Customers with a Vodafone email address will have to switch at the end of November, when the telco plans to axe its email services after 20 years.
Email addresses affected include its Clear and Paradise services.
Vodafone had about 200,000 to 250,000 active email users but many operate dual email accounts, a Vodafone spokesperson said.
The accounts would be switched off on November 30, however, Vodafone has promised customers it will automatically forward emails from the closed accounts to a new email of the customer’s choice, for as long as they are a Vodafone customer.
While 250,000 sounds like a lot, many accounts are unused. Other accounts are rarely used.
To grasp the scale of the problem, ask yourself how long it is since a mail message arrived from any of the Vodafone account domains listed at the bottom of Ryan’s story.
Few Vodafone customers will find it hard to move to another mail provider. Many already have Gmail or Outlook.com mail accounts. For them the change means nothing more than forwarding messages if they haven’t done that already. That won’t challenge most users.
There will be stragglers who depend on a Vodafone account. They have been through a lot. Vodafone says it is killing its mail service because of problems with spam and delays. Spark went through something similar with Yahoo mail.
Users won’t miss that pain.
Vodafone should offer support for those customers who struggle with the moving process. The problem here is that customer support is not a Vodafone strength.
The problem with ISP mail
Vodafone’s move is a timely reminder of why you shouldn’t use ISP mail services. The move is also one of the reasons. ISP mail users are at the mercy of an organisation that isn’t focused on providing a first class mail service. It’s better to find a specialist who wants to excel at mail.
At the same time, an ISP mail account ties your hands. Moving from Vodafone or any other service provider is difficult if everyone you’re in touch with reaches you via a vodafone.co.nz mail address. There are often good reasons to switch ISP, so the fewer chains binding you to one, the better.
Modern ISP-provided mail services often include a webmail option, it isn’t always easy to use these across all your devices. With a Gmail or Outlook account you can sync everything across your phone, computer and other devices. You can also read your email from someone else’s computer.
Another reason to use something other than an ISP mail address is that it signals a lack of computer savvy. It tells criminals and others that you may not be as on top of technology as those people with their own custom mail addresses. In this competence hierarchy, a Gmail or Outlook address ranks higher than an ISP address.
You can find better options than Gmail and Outlook. But that’s a subject for another post.