Why Some Broadband Companies Still Charge for Email Accounts
It may be time to find a new email address. That’s because new research suggests broadband users are deterred from switching to a competing provider because of the premium that some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) charge for continuing to access existing email accounts. BT and TalkTalk both require users to pay a pretty hefty fee when they leave these broadband services, but still want the same features when they go to their old inbox.
Anyone who throws BT out for a competing ISP will be charged £ 7.50 per month for its Premium email service, while TalkTalk will charge £ 5 per month for its Mail Plus option.
It’s worth noting that BT offers an unlimited free option, but this is just a simple web-based service. TalkTalk has something similar, although this free account is only available for two years after you cancel your broadband, then you’ll have to cough up that £ 5 a month.
Telecom regulator Ofcom has recently expressed its feelings about the issue of charging users for their legacy email addresses with BT and TalkTalk, making it much clearer to customers that they will be charged when they switch providers.
While that’s a step in the right direction, it still doesn’t change the fact that some broadband customers might stick with their current provider so they don’t have to pay to check their inboxes and send emails to family.
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A list of costs to keep your email address
Ofcom says its research found that for about one percent of people who considered switching but didn’t, the most important factor was that they didn’t want to lose the email address they had with their current provider.
With so much cheaper. broadband deals in the market, this can cost consumers a lot of money and now could be a good time to make the jump to a free provider, such as Gmail or Outlook, so that you don’t feel so tied to your ISP.
Ofcom says there are many alternative free email services available, often quick and easy to set up, that can help you transfer information from your existing email account, such as your contacts and the messages you already have.
You can also set up these accounts in the ‘Mail’ app on your smartphone or tablet, so you can easily access your emails without logging in via an internet browser – that’s something BT and TalkTalk’s free options don’t allow .
Not all ISPs charge for the email address once a customer leaves with Sky and Plusnet, making the free option forever possible. Unfortunately for Virgin Media users, once they leave the company their email account will be deleted after 90 days so it’s really worth checking what your ISP includes when you sign up.
In a statement to Express.co.uk, a BT spokesperson said: “BT Broadband customers will receive a free email service as part of their package. If they switch broadband providers, they can continue to use the BT email service for free via a web browser. This version includes unlimited storage, online virus protection and a UK based help desk.
“We also offer customers a Premium service when they switch providers, including multiple inboxes and email app access, for £ 7.50 per month.”
If you think it is time to change your email address Ofcom has some top tips to help on its website.
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