Not unfair

October 13th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

is asking internet users who dumped as their internet provider but continued to use their Xtra addresses for email to either stump up at least $20 a month or have their email addresses cancelled and their emails deleted.

Spokeswoman Jo Jalfon would not say how many people were in that situation, but said a letter had gone out to a “small percentage of customers” advising them of the policy.

One Auckland couple who dropped Telecom in favour of Vodafone in 2007, but who have been using their Xtra email address ever since, have complained to the Commerce Commission.

They’ve been using Xtra’s servers for free for five years, and think they have a case??

What a sense of entitlement.

They believed the change was unfair, as well as a personal inconvenience, as Telecom had said email would remain free when it outsourced the running of Xtra to Yahoo in 2007.

Jalfon said that meant email would be free only to paying customers.

if you want an Xtra e-mail account, you should be an Xtra customer.

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18 Responses to “Not unfair”

  1. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    Socialists unite for a cause. Rip off the market.

    Stupid people.

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  2. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    slightly off the post but related and shows why these people think the way they do. Politicans think that way.

    “Politicians saying they don’t understand the internet is like someone in 1980 saying they don’t understand TV,” said Curtis. “That’s how long this technology has been around.”

    This year’s internet blackout and the fights against SOPA and PIPA show that the community of the internet, as diverse and weird as it can be, does have a common interest in keeping the web open for everyone.

    “There’s no instruction manual, there’s no puppet master at the top,” said Martin.

    “All of the best stuff that has come out of Reddit has come from people that don’t work at Reddit,” added Ohanian. He pointed out that President Obama’s Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) interview took place on a section of the site that was user-created.

    It’s easy to see how a system with no appointed leaders might seem foreign to politicians. However, those same politicians will soon be making decisions and implementing legislation that could affect the structure and freedom of the internet for decades.

    http://www.webpronews.com/reddit-brings-internet-freedom-to-the-midwest-2012-10

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  3. George Patton (349 comments) says:

    All these freebie focused idiots are telling you is that they haven’t heard of Gmail, and that they can’t be arsed contacting their friends or updating their business cards with a new contact email address.

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  4. NeutralObserver (95 comments) says:

    Odd because the day after I dropped Telecom as my ISP they deleted my xtra.co.nz email address – went cold Turkey to gmail and never looked back….

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  5. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    I don’t think it’s a matter of fairness telecom can charge what ever they want for email. I don’t think it’s a good business decision right now they have a free marketing in box for former customers when most of the world is moving to free non ISP emails. Telecom would be wiser trying to win back their business rather than making sure they leave

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  6. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I think the “market” will take care of this one. An invisible hand will guide each consumer and Telecom to equilibrium.

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  7. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    $20 for a purely mail account is pretty expensive so T’com are obviously hoping some people wed to their email addresses will go back to T’com for internet connectivity because of cost. If they wanted to make a small profit then something like $5 a month would better reflect a real cost plus scenario.

    This is more likely to have people telling T’com to stick it I believe. Silly.

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  8. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    The left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right is doing with Telecom though.
    I tend to swap ISP’s every year or so based on what deals are being offered at the time. When Xtra affered a free TIVO and other little goodies earlier in the year I re-signed up with them. Despite being an XTRA customer I still got a message telling me that my e-mail was going to be disconnected. The message inself is very strongly worded, so I felt pretty annoyed that I received it since I’m an Xtra customer. Even worse the message made it pretty clear that the onus was on me to sort it out or they would disconnect my e-mail and delete the messages, despite me being one of their customers.
    I’m not very impressed, someone should have checked first that those people receiving the message were not Xtra customers.

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  9. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    IMO Telecom is missing a trick. At $20/ month, most people will make other arrangements. Telecom should set the fee at a level which optimises revenue. Businesses, etc would possibly spend $5/ month for the advantage of continuity, and having an ‘xtra’ address advertised is good indirect publicity for Telecom.

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  10. marcw (251 comments) says:

    +1 to peterwn and slijmbal. $20/month is OTT. Most firms pay heaps of attention to GETTING customers, but it seems that Telecom can’t see an opportunity if it hit them between their servers. Sigh… have the dinosaurs still not realised yet that they have competition?

    And their email service has been crap lately with dropped and bounced peered emails – not exactly an environment to be making ultimatums to your potential market.

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  11. MT_Tinman (3,205 comments) says:

    I have never used my @Xtra e-mail account, never will more than likely but I disagree with the freeloaders, $20 per month is not excessive, in fact not enough. Non-Xtra customers should be paying $20 per day, if not $20 per hour – anything to get my telecom bill down.

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  12. lesterpk (27 comments) says:

    Moved overseas last year and wanted to keep our slingshot email address going for a while to receive those last few bills and contacts. Charge after having been a customer for almost 10 years was $5 a month, we were happy to pay that and in fact keep it going for a year.

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  13. chrisw76 (85 comments) says:

    Years ago I had a Telecom account with Xtra broadband. When I changed away I ask if I could keep my email and I was offered the option of keeping it for a monthly fee of $2.22+GST (originally $2.50 incl.) which I did. Interesting that no such option exists any more! My email only plan appears to be grandfathered in though as I haven’t received the letter above.

    Cheers, Chris W.

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  14. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    You would think that a corporate like Telecom would allow the continued use of the the Xtra email accounts as a marketing ploy, as long as the ‘ex’-customer still has their email account they continue their relationship with Telecom. I doubt the cost of maintaining the ‘free’ accounts will ever surpass the PR cost that eradicating them would incur in the longer term.

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  15. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Paradise have been doing this for years.

    when we switched paradise to xtra for a while we paid $10 a month for all 6 of our paradise email accounts. when we went back to telstra we stopped having to pay for the email accounts.

    i see no problem with this. i think the $20 is set at the level it is for a few reasons:

    1. if someone pays the $20 its worth the hassle of having these floating email boxes
    2. they hope that most people will bugger off and cancel teh email accounts as they are more hassle than they are worth.
    3. anyone who really wants the emails will either pay the fee or take up a telecom account.

    So for a bit of negative publicity from NON clients, essentially freeloaders, they can get rid of most of them. they will have done their numbers and worked out what the percentage is of people who come back after leaving, even with an email account and decided on the fee at a level to get people to make a damn decision.

    good sense to me. its very common to set a price for something at a level you expect to balk at and go away if you really dont want the business, but if they pay then you make more money than expected.

    i’ve done it, its very cathartic :)

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  16. fredinthegrass (273 comments) says:

    Ditto chrisw76. We were unable to access broadband with Telecom – other than Dial-up – which
    was not a viable option. We were offered – and took up – the same as chrisw76 which continues today,
    and is the email address of choice when somebody dubious asks for an email contact!!

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  17. pq (728 comments) says:

    lets watch and hope the favoured telecom dies a slow and miserable death, and the hell to all the corporate executives who sucked us dry all those years, deat. to them

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  18. artemisia (242 comments) says:

    pq, clearly you are too young to remember the bad old days when Telecom was part of the public service. It is light years faster and cheaper now. And there have been plenty of alternatives for a long time.

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