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Ofcom Warns Major UK Broadband ISPs Over Charging for Email

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 (7:35 am) - Score 18,789
internet email

Buying your own email address from a dedicated UK web hosting provider is cheap (c.£1-3 a month), unless you’re a former broadband ISP customer of BT (£7.50) or TalkTalk (£5) where in order to keep your address you can end up being charged significantly more for an often inferior product. Ofcom isn’t happy.

The issue at hand is by no means a new one to readers of ISPreview.co.uk and, as a general rule, we always advise our visitors 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 or get a cheaper dedicated service), 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 a lot of people do make use of the email provided by their ISP and so when it comes time to switch provider they can end up in a bind. In the past ISPs, to their credit, often allowed former customers to retain access to their email without charge and some still do that (e.g. Sky Broadband), yet this was always a courtesy rather than an industry requirement and thus never something to bank on for dependability of supply.

However over the past few years the situation has steadily changed, albeit largely by broadband providers simply choosing not to offer or advertise an email service at all. Meanwhile other ISPs will tend to delete your email address after you leave, although they will often allow a period of grace (e.g. Virgin Media allows customers 90 days to shift your email and update contacts before the account is sent to a digital dustbin).

Sadly both TalkTalk and BT have gone in the other direction by choosing to charge a fee that makes their email service more expensive than many dedicated email hosting packages, albeit without a lot of the same advanced controls and features (lest we also forget freemail alternatives like Hotmail, Gmail etc.). Naturally ex-customers who weren’t aware of the hefty monthly charges often feel cheated or trapped, but now Ofcom are finally taking it seriously.

According to the BBC, the telecoms regulator has written a letter to the big ISPs that highlights their concerns and warns that they may have to “step in” if some action isn’t taken.

An Ofcom Spokesperson said:

“We can’t see a reason why you should have to pay these amounts to keep your email address. So we’re looking at this to consider whether we need to step in and take action.

Last year we also secured commitments from companies to treat customers fairly, so we’ve asked them to explain how this fits with that promise.”

Frankly we’re a little disappointed that it’s taken Ofcom this long to tackle an issue that has been simmering under the surface for quite a few years. Better late than never, perhaps. The big question will be how those ISPs react and if they try to defend their positions (not so easy given what they offer) or capitulate by perhaps reducing the cost or taking a different approach entirely.

Whatever happens, it will be good to get some sort of agreed position in an area of service provision that has far too often been overlooked.

Leave a Comment
74 Responses
  1. AJT says:

    Why do Ofcom need to stick their nose in this one? Surely not an issue? Why shouldn’t an ISP charge a lot for an Email address if a customer wishes to keep it? For that matter, why should be ISP continue to provide Email at all if the customer has ended the rest of their service with said ISP.

    It’s ok saying look at Gmail, look at Hotmail … but you get NO support with these services (unlike with ISP mail), and they target advertising as you, which as far as I’m aware, ISP Email doesn’t.

    1. Paul Greenwood says:

      @btinternet.com’s own email page has adverts that look like emails on top of your other emails.

    2. Stephen Wakeman says:

      Because it’s no different to any hook in? When you start paying for the service they encourage you to use their email. You might then adopt it as your main address for online correspondence. If you switch providers you then might end up having to switch all your accounts contact details unless you keep it.

      ISPs seem to be charging a ridiculous amount to keep the address. A better question is why DON’T YOU have a problem with this?

      It doesn’t cost the ISP barely anything.
      It might discourage switching.
      It’s an exorbitant charge.
      You’re overestimating the value of “support” offered.
      It’s anti-consumer and as the article states Ofcom are interested to know how it ties in with fairly treating customers.

      If someone has 15 email accounts with their former provider then fine, but the majority don’t. The charge level is unwarranted and is profiteering. Or maybe you can correct me and point out how you pay £5 per month for your single address email account and regale us with the many support tickets you’ve raised and received help from the provider?

    3. Len says:

      I have had BT mail for over 20 years, it was proposed to me via yahoo account and at that time, it was a free, no strings offer. I could have just as easily used Hotmail but as I had other Yahoo services, I thought it seemed the best solution. After using my BT address for so long I am more or less dependent on keeping the same address but I have to Pay £7.50 a month. Remember, BT proposed free email to me, I didn’t go searching for it, so I do think to now charge so much is unreasonable.

    4. Paul says:

      Do you pay to keep you mobile number if you change suppliers?

    5. lee says:

      you idiot you have no idea. my bt internet .com address is swamped with advertising and yet if i leave bt i still pay minimum £5 per month even though i have had my email address for 20years. it is blackmail and they get double bubble paying to watch adverts

  2. Tom says:

    Free forwarding for lifetime of service, or duration of last contract with them as a minimum would be my low bar of acceptability.

    Aunt and Uncle are talktalk customers, (despite getting 2mbps and having VM services) for this very reason. Just too hard to switch.

  3. David says:

    Isn’t it about time for email addresses to be easily portable, like phone numbers? Maybe in the all-IP-network future this will be commonplace.

    1. Mark says:

      That will always be impossible due to how domains and IP addresses work. When you send an email, everything after the @ sign is looked up by a domain name server. That server contains an MX record that tells it which server in the world that email needs to go to.

      If you were to change the MX record for @Sky.com to point to Google servers, then EVERY email sent to an @Sky.com would get sent to the Google servers. The only thing they can do is set it up as a forwarding address (so emails sent to oldemail@sky.com get forwarded to your newemail@gmail.com)

    2. Kevin says:

      This is pretty much how telephone number porting works in the UK, mad isn’t it!

  4. Tim Dutton says:

    I’m sorry but it costs money to run email servers. ISP’s factor this cost into customer fees but when customers leave, they are no longer paying those fees.

    I actually take exception to this article as the assertion that “Buying your own email address from a dedicated UK web hosting provider is cheap (c.£1-3 a month)” is simplistic to say the least.

    You can buy a domain for that much and you can set up forwarding that sends all mail for a specific domain to a third party (such as an ISP)) email address. But if you want proper email accounts with individual addresses, then the costs go up.

    Mail forwarding services hae associated pitfalls in terms of managing spam and also authentication with SPF.

    For OFCOM to get involved in this is so wrong.

    1. Mark says:

      There are free providers out there who will let you use your own domain with their servers. A prime example of this is ZOHO, I’ve been hosting my own email address with them for a number of years.

      I think the terms have changed since I signed up, you used to be able to have five email addresses per domain for free but now I think it’s only one per domain. But it goes to show that if smaller companies can do this then why can’t the likes of Google and Microsoft!

    2. StevenNT says:


      If you are referring to Microsoft Office 365 with custom domains that is business centric and has much more than that the ordinary home user would want.

      Also Office 365 has geo redundancy something I doubt a totally free provider has, so if there is an issue at the free provider then potentially down it goes. As the saying goes, sometimes you get what you pay for.

    3. Timothy Dutton says:


      My understanding is that Microsoft and Google used to offer free email hosting for a single domain too, but they withdrew it. I’ve used Zoho myself, but the free service comes with NO DEDICATED SUPPORT and also did not support signing your emails with DKIM (they did use the older Domainkeys standard though).

      I’ve not found anyone else who actually provides the service that Zoho do – and I do wonder if Zoho might ultimately withdraw the service, as the free service is no doubt there to try and encourage people to move to the paid option.

      I currently host my domains on a VPS running Mail-In-A-Box, which means for the cost of one or two email addresses I can actually use multiple addresses. The drawback is that I have to mostly do my own troubleshooting on the server.

    4. Paul says:

      Get down off your horse, it costs them nothing, it’s called advertising!

  5. Chris Sayers says:

    You should be charged for email provision, ISP’S do have to provide the infrastructure and technical support, that costs money,no different to the post office, if your happy to send emails that a free service will no doubt scan, then do so.

    I’ve paid for my own domain, so I’ve my own personalised address, I’ve had this scince 2004.

  6. Jazzy says:

    I have my own domain which is brilliant and has unlimited email addresses free

    I forward it to a gmail account and solely use gmail. I have never relied on ISP email accounts, I don’t even use my sky email account

  7. Alan says:

    Does this mean I can reclaim my charges made by BT for previous email?

  8. David says:

    I don’t understand why people use ISP based e-mails these days. A domain is much cheaper, and outlook and gmail are free.

    I pay for the basic Office business service. It’s like £50 a year and you get so much more than just e-mail. And it’s not tied to anyone.

    1. StevenNT says:

      I use Office 365 Business, what product are you on to get it for £50 a year?

      I agree in this era why use ISP email, I’ve not done since 2003/4 when I got my own domain (because I could) and manged it myself at one point it was with G Suite and now Office 355.

      True, I’m not the average home user person but the argument still stands, use something that is not an ISP email. But it will be interesting to see what Ofcom comes up with in response to some ISP’s charging while some are not and some closing it regardless after you leave.

    2. David says:

      I used to be on Premium but now I am on Essentials – and it’s £3.80 a month so £45.6 a year (£54.72 inc VAT) – It’s web based but then so am I so that works. I still get 50GB exchange e-mail and One drive which makes it worth while the price alone . I don’t get desktop but I am all Ipad/Surface/Phone anyway and they are all included.

    3. David says:

      Forgot to add I also used to be on Gsuite and it was good – But I prefer MS for everything apart from Storage ( still pay for Gdrive but the basic tier)

    4. StevenNT says:

      Thanks David,

      I still use the Desktop apps on my day to day account but did have a look at my licencing and changed one of the two to Business Essentials as that’s my Domain Admin Account so saves £5 a month and keep my day to day account as Business premium.

      So thanks for your help there 🙂

    5. David says:

      You are welcome 🙂

  9. Ryan says:

    What going to happen in the end is if Ofcom keep moaning at ISP about it, all the provider will do is just delete all old customer accounts.

    I don’t see any thing wrong with charging ex customer in the end if your no longer a customer why should you get a service for free.

    The issue could easily have been avoided if they just used one of many free email e.g Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.

    1. Paul says:

      They were not around twenty years ago, that’s how long I’ve had my email, So do you think it’s ok to charge people to keep there mobile number when they charge suppliers?

  10. FibreFred says:

    As above.

    Totally agree if you are still using ISP resources you should pay, simple as that.

  11. Alex Haines says:

    A lot of comments here saying that the ISP has to pay for the infrastructure but they all tend to use a combination of Gmail or Yahoo services so, at least directly, they aren’t paying for those services.

    I’ve seen a couple that run things like roundcube and provide paltry 500mb of storage so it really is a mess.

    I agree that they should be allowed to charge for a service however, one of the reasons they gave these addresses away originally was people didn’t know any better and it allowed the ISP to get free advertising, by way of the domain and the in webmail adverts.

    If I am to pay for a service, I don’t expect adverts in my face.

    It would be simpler now for all ISPs to just not supply addresses and cut their losses on existing ones but offer no ongoing support. I’d then say in two years that they go to forwarding only and then two years after that they get closed.

    Simplifies it all and removes some horrible bodge jobs in the process.

    Could even partner with the likes of Gmail and create new addresses automatically. E.g. myoldemail@bt.gmail.com. really not difficult…

    I ran an email server for over ten years for my clients and it was a Thorne in my side at times but it offered a quality service far above what was available elsewhere for SOHO. Now they are all on 365 and I can sleep at night!

    1. Timothy Dutton says:


      Virgin Media used to use Google’s Apps for ISP service – But Google closed the service down so Virgin Media moved to their own in house system. But they would have paid Google for the privilege. While it did use the same email servers as Gmail there were differences, such as the email was not add supported, and ultimately there were conflicts between the Apps for ISP system and the regular consumer Gmail system (which is possibly why Google ended up pulling the plug).

      Likewise those services using Yahoo mail, will no doubt pay Yahoo for that privilege also. Sky may currently feel that they make enough profit to be able to offer free email to non customers indefinitely, but equally they may end up pulling the plug at some future date.

    2. StevenNT says:


      I subscribe to Sky for TV only and believe Sky no longer even offer Yahoo email, maybe no longer offer an email service to new customers? When I try to sign into Sky email it says the following.

      “Sorry, you can no longer create a new email account via Sky.
      We no longer offer this service. If you’re an existing Sky|Yahoo Mail customer please sign in.”

      Maybe the are following what my currently ISP provider does, not even bothering with email and allowing it to slowly phase out for legacy customers.

  12. Samuel says:

    I’d support Ofcom mandating forwarding of emails for the duration of the customer’s total contract term, however, just outright saying the no-longer-customers are entitled to that part of their service for free after leaving is insane. It costs the ISP money to manage the accounts, so I genuinely don’t understand Ofcom’s logic here.

  13. NE555 says:

    The thing which pushed ISPs like Talktalk over the edge is that customers’ old E-mail accounts were getting hijacked (e.g. because they had weak passwords), and taken over by scammers or fraudsters.

    However, the affected users were unable to talk to customer support to get the password reset – or even get the mailbox shut down – because they weren’t a customer. They had no way to prove ownership of the E-mail address, because the billing account it was linked to had been closed.

    1. JJ says:

      If they only need to charge an amount in order to retain billing data then why make it as much as £5 per month? A direct debit for £0.01 retains that data just as accurately.

    2. Spurple says:

      Evidence of poor design, not customer’s fault.

      Anyway they don’t have to provide service for free, they can offer more support to help customers migrate instead of doing nothing and collecting £7 a month.

  14. Gary says:

    Free email when you leave I don’t see why they should. My biggest complaint regarding ISPs and email and this still makes my blood boil is that BT internet deleted my primary account holder Email address while I was still in contract and paying.. As I wasn’t using it !

    The somewhat ironic response was that hey Emailed all their customers to advise them.

    1. Paul says:


  15. Meadmodj says:

    The BT charge is high but the Standard Mail product allows for up to 10 email addresses that allows customers leaving BT to maintain their existing addresses which may be their own or family members until they can be migrated. I think BT is being very responsible.

    The issue is that the charge is too high for those that only need/wish to maintain one or two key addresses.

    I am sure it is not beyond BT to adjust the billing to something like £3 for email service and £1 per extra address controllable by the user.

    Many users leave BT often based on headline prices without looking at the wider service offered. For some their inclusive services avoids cost elsewhere. Not all customers have the knowledge, like things simple and prefer one bill.

    I personally would not recommend the free ones for the services that are key to our modern lives.

  16. Jon Bee says:

    If the ISPs can’t charge for ex-customer’s email, they will close the accounts. Sky’s accounts continue to be free because they’re outsourced to Yahoo, therefore there’s no cost to them.
    Claiming Joe Public only needs to get their own domain isn’t an answer to those who can’t even change email addresses. And who in their right mind would forward domain mail to Gmail or Hotmail? Might as well use them without the cost of a domain.

  17. gerarda says:

    Ofcom’s point is that doesn’t cost any like £60 or £90 a year to run an email service. Plenty out there running commercially for a couple of pounds a month so that should be what Ofcom are aiming for.

    1. Gary says:

      Umm so what if they want to charge £60 a year, its their domain name.

    2. Meadmodj says:

      Yes but it has to take into account the number of addresses, storage and billing overhead. If the ISPs are not interested in providing an email service as a separate product then they should not be forced to cross subsidise from their broadband customers or run it unprofitably and that they still require an incentive for the customer to migrate

      More importantly Ofcom should concentrate on ensuring ISPs do not cease accounts until the customer has been able to migrate all their services including bank tax etc.

    3. Matt says:

      @gerarda By your reasoning, how long until Ofcom start saying that it does not cost £x to provide a broadband service when the underlying cost is much less.

      The provider is free to charge a rate for the product they offer. If that is too much, the customer has a choice, pay or leave.

      There are some providers who simply cease all auxiliary services once you leave them, this will likely increase if Ofcom enforce something which they should not be getting involved with.

  18. JJ says:

    i’m very pleased Ofcom are finally catching up with this. If there are providers that can supply the email services for free (eg Sky and Plusnet) then why can’t all! There is no way it costs £5 per month to keep an email address active, let alone £7.50. IMO it is just another way for ISPs to say “don’t leave us because changing email address is a huge hassle” because £7.50 per month offsets any savings by switching to a better priced competitor.

    1. Marty says:

      I’m happy Ofcom are steeping in. ISP’s only care about robbing subscribers blind by keeping you tied to them with a noose

    2. Alex says:

      PlusNet are not a great example, their security standards on their email service are abhorrent! You shouldn’t be using the service if you are doing anything other than emailing your parents…

  19. Dave Scott says:

    As much I Agree with Ofcom I also Agree with AJT but I would say ISP’s should stop your email address if you leave them because to me that’s fair. Because when left BT in 2015 I wasn’t paying £5 at that time so I just opened up a free Yahoo email address instead.

  20. SimonM says:

    Personally be fine with ISPs not providing email accounts at all. Seems the easiest option all round.

    1. Dave Scott says:

      I am with Vodafone Broadband FTTC 80/20 Mbps I am happy that they give you email accounts so Yes I agree

    2. Dave Scott says:

      Spelling mistake there sorry I mean I am glad they don’t give you email account

  21. Rian says:

    Yep let’s just keep expecting ISP’s to pay for all that storage and getting nothing back. Surely people are clever enough to switch to gmail/Hotmail & just update their records!?

    1. Dave Scott says:

      That’s is exactly my point your better of with Gmail Hotmail or Yahoo it’s free. I mean you can basically pay for a premium account anyway those your better with the standard basic free version.

  22. Jack says:

    One problem with Sky’s Yahoo email accounts is it’s almost impossible to delete the account if you want to close it down.

    None of the Yahoo links to close accounts work, Sky tell you not to login to the account for X amount of time yet the account stays open.

    There is allegedly a very small team who know how to permanently delete an account but getting through tier 1 can often be impossible as it’s “off script” as they don’t think someone would actually want to delete an account

    1. Dave Scott says:

      You can close any account down I am not too sure how many days you get with gmail. But with Windows Live Mail aka Hotmail you get 9 months and with Yahoo you get 90 days. If you don’t use your yahoo email address within 90 days it will close down because of no Activity. And the same with Hotmail.

  23. Stephen Wakeman says:

    Love all the comments about these poor massive multi billion pound companies having to pay for “all the storage” etc.

    Let’s think about this.

    People who are using an ISP email account and don’t know any better are not going to be, in the main, tech savvy cloud computing moguls. They’re going to old people or young people who don’t send commercial levels of email or store much of it. Mostly. They’re probably likely to have one or maybe two email addresses. How much data per customer are we talking? A few hundred meg? A couple of gig? That is literally less than pennies worth of storage.

    Ofcom is not saying they disagree with charging at all. They’re saying they disagree with charging a high amount.

    Can we get real for a second and think about how much these companies, like BT, charge customers? If it weren’t for Ofcom, BT et al would be happily ripping off elderly customers and those who didn’t know better. Same with all the others. These companies are sharks. They have boards of investors who rake it in and company execs that get multi million pound bonuses even when the companies lose money.

    I do not, for a second, buy into the whole “they shouldn’t be forced to have to upkeep all this data” argument. For a quid a month they can. For £2 a month I get 100Gig of Google storage. So for £1 a month a company can keep 70 year old George Smith’s 200Mb of email account going, okay?

    These companies are rich and more than able to operate at a profit while having to retain an email account for dormers customers at a reasonable price. How anybody could side with these faceless, careless mega companies over charging too much for something that’s worth barely nothing is, to me at least, very confusing.

    1. FibreFred says:

      “These companies are rich and more than able to operate at a profit while having to retain an email account for dormers customers at a reasonable price”

      Some sweeping statement!

    2. Stephen Wakeman says:

      Yep I agree, it’s a sweeping statement but for evidence you need only glance at the earnings and revenue of these companies to see it’s justified.

      For too long these companies have been profiteering and preying on the elderly and uninformed to gouge them for more money.

      It will be a very long time before I am willing to side with them from a business perspective and even longer still before I would try to justify as much as a £90 per annum charge for an email account that comes with no extras or support, which most the stated ones inc. BT do not.

    3. TheFacts says:

      They are not using the core product and email is available from many others. Why would you want to keep them?

  24. JD says:

    Ok. There are a few issues here:

    1. The ‘free’ accounts (Gmail/Yahoo/etc.) are often not ‘free’ as they are funded by advertising. Worse, this advertising is often targetted and, in some cases, your personal data/preferences are used to ‘pay’ for the provision of the service.
    – ISP’s COULD offer such ‘free’ accounts for their ex-customers. Would the customers be happy to ‘pay’ for it in this way?

    2. Given point 1, to provide a service that has no other revenue stream costs money… more so if you want it to be secure… more so again if you want it to have some level of support… and more again if you want a reasonable feature-set.

    3. It’s getting more and more dificult (and therefore costly) to run an e-mail service (with the increasing level of cyber threats etc.).. and to run any sort of opperation with higher and higher customer data / GDPR requirements.

    4. People often forget that being in business is about making money. It is not unreasonable to expect that providers just need to cover their costs. They should also be allowed to make a profit.

    5. Have ISPs actually breached their agreement? What did the customers sign up to in the first place? If it said there would be a charge to maintain their e-mail address after leaving then what’s the problem (as long as that charge falls in line with the agreement signed)?

    I’m actually surprised that Ofcom have made any move at all already if they haven’t given due consideration to the above.

    @Stephen Wakeman… Yes, storage is cheap… but there’s lot more to running an e-mail service than storage. Also, while ’70 year old George Smith’ may only be using 200Mb (today) the next customer may be using 10’s of Gb… so a tier’d costing solution would be required… which adds complexity, which adds cost.

  25. The Facts says:

    If you sign up to Sky and get a sky email address why would you expect it to still work if you left them?

    Waitrose give you a free newspaper if you spend £10, does not work if you shop in Tesco.

  26. JonB says:

    Having worked for and owned an ISP for the last 20 years I can assure you running email servers isn’t just a bit of storage…

    Email is pain and costs a fortune on support and licensing.

    Agreed BT at 7.50/month is too much but 25-60 a year is reasonable.


  27. Richie Brian says:

    I’m just young enough to avoided this problem. In the mid 90’s my parents connected our PC to the internet (on 28kb dial-up), and we all got our own email addresses. As soon as I realised that my parents could see my emails, and being a teenage boy – rule 34 and all that – I got my own free hotmail account, which I still use (though I’ve changed it to a rather more professional @outlook.com address now). When I left home and got my own connection, I never even considered using the ISP’s email service, not least because I changed every time the contract was up to save money. But given that I’ve had the same address for a quarter of a century, I can understand why people find it hard to change.

  28. J says:

    People are missing the point here. For the most part, people
    will use a freemail service such as Outlook, and readers here are likely to use something more sophisticated (I personally use 365 Essentials).

    However, the issue of changing e-mails is fine if you only use your mail for a few websites, if you’ve had the same e-mail address since 2004 and all your business contacts for the past 16 years know this address then dropping it is a big deal and is a barrier to moving ISPs.

    A sensible charge for a large ISP is under £50/yr, or a cheaper and easier way would be to use e-mail forwarding, that would be acceptable I assume to people who would find it a hardship to abandon their mail.

    1. JD says:

      ‘J’ – I think a ‘sensible charge’ is one that provides a level of service acceptable to the customers and one which covers the costs of provisioning that service plus an element of profit on top… and unless you’ve tried to do such a thing it’s very hard to work out what that must be. Not as little as most people think. (add in the caveat about whether the service should have other revenue streams… eg. advertising funded.

  29. Gordon Webb says:

    We are not charged to retain a particular telephone number so why should we be charged so much to retain an email address. It is the same issue – we don’t want to have to advise all our counter parties of changes. I have had the same email address for more than 20 years and want to keep it if possible. I don’t mind paying something but £7.50 per month is unreasonably large particularly when their POP3 server is often so busy that it refuses to connect.
    What do I have to do to put pressure on BT to reduce this unreasonable charge?

    1. JD says:

      See above, Gordon. You’re not comparing Apples with Apples. There is no ongoing cost to a swap of a phone number whereas there is to the provision of a mailbox… and with the increasing complexity of the IT Security Landscape this cost is likely to increase.

  30. Dave says:

    OK talktalk are suggesting that to maintain the email service will cast £5 per month.

    In that case if I dont need a Talktalk email address why dont they reduce the Broadband
    internet currently advertised at around £22pm to £17pm that is what Ofcom should be looking

  31. Ged says:

    When I left BT about 9 or 10 years ago they said I could keep using my email address and they would charge 50 pence a month. I was happy for that to happen but then they said they were upping the charge to £5 per month. After that they said we are increasing the cost to £7.50 a month. I’m happy to pay to use the email but the increase is quite high each time. It’s been £7.50 for a while now and I’m expecting it to be £10 per month soon. I’d expect a little more for that price. I wonder if I buy a cheap pay as you go SIM I’d get the email thrown in for free?

  32. MS says:

    Copied to me by a customer this morning.

    “You will only be able to check your emails by signing into TalkTalk Mail on [web-mail address], you will no longer be able to access messages through third party applications using POP3 /IMAP and any _automatic_forwarding_ rules you may have will be removed.”

    The removal of automatic forwarding facilities will prevent affected account holders managing the transition to a new e-mail address. It looks like a deliberate and cynical act to create a revenue opportunity.

    The point is who will be caught out? What demographic group will feel so powerless, so anxious and so pressured into accepting the extortion fee? The elderly and the vulnerable most likely. The same people forced on-line to book appointments with hospitals, doctors, social services. Perhaps not your mother, grandfather or autistic cousin but somebody’s.

    The ISPs outsourcing their mail to Oath (formerly Yahoo) BT, Sky, TalkTalk are the biggest in the country. Their execs and shareholders have done very well out of marketing to the naive. What they are planning will disadvantage 1,000s (if not 10,000s) of the most technologically vulnerable people – by employing the same psychological tactics as the phone scammers for Heaven’s sake.

    I believe Ofcom should act and they should act urgently.

  33. Nic Holt says:

    These days email addresses are tantamount to identities. So companies who terminate use of email addresses or charge exorbitant amounts for their retention are behaving disgracefully.
    Vodafone chose this time of global pandemic to announce that they are no longer prepared to license demon.co.uk sub-domains to the third parties who are operating PAID FOR email services for users of .demon.co.uk mail addresses.
    Presumably they cynically thought this would be a good time to bury bad news.

  34. Allan F says:

    I switched to a BT business account, but they still force me to pay the £7.50 for my previous addresses … I am furious. Yes, they have the power to do it, but it does not mean it is right, and I sure as anything will avoid using their services in the future, and clearly they are OK with being a company you cannot perceive as one to trust or has respect for its customers.

  35. Andy says:

    If your with EE for broadband then BT will let you have any premium email for free so waive the 7.50 charge

  36. Richard Baker says:

    I’ve just been mailed by BT to promote a switch from their fixed line broadband to their 4G broadband as it will greatly improve my speeds (3mbs to 30mbs) out in rural area, which is good but its much more expensive and I have to pay for premium mail to keep my bt email address!!! Great customer offering – not!

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