Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Changing Email Address

I have a confession to make: I fell into one of the classic blunders. Not the most classic, of course ("never get involved in a land war in Asia"), or even the second ("never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line"). Not even the third ("never start a multi-volume fantasy series until the last book is published"... though I have done that).

No, this was the fourth of the classic blunders: "never use an email address provided by your ISP".

(There's no prize for spotting the movie reference. But you get to bask in the fleeting glow of being right.)

The reason you should never use an email address provided by your ISP is that changing your email address is a massive pain - it's basically used as your login everywhere on the internet, and there's a whole address book of people who might use it to contact you (though that's less common now - email has largely ceased to be relevant as a means of communication). This means that changing your ISP becomes a massive hassle, which means you're locked into a single company. It's just a bad idea.

In my defence, and it's a bad defence, back when I got my current email address Hotmail was generally not regarded as very good for use as a 'primary' address, while Gmail was very much in its infancy. Getting a fixed address of your own at that point probably meant paying for the privilege, where the ISP gave them out for 'free'. And, also, I was in a hurry since my previous ISP had died suddenly, taking my then-current address with it. I needed something I could use right then. So I got their address, added "sort something permanent" to my long-term To Do list, and then didn't.

All of which was fine until a year ago, when my ISP decided they wanted out of the ADSL market to focus solely on cable, and sold my account to another company. (Who I've complained about before - that company promptly lost a whole bunch of customer data... luckily, not including my own.) As part of that transition, everything moved across, with the caveat that the email servers were to be switched off in June 2016.

And so I find myself forced to move to a new email address. And it's exactly as much of a pain as I'd expected - every account I have online uses the old one, and some of those accounts haven't been used for years, and some of which I've no doubt forgotten entirely. Which will be fun if and when I try to use them again later, only to find I've forgotten my password (and can't have them reset it via email, since I don't have that...)

On the plus-side, this means I'll no longer have that email address tethering me to my ISP. Which, given that the old provider was already sub-optimal and the new provider has had that disaster, is a really good thing.

The other thing it means is that my contact details are changing. And, in fact, I'm going to consolidate down to a single email address for all non-work uses. So, if you want my new address and are in possession of either of my old addresses (the hotmail one or the virgin one) or my mobile number, please drop me a line and I'll send you the new address. But do so by the end of the month, or those contact details will become obsolete!

1 comment:

Kezzie said...

Noooo, that is a pain! I've always used a webmail one, apart from my school and uni and work email addresses. I've had a couple of webbased ones who have stopped their services- I used to have a boltblue one which I was really cross they discontinued!