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BT charging users for email accounts - fair or not?

55
Found 19th Aug 2013
Just been sent this email from BT saying they want non-current customers to pay for the email address they were issued.

I have only recently switched from BT and had their really expensive Infinity package for ages. Their email service is and always has been run by yahoo email too.

This is the main part of the email:

This summer, we're simplifying our email product range and we'll be closing some of our email services on 16 September 2013.

This means that your @btinternet.com email address will stop working after that date.

1. If you've got BT Broadband, you can keep your email address for free
2. If you don't have BT Broadband, sign up to keep your email address.
3. Keep your email address by signing up for BT Premium Mail for £1.60 a month.
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Gmail.

You're welcome.
Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change their email address to keep it free - they paid for the email address as part of their package.

And if BT can do it whats to say the free ones won't follow suit and charge?
Yes, fair. A pain but fair.
If you don't pay for their service then why should they provide it for you?!
Yes, you paid for the service but when you stop and move elsewhere you can either choose a new email address with your new provider or gmail etc or pay the £1.60/month service charge.
They give you options, up to you which one you choose.
daturastorm

Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change … Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change their email address to keep it free - they paid for the email address as part of their package.And if BT can do it whats to say the free ones won't follow suit and charge?



A few years back, Microsoft tried to switch to a fee based email with their hotmail system. So many people left for yahoo and other companies that they had to drop the fee schedule and offer hotmail for free again.
If you don't pay for their service then why should they provide it for you?!

Because of all the advertising gumph that they will no doubt include, just like everyone else.
daturastorm

Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change … Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change their email address to keep it free - they paid for the email address as part of their package.And if BT can do it whats to say the free ones won't follow suit and charge?



They pay for the servers etc, so it costs them to provide you with a service you aren't paying for.
The charge is over the top though.

Another point is that it will dissuade people from moving away from BT broadband, it'll eat into the savings that moving providers will save you so people will just stay with BT and save the hassle.
sickly sweet

Yes, fair. A pain but fair. If you don't pay for their service then why … Yes, fair. A pain but fair. If you don't pay for their service then why should they provide it for you?!Yes, you paid for the service but when you stop and move elsewhere you can either choose a new email address with your new provider or gmail etc or pay the £1.60/month service charge. They give you options, up to you which one you choose.



1) because it was part of the package that I did pay for
2) because its provided by yahoo which is a free service
3) because no one else charges for their email service

Avoid all this nonsense and get your own domain name, it makes life so much simpler.

- no business cards to throw away, because your email address has changed yet again
- don't have to remind everyone to update their address book
- a custom email address looks nicer
- your custom email address is yours to keep forever, regardless of how often you change ISP, provided you keep paying the tiny yearly fee

It costs < £6 a year for a .co.uk domain name. I use Namecheap, in conjunction with a free Google Apps account (no longer available for free!)
Edited by: "SUMMONER" 19th Aug 2013
They are scrapping free accounts @talk21.com too. I've had a talk21 (free) account since open had interactive services for free on thr sky platform. Now after 13 years BT want to charge me for it. Jokers. Already a thread about this anyway.
They have also issued warning to paying subscribers that all BT accounts not accessed at least once every 3 months will be removed from the system
daturastorm

1) because it was part of the package that I did pay for - which you … 1) because it was part of the package that I did pay for - which you don't any more.2) because its provided by yahoo which is a free service - provided by yahoo for BT3) because no one else charges for their email service - only the free ones don't charge




sry I know it's harsh but that's the way it is.
Terrabytes

They've only been doing this for about 10 years and you've only just … They've only been doing this for about 10 years and you've only just realised?




I thought this was recent oO
So to those who are saying its ok to charge for email - why are you saying sign up to free accounts because surely they could and should charge too?

Maybe royal mail will start charging for you to be able to use your address and postcode for receiving mail in addition to the postage charge to send it. (which is the same thing as paying for internet access to send email and then being charged for your email service)

And I only received the email today saying its happening in September so how is it not recent?
daturastorm

1) because it was part of the package that I did pay for2) because its … 1) because it was part of the package that I did pay for2) because its provided by yahoo which is a free service3) because no one else charges for their email service



Because it was part of a package you DID pay for but no longer, The milk man stopped delivering to when I did not pay him
BT are moving away from Yahoo servers to their own by end of November.
When integral to a broadband package no, but when you stop paying you always run the risk of loosing the address.

If its that important to you, which it obviously is, then surely its worth such a small charge.


Edited by: "Argoj" 19th Aug 2013
Stop putting ideas into the PO's head , they gettin privatised soon.

srsly though, there's a big difference, the PO needs to use the postcode to make their mail service run easier and smoother. Some email service providers only run the service as a tracking or reference or contact point for 'their' customers only, they do not wish to enter directly into the email service providing business as such, that's probably why BT asked Yahoo to look after that side of it (last I heard that Yahoo was going to be cancelled as a provider for BT aswell)
Gmail wont offer me my name just some random variations with numbers in. I'm with talk talk for internet but if I set up email with them I will probably have the same issue later on.

I might look into setting up my own domain, i'm not sure how it works with emails and servers etc.

It really shouldn't be this complicated.
Your email should be like your mobile phone number where you can take it with you if you leave
Edited by: "jaystan" 19th Aug 2013
jaystan

Your email should be like your mobile phone number where you can take it … Your email should be like your mobile phone number where you can take it with you if you leave



I think eventually we will be given one ID to use online (like a passport) and thats our only contact details/username/email/profile

I doubt we will be able to have multiple ID's or be anon for long.
daturastorm

I think eventually we will be given one ID to use online (like a … I think eventually we will be given one ID to use online (like a passport) and thats our only contact details/username/email/profileI doubt we will be able to have multiple ID's or be anon for long.



Yeah thats probably true. The government and press are already all over issues with the internet they dont understand. Cant be too long until everything is regulated and all of a sudden we are like Iran

Edited by: "jaystan" 19th Aug 2013
If setting up my own domain/email, how do I know whether a domain registar/host is reliable and secure?
It seems this could leave me wide open to being scammed or ripped off. It also it seems that with the whois register your name/address/phonenumber will be viewable to everyone.
Joey Bloggsy

(last I heard that Yahoo was going to be cancelled as a provider for BT … (last I heard that Yahoo was going to be cancelled as a provider for BT aswell)



According to the bt website their premium email service they are charging for is with yahoo webmail.

productsandservices.bt.com/con…ail

Incidentally the terms and conditions for the email service say this:
Yahoo! uses information (including anonymous and pseudonymous information, as well as personally identifiable information) for the following general purposes: to personalise the advertising and content you see, fulfil your requests for products and services, improve our services, contact you, conduct research, and provide anonymous reporting for internal and external clients.

How is it reasonable to be charging for this service?
Edited by: "stormydat" 20th Aug 2013
we all know £1.60 after some time will turn into £2.50 then into £4.99..............etc

Its crafty by BT because these companies know you simply cant change your email address overnight and update everything and everyone so easy.
I'll make you a sub account for £1.50
When I left btinternet 10 years ago or more the charge then was 1.60 iirc, doubt they will change it any time soon.
Of course it's fair. They have overheads to do with hosting or admin regarding email accounts linked to customers, so if you are no longer a customer then why should you expect them to provide you with something for free? You don't expect free internet from them now you've left; why would you expect anything else free from them?

There was never any obligation to make the email address into the main email account that you used day to day. Whilst the figure they are looking at charging for keeping the email access is debatable the principle really isn't. If you want free then go with a free webmail provider instead - one that is unlikely to start charging for your account as they see value in other ways in providing you that service. Alternatively sort out your own domain.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, remember! Businesses are not going to give you something for nothing that affects their bottom line (and their shareholders dividends) out of the goodness of their own hearts. If there's something in it for them too (whether you realise it or not) then they may.

I've no idea how many email addresses of mine have fallen by the wayside over the years? At least twenty, I'd say. I simply use different ones for different things now - all free webmail services - and I have a couple of more professional looking ones with full names more or less for official purposes and CV's.
If I don't pay for my btinternet email account I'll lose my free unlimited Flickr benefits :-(
mikkeltaylor

If I don't pay for my btinternet email account I'll lose my free … If I don't pay for my btinternet email account I'll lose my free unlimited Flickr benefits :-(



Thought flickr was unlimited now (or 1TB, at least)? Not sure myself as I'm still running a Pro account.
I think this is completely fair, after all most ISPs don't let you use their email service at all after you switch elsewhere. Allowing you to use it for a charge even though you're now with a different service provider is a concession that should be appreciated. If you want an email account you can always use, go for a webmail service like Outlook or Gmail.
rick77

Thought flickr was unlimited now (or 1TB, at least)? Not sure myself as … Thought flickr was unlimited now (or 1TB, at least)? Not sure myself as I'm still running a Pro account.



Flickr does indeed give you 1TB of storage so I don't know what mikkeltaylor is worried about there.
daturastorm

Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change … Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change their email address to keep it free - they paid for the email address as part of their package.And if BT can do it whats to say the free ones won't follow suit and charge?



You know it's fair - BT are just knocking out the cheeky freeloaders.

Take it on the chin and switch your email address, stop whining: it's pathetic.
daturastorm

Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change … Yes I know there are free providers but why should people have to change their email address to keep it free - they paid for the email address as part of their package.And if BT can do it whats to say the free ones won't follow suit and charge?


And the reason why non-current customers should be allowed to use BT Internets mail servers for free is ?
gizmouk

And the reason why non-current customers should be allowed to use BT … And the reason why non-current customers should be allowed to use BT Internets mail servers for free is ?



Because BT could use them for profit - now or later. Eg ads.

Other outfits such as Microsoft and Google seem to get this.

BT doesn't as they are thick as 2 short planks.
Guinea

Flickr does indeed give you 1TB of storage so I don't know what … Flickr does indeed give you 1TB of storage so I don't know what mikkeltaylor is worried about there.



I know you'd get some extras like editing thrown in with Pro accounts before the big flickr shake up. Don't really know what the score is these days as I haven't looked into it. I will a bit before my Pro expires.

And it was ISP email addresses of mine that have fallen by the wayside that I had in mind mostly too. This with BT is no different, except they're actually giving you a choice to keep it rather than just cutting off your access and binning the account no matter whether you'd still like the address or not (even if you do have to pay for it).
gizmouk

And the reason why non-current customers should be allowed to use BT … And the reason why non-current customers should be allowed to use BT Internets mail servers for free is ?



We dont use them for free they are already included in the price of the internet charges so in effect they are trying to double charge for the same service.
rick77

Thought flickr was unlimited now (or 1TB, at least)? Not sure myself as … Thought flickr was unlimited now (or 1TB, at least)? Not sure myself as I'm still running a Pro account.



Apparently, as a Pro user I'd still get a few extra benefits over the free accounts, but they're not exactly great
mashable.com/201…es/
arachnoid

We dont use them for free they are already included in the price of the … We dont use them for free they are already included in the price of the internet charges so in effect they are trying to double charge for the same service.



Sorry, I really don't understand your reasoning there? If you are still a BT internet customer then you don't pay; as you say it can be considered part of the charges for the service. If you are not/no longer a customer then you do pay. Seems entirely fair to me.
mikkeltaylor

Apparently, as a Pro user I'd still get a few extra benefits over the … Apparently, as a Pro user I'd still get a few extra benefits over the free accounts, but they're not exactly greathttp://mashable.com/2013/05/20/flickr-pro-changes/



Ah, so you got Pro too by having BT as your ISP? That was a nice little perk. Think it cost me around £30 for a couple of years of Pro.

Flickr was well under-rated IMO. Not so keen on it now but it's great as a storage option with 1TB per account.
arachnoid

We dont use them for free they are already included in the price of the … We dont use them for free they are already included in the price of the internet charges so in effect they are trying to double charge for the same service.


There's a flaw in your argument ...
Personally I think that if you are receiving a service for which you are not paying a monthly premium for, you should be paying for it, if you want to keep the email address anyway.
rick77

Ah, so you got Pro too by having BT as your ISP? That was a nice little … Ah, so you got Pro too by having BT as your ISP? That was a nice little perk. Think it cost me around £30 for a couple of years of Pro. Flickr was well under-rated IMO. Not so keen on it now but it's great as a storage option with 1TB per account.


Yeah kept it long after I got rid of my bt broadband. ;-)

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