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Budget UK ISP TalkTalk to Charge Ex-Customers £50 for Email

Friday, October 4th, 2019 (4:20 pm) - Score 19,861

Former customers of TalkTalk’s broadband service (going as far back as Tiscali) who continue to use their old email accounts may be displeased to learn that the ISP is going to “start charging” them from £5 a month or £50 per year for access (more than a dedicated email host). Plus the ISP will delete accounts that don’t pay.

As a general rule we always advise our readers never to rely upon the email services provided by an ISP (i.e. it’s far better to sign-up with one of the many free email providers), not least because it can make it harder for you to switch broadband providers and you could also run the risk of losing access to your address.

Despite this some ISPs have continued to maintain old addresses, even after customers have switched away, although others have scrapped them and a few have forced such users to start paying. Sadly it looks like TalkTalk has now done the latter, although in somewhat of an insult they appear to be charging more for the privilege then some dedicated email hosts (many hosts charge from 33p and up to £3 a month).

The policy change was first spotted by The Register and they in turn appear to have extracted it from the budget broadband provider’s own Community Forum, where some angry gripes can be found. The letter now being sent to affected customers is as follows. The choice is simple, sign-up for broadband to get it free or pay the piper. Failing that, you’ll lose it.

TalkTalk’s Letter on Legacy Email Addresses

Join us and keep your TalkTalk Mail free

If you’re not a TalkTalk customer, you can join us and continue to enjoy TalkTalk Mail for free. Call us on 0800 990 3635 to learn more about our great Fixed Low Price Plans and offers. All our plans include TalkTalk Mail at no extra cost.

If you want to just keep your email address, we’re happy to keep providing it to you, but you’ll need to sign up to TalkTalk Mail Plus for £5 a month or £50 a year.

Sign up for TalkTalk Mail Plus now

Unfortunately, if you choose not to sign up for TalkTalk Mail Plus, from 21/11/2019 you’ll lose the vast majority of TalkTalk Mail features. For example, you’ll only be able to sign in at www.talktalk.co.uk/mail to check your emails.

A few months after 21/11/2019, we will start closing down mailboxes that aren’t registered to a TalkTalk Broadband account or signed up for TalkTalk Mail Plus.

Leave a Comment
34 Responses
  1. Randolf Carter says:

    Finally they are deleting my email account, I’ve tried a number of times to get them to do it as an ex customer(idiot), but would you trust these clowns with your proof of identity, no me neither. So hopefully they will now delete my spam bait account.

  2. Gary says:

    Fair enough really, If you’re not a customer why shoudl they give you free email.

    Unlike BT internet who I was paying, who deleted my email address just because I wasn’t using it. The helpfully emailed it to warn me, oddly I didn’t get that email.

  3. Steven Breach says:

    Haven’t had any correspondence from Talk talk,I have a live.co.uk address,will this be affected?

    1. Glovepup says:

      No Steven – live.co.uk is Microsoft and not TalkTalk

  4. Phill says:

    I have a few email addresses ie gmail, outlook but the one I have with talktalk is ******@homcall.co.uk, reason being homecall was the name of the phone company when I joined about 10yrs ago does this mean talktalk own this?

    1. NE555 says:

      Yes, homecall.co.uk is one of the virtual ISPs which was slurped by Talktalk directly or indirectly.

      Incoming mail for that domain lands on Talktalk/Tiscali mail servers:

      $ nslookup -q=mx homecall.co.uk

      homecall.co.uk mail exchanger = 10 mk-inbound-1.mail.uk.tiscali.com.
      homecall.co.uk mail exchanger = 10 mk-inbound-2.mail.uk.tiscali.com.

  5. Lorie says:

    TalkTalk is crap, it is run by call centres in India supplying a miserable service for those foolish to enter into a contract agreement. Your credit card is a cash cow for every Indian in the business to buy a new Mercedes !

    1. Rik says:

      Useful contribution there Lori…

    2. Mr Ed says:

      Nice try Lori but their call centres are now located in Durban, South Africa. They dumped the Indianones ages ago

  6. Ray Woodward says:

    … and so it goes on. Remember when they added a charge for TV(even if you didn’t take it).

    One wonders what will be next to pay, but remember you monthly broadband bill will NOT be increased during the contract period …

  7. Fred says:

    I quite like protonmail. Might be worth adding to your shortlist to investigate if you are after a new email provider. The free inbox is quite small but adequate if you clean out the junk regularly. I pay because I like to support the service.

    How you feel about the likes of Google scanning your Gmail is a personal thing (yes, they do still do it but not for ad personalization any more). Personally it creeps the hell out of me. Particularly when tied up with big data and ai. I personally like to keep my digital footprint small.

    The free protonVPN service is quite good as well as long as you are happy with exit server in the Netherlands.

  8. John says:

    Dear TalkTalk.

    You’ve really got a cheek asking me to come back to you. If you supported FTTP I might never have left in the first place. As it is, moving to ZEN was a revelation about how a quality ISP behaved.

    So, no going back. Feel free to delete my email account.

    1. Mr Ed says:

      For Zen’s prices I’d expect my service enquiries to be hand delivered by Rolls Royce.

    2. John says:

      Mr Ed. Living proof that you get what you pay for. TT’s service enquiries, the ones that were taken seriously, were delivered thousands of miles by Trabant…

  9. ALAN RODDIS says:

    They can Talk the Talk, but not walk the walk.

  10. Steve says:

    Anyone know if I’m safe (free) with a “Yahoo” email account ? all I’ll have to do is inform all my contacts of my new Email address, but I don’t want to be doing it all again 6 months down the line.

  11. Ike says:

    I was a toucan customer 13 years ago which was then taken over by pipex, Tiscali and finally Talk Talk, I am now unable to get into my e-mail acc, I have not had any contact from them telling me I will have to pay to keep it. I have contacted them and they come across as not wanting to know, or pretending that they don’t know what I am on about.

  12. Chris says:

    Blackmail for email!!!

    I am absolutely furious at being held to ransom over this and have tried to have a conversation with talktalk about this as the wording on the info is very ambiguous:

    ‘If you’re not a TalkTalk customer, you can join us and continue to enjoy TalkTalk Mail for free’.

    Even if they were now offering the best deal on Broadband now I would NOT use them on principle. I have had my email account with them for about 20 years. I am not I.T savvy at all, so if anyone knows a quick way to transfer all of my hundreds of emails I’d be very grateful!

    1. Vicky says:

      This targets elderly and vulnerable people. I am furious – my 87-year-old Grandad is being extorted in the truest sense of the word. https://twitter.com/smappybunny/status/1197527308141285376

  13. Test says:


  14. Nernst says:

    My wife has received this e-mail too and has had her lineone.net account since the nineties. As I see it, saying “If you pay us five quid a month we won’t delete your account” is the same as Al Capone saying “Pay us $50 a week and nothing will happen to your store”. I don’t believe this is legal and hopefully Ofcom will deal with it if enough people complain.

    1. Rob sharpe says:

      Same here. It’s my Lineone.net account that’s being threatened. I was given this email address back in the Nineties when Lineone (I believe then owned by BT) allowed you to sign up for a FREE email account. I never had an Internet service from them so there was no clause saying that it was only available while being a Lineone customer. Tiscali subsequently took it over and no problems. They too allowed you to create a free email account and I know there are many people experiencing issues with TalkTalk regarding this and it has been going on for a few years now. At one point (totally ignoring domains prior to Tiscali), they just stopped people accessing their accounts as soon as they wanted to change their password. You just couldn’t do it unless you entered the telephone number associated to “your Broadband account”. My wife had to contact the then GM for TalkTalk before she finally regained access – there was a campaign to flood their inbox which obviously did the trick.
      Now, in a lame effort to offload their obligations of buying out another company, they’re going down this charging road. It does sound illegal to me. If they buy out a company that were offering a free service, surely they’re obliged to continue with this? Disgusting!

  15. Chris says:

    Talk Talk thieve thieve why is this allowed to happen.

  16. Derek says:

    Oh well we shared some great memories together such as the 15 to 20 viagra emails a day and the occasional Nigerian prince who would give me 2 million dollars if i would let him use my bank account to transfer funds .Life was so much simpler back then Happy days.

  17. Paul says:

    Got their standard charge email last week for a tinyonline email 25yrs old, if they decided to charge at a fair price then I might of stayed but £5 per month or £50 is daylight robbery for hosting an email address, at least I wint be getting hundreds of spam mail their existing BB customers can have them, Might be a nightmare changing to a new email but at least wont be paying talk talk shisters any dough…..

  18. David says:

    I called talktalk after I discovered the increase in the TV added to my account without asking. They promised to refund the money taken. At the same time I asked them about the contract and they confirmed the end date, I didn’t formally tell them to stop but just assumed it would be the end date. I got another provider lined up for the end of the contract but talktalk would not release the line for some reason and I had to have a new number. Clever talktalk had kept the line and just billed me after the contract had finished. The first few duplicated payments I thought were catch up and then I was ill and didn’t notice the payments continue. By the time I noticed, it was 6 payments. I had to ‘formerly’ request disconnection. It is now in the process and by December will be totally finished. I will have to sign up with email for at least another year to get everything sorted out. By the time I have finished, the extra charges and the email will add up to a years contract!

  19. Paul Graham says:

    I am sad to lose my lineone.net email address that I have had for over 20 years, especially as I was never a talktalk customer. Lineone got taken over by Tiscali who got taken over by Talktalk. The real retrograde aspect of their move is that they already monetised the service by making the webmail show lots of advertising. The same way free email providers do. It seems a bit backward that they don’t think they can make that financial model work against what must be for them (as continuing email providers) an infinitesimally small cost of letting me keep my old email address. Pettiness and shortsightedness that adds further tarnish to the already poor reputation of Talktalk.

    1. Vicky says:

      My 87-year-old grandad doesn’t have the capacity to make the change. This practice is discriminatory against the elderly and vulnerable.


  20. Jack Jonson says:

    I moved from talk talk because they let my details be stolen from their website. Now they want to charge me £50 a year for e-mail. If they had not let my details be stolen I would probably still be with them. They should be paying me for all the hasle of the scammers trying to steal money from me. Instead they want to charge me. Salt to the wound. Unbelievable, how are they allowed to do this?

  21. Darren says:

    Back in 2002, I signed up with Tiscali for my Internet needs. Tiscali allowed each customer up to five email addresses. Tiscali obviously linked customer email addresses to their Internet accounts … so why didn’t TalkTalk migrate this information onto their system?! Why did they leave this fundamental information unchecked …. for nearly a decade?! What have they been doing?!

    Yes, I got the emails regarding the impending change, but the links in the emails didn’t work! What a way to treat your long-term broadband customers. Either TalkTalk didn’t migrate the information given to them from the older ISPs, or they didn’t stipulate that this information was available after the takeovers were complete!

  22. Bev Wilkinson says:

    I have had a tiscali address since 2004 when I set up my business and I can’t lose it, but why the hell should I pay talk talk £5 a month it feels like blackmail. Is there a way we can report them to Ofcom

  23. Mike Brown says:

    I have been a Tiscali customer in the past but when Talk Talk took over the broadband was very poor and I moved providers.
    My wife and I have maintained a joint email address which contains a lot of important emails
    On my iPhone when I choose edit then move then select , the other email account I have which is outlook is greyed out and I am unable to move my emails out of Tiscali to Outlook
    I spoke with Apple and they advised that the Outlook account is not linked to the Tiscali email address so I should speak with talk talk
    I called talk talk and they said the only way I can link the outlook to Tiscali (talk talk) is to pay them £50 a year or £5 monthly and they would link the email accounts
    Is there any way around this fiasco any views would be appreciated

  24. tony schofield says:

    I use firefox as my browser
    If you open a Mozilla Thunderbird Email account it will allow you to keep your old Email address-all information transfered (contacts etc.) so there is no need change your Email address.

  25. Mrs E says:

    I had a tiscali account bought out by Talk Talk and continued with TT broadband, being rural I was advised t take out a Talk Talk business account to improve my service this BB connection also does not qualify to keep my Tiscali addresses free. Customer loyalty and service not goals for TalkTalk

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