Telecom to charge ex-customers for email

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 12:50 12/10/2012

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Telecom is asking internet users who dumped Telecom 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 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.

The cheapest option for non-paying customers who want to retain their Xtra email address is to sign up to an unlimited dial-up internet account costing $20 a month. Telecom used to offer an Xtra email address only for $2.95 a month, but withdrew that option several years ago, Jalfon said.

The Auckland couple were told that if they did nothing, their Xtra email accounts would be suspended on November 28 and their emails, files and folders wiped 50 days later. 

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- The Dominion Post

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