WITH the closure of TPG email this month, many of their customers were left scrambling to find an alternative email provider and make the swap. Others have stayed with TPG and will have a year of free service provided by The Messaging Company, who TPG have contracted to take over the service. It’s unclear what the cost will be for users once the year is up. TPG’s email service included legacy iiNet and OzEmail accounts.
People who use Telstra’s Bigpond or Optus’ mail services are at risk of receiving a similar announcement. Telstra has been slowly phasing out Bigpond since 2013, and there have been periodic reports of an upcoming closure since 2016. There has been no recent news on this front, but it seems quite likely at this point, particularly now that TPG have provided a roadmap for the process.
TPG customers reported feeling stress at the sudden news, particularly customers who found it difficult to navigate the process of swapping over to an alternative. It is the norm these days to use a free online email platform such as Google’s Gmail service, but in the past, it was very much the usual thing to bundle the telco’s email service with home phone or internet services. Many people are unaware of what other options are out there, and what the pros and cons may be.
Benefits of making the leap
If your email is linked to your telco, moving to a separate provider means that you don’t have to be as concerned that your service may be discontinued as businesses shift their focus to more profitable activities. Where email is the core part of a business and there is a large volume of users, it is less likely that the service will get the axe.
In terms of spam emails, Bigpond users could expect to get far less in their inbox after they have made the change – not only because most online emails providers are better at catching spam, but also because a new email is less likely to be on databases that have been built over years of using an existing email address.
Another benefit is that you have more flexibility when it comes to shopping around for a better deal for your phone and internet. Using Bigpond as an example, if you decide to change providers and leave Telstra in the dust, you can use your Bigpond email free for a year. After that, it will cost $79 a year to continue using your email. OptusNet users have 3 months to access their email if they cancel their Optus service, after which it’s gone forever.
Not everyone has options when it comes to telcos, but it might still be a good idea to unlink your main email from your phone and internet so that you can take advantage of new deals when they crop up. There can be a big difference in the affordability of different plans, and large providers such as Telstra tend to rely on factors such as loyalty, market reputation and coverage availability to keep customers.
In the past weeks, CPSA has received several complaints about Telstra’s customer service for Bigpond users. Many of these people are fed up with Telstra’s service but are not aware of how to make the swap or are put off by the amount of effort it will take.
If you’re nodding your head, perhaps it’s time to have a think about options so that you have a back-up plan ready to go. There’s no need to make the move right now, or all at once, but it’s always a good idea to know what your options are.
Here are some popular free email providers:
There are a lot of other options, but if you’re looking for something that you can set up and use without much hassle, these are the big three. There are a lot of resources available to help you get set up.
It is important to know that you might not be able to use the same email address that you have always had, such as your first and last name. Because these email providers have many users worldwide, your name might already be taken. One way to handle this is to swap your first and last name, add a dot between your first and last name, or add a number at the end. You might have to try a few ways until you find one that works.
What will I need to do?
It is a big job to change from an email you’ve used for a long time. You will need to have a think about who you will need to inform. This will include friends, family, your bank and other service providers..
If it all sounds like too much hassle, that is understandable, but it doesn’t hurt to know what your options are and to be ready to make a change if you need to.
If you have any questions, get in touch.