Why Telecom should be ashamed for $20 email addresses
Last week, Telecom announced that they would start to charge users of their Yahoo Xtra email system to use the service if they were no longer a Telecom customer. It would see ex-customers having to sign up to the most basic Telecom Internet package which is currently a $20 a month dial-up service.
Given the fact that Telecom signed a deal with Yahoo! in 2007 to provide 'free' email to their customers, Telecom has been happily giving access to the xtra.net.nz domain-based email addresses and mailboxes to customers and ex-customers alike since then, they now claim that this service is only free to paying customers, somewhat of a real about turn.
This is a bad PR exercise for Telecom NZ, and could potentially cost them more customers than actually winning profit. The main reason that most people choose to remain with their old mail service is that it doesn't mean that they have to send a message to everyone telling them about a new email address which most people aren't that good at updating anyway.
If you are one of the affected ex-xtra customers affected by this move by Telecom, choose a service like Google Mail which is free of charge and can remain yours for life. Even better, why not buy a domain like myname.co.nz (cost around $30 a year) and point it to a reliable mail service such as Google Apps (free for individual use up to 5 users). Full instructions are available on the Google website. This way your domain name will truly remain associated to you and creates a professional look and feel for your e-presence.