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Which? Scraps Email Service from its Days as a Dialup ISP

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 (12:10 am) - Score 1,130
customer service and support UK complaints

Consumer magazine Which?, which so often complains about the bad habits of broadband ISPs from across the United Kingdom, has found itself in a similar spot of hot water after they suddenly decided to close a free email service that was once offered way back when they ran a dialup ISP.

Easter is often used to bury bad news and no doubt some will now accuse Which? of having done the same. In a brief email Which? informed users that their Which.net email platform (this was introduced around 20 years ago and so even we hardly remember it) was “now increasingly out of date and risks not being fit for purpose.” The message noted that it would be closed on 24th May 2018.

A Spokesperson for Which? said (Express):

“We have taken the really tough decision to close this service. It no longer provides the high-quality service that people need and there are more providers and better services on the market.

In order to help all users, we are providing free tech support online and by phone. This will help users migrate appropriately to a new provider and help them save all their files and contacts before the service closes on 24th May.”

Needless to say that the organisation has faced a barrage of complaints from long-time users of the service, many of which are pensioners. On the other hand Which? are by no means the first ISP to suddenly close down an old email platform. Such services have become increasingly redundant in the age of freemail providers.

We’ve long recommended that broadband and mobile subscribers should try to keep their email and internet access providers separate, which makes it easier to switch suppliers and keeps you safe from issues like the one above.

However many people, particularly those who rarely ever change provider, have come to rely on old addresses and they can often also be used as Usernames (Login IDs) for other online services. As such the sudden removal of a free email service can create quite a significant headache. A headache that Which? should have been perfectly placed to manage better than most but 3-4 weeks warning, at a time of year when many will be on holiday, hardly seems to qualify.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Web Dude

    Once in the past I was unhappy when my (USA based) ISP “ultra.net” was taken over by a cable firm and after 8 years of using it, I lost my mail address. I have no doubt that any Which.net mail users will be unhappy as they will need to notify contacts and check through any business accounts which have their Which mail address (and then mess about getting the address changed, which some sites seem to make awkward or very awkward – Zen springs to mind as one)

    Anyway, I think it is time to recommend people get their own domain or use some external mail service (free or paid) rather than be tied to a particular ISP. From time to time I have seen businesses showing a mail address “@aol.com” or “@btinternet.com” painted on their vehicles… and not years or months ago, but just weeks… Aaaargh!

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