender on Windows Pro version 20H2 (two separate machines tested today).
  • No special security software is in use right now.
  • There are several PCs on the same home network going through a single router to Virgin Business Broadband.
  • The public IP address does not normally change.
  • I am not using a robot of any kind to do large numbers of searches or web crawling etc; I use conventional manually entered addresses or links from manual Google searches.

I hope the above is clear. The final 5 bullets were entered as dashes and extra blank lines have been inserted! Perhaps a ‘preview’ button would be helpful. Conventionally, I think dashes would be interpreted as level 2 but it might be better to leave them alone, as in this case. Sorry I did not look at specific instructions; assuming my plain text would be unaffected unless I used format effectors.

I believe you are using mobile phone right now else the preview pane would be display right next to the edit area.

This is the preview button:

Is this the only website affected by the problem? Looks like they have strict security policies that even my Windscribe VPN is blocked by them (I mean, totally block without any browser checking)

Cloudflare nor the community has the rights to modify customer security settings.

I’m using a PC and on the right are some instructions in grey.
Now I see that I have to dismiss the instructions in order to see the preview.
Sure enough it does the formatting as I reported.
Does not matter now that I know.
The ‘Reply’ button here should say ‘Submit’ or ‘Send’ or ‘Post’ or even ‘Confirm Reply’ because I’ve already pressed a ‘Reply’ button.

I did not see ‘Error 1020 access denied’. It just hung.
My impression is that the problem is created by Cloudflare. Without Cloudflare it would not happen.
If it is really Scan’s ‘fault’ then I think Cloudflare needs to tell Scan how to to fix the issue, and insist that Scan does so, because the problem brings Cloudflare into disrepute. Cloudflare relies on its customers to be able to use the service responsibly.
If Cloudfare is too hard to configure or if its customer (Scan) has not been properly informed of the operational procedures and requirements then it s for Cloudfare to provide better information an/or improve usability.

Apologies for being so blunt. It is because where two parties are involved it is common for each to blame the other and I do not want to be in such a chain. My primary contact is with Cloudflare so I think that should be enough for a fairly simple issue. You could forward my complaint to the Scan Admins. You have my authority in this particular case.

Hi @drdavidgreen,

We cannot forward anything to anywhere. This is just the community forum. If you having an issue with a specific site, Cloudflare will not be able to do anything and you will have to contact the site directly.

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Hi domjh

Thanks for the response.

I understand your position but I believe I am talking with the Cloudfare via you as an individual.

You seem to be a representative of the company who, as such, should surely be able to forward a specific problem to the department that supports your customers.

I have no obvious way of getting in touch with anyone who can definitely address this problem.

If you think about my standpoint, you will see that I want to be helpful and Cloudfare is being obstructive.

In fact I’ve even gone a step further and attempted to raise a call (in which I think I mentioned that I’d started a forum topic) but I don’t think this should be necessary and I have no idea if the company will respond to me.

I am not a representative of Cloudflare at all, just another Cloudflare customer who happens to be active on the forum.

We can pass issues on to Cloudflare Support in some cases, but this is not one of them, as this is not a Cloudflare issue.

Unfortunately, the only people who can address your issue are from the website that you are trying to visit.

Cloudflare provides tools that website owners can use to protect their websites. How they choose to configure the product is entirely up to them and any issues with their configuration should be taken up directly with them. I understand your frustration, however there is nothing the community or Cloudflare can do about this. The website owner may have chosen to block the request for a variety of reasons and only they can look into this and decide if they want to adjust their rules.

I’m closing this forum topic now as there is nothing more we can do, sorry we can’t help you further.

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