back to article 'Every little helps'... unless you want email: Tesco to kill free service

Brit supermarket giant Tesco is killing off the free email services offered to customers who bought its broadband package. "Your tesco.net email address is the one you got with your very first Tesco Broadband and Homephone package. After 27th June, it will no longer be in service," the company told users. The broadband …

  1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    They sold their broadband service to Talk Talk? Those poor bastards have really suffered since.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Talk talk or the customers? ;)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Natalie Gritpants

    Damn

    Had a hell of a time moving from freeserve.co.uk to witch.net, Then had to shift from them recently, now my new best friend email addy is going to have to change again. Still I'm getting good at emailing the internet my new address.

    Any recommendations as to where I should move to?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      I believe commentards are lobbying for @vulturecentral.com to be a thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damn

        Dibs on anonymous.coward@vulturecentral.com!

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: Damn

          Dibs on anonymous.coward@vulturecentral.com!

          I'd go for moderatrix@vulturecentral.com, but I suspect she'd come for me and my time on this planet would be short....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Damn

            I'd go for moderatrix@vulturecentral.com, but I suspect she'd come for me and my time on this planet would be short....

            But soooo worth it!

    2. I Am Spartacus
      Coat

      Freeserve

      Ohh, that takes me back. I had a hand in setting that up, back in the day.

      Mines the one with "How to profit from a free ISP" in the pocket.

    3. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      start with getting your own domain

      My first domain for my email addresses was registered in 1998, then registered 3 after my name in 2002. I have hosted my own email since about 1996 but obviously these days there are quite a few places where you can find a SaaS email offering that supports using your custom domain (I have no personal suggestions to make)

      but for sure get your own domain.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        but for sure get your own domain

        Advice that has no doubt worked out well for anyone in the UK who opted for a .eu domain...

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Damn

          "Advice that has no doubt worked out well for anyone in the UK who opted for a .eu domain..."

          it's not exactly difficult to ensure continutity of service by setting something up on the other side of the North Sea.

    4. Mr Dogshit

      Re: Damn

      witch.net?

      Spellbinding...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damn

        Enchanting...

    5. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      Buy yourself a domain name and have the domain name registrar host it. Set it to redirect mail to whoever provides your mail service and tell your friends to send e-mail via your domain name. From then on you'll never have to tell everybody about a new e-mail address again.

      I've been using this approach since the early naughties and have seamlessly moved ISP (both email and webhosting) during this time.

      Cost depends on the domain name you choose, i.e. co.uk, org.uk, me.uk and .uk at around £8 a year are all cheaper than .com and .org (£12 - £13) a year including e-mail forwarding and web redirection.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        "Buy yourself a domain name and have the domain name registrar host it. Set it to redirect mail to whoever provides your mail service and tell your friends to send e-mail via your domain name."

        Select a UK/EU registrar who includes a paid for email hosting package. Don't rely on a free as in you are the product service.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        A big *wooosh* to all those who didn't get Natalies first post the way it was intended, and an even bigger woosh to those who didn't get it after the 'demon' followup post

      3. MJB7

        Re: Buy your own domain

        *This*

        I really wish I had followed by cousin's advice and bought a domain about eight years ago. (And I'm the techie one, and he is the marketing/management type.) Now I'm stuck with too many people knowing my gmail account.

        1. psychonaut

          Re: Buy your own domain

          so

          1) email all contacts saying you have changed address.

          2) forward your gmail to your new domain email address

          3) set an auto responder on your gmail saying "we got your email, but please form now on use mynewemail@mynewdomain.tld"

          within a few months anyone who is important will definitely have taken note.

          its not a big deal...

    6. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Damn

      Any recommendations as to where I should move to?

      Buy your own domain. A lot come with a mail service and if they don't at least owning the domain allows you to relocate providers without changing your address. I run my own mail server at home but that is a bit more technical. Gives you the most control though ;)

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        "Buy your own domain. A lot come with a mail service and if they don't at least owning the domain allows you to relocate providers without changing your address."

        Dishonourable mention for uk2.net at this point. Their domains used to come with email but they withdrew the service and started charging for mail forwarding. And they charge to move your domain away from them.

    7. Natalie Gritpants

      Re: Damn

      So @demon.co.uk it is then

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damn

        "So @demon.co.uk it is then"

        Vodafone have recently announced they are closing Demon as an ISP.

        Where that leaves the email service that was outsourced is an interesting point. Presumably Vodafone still own and manage demon.co.uk - as DNS lookups for <mydomain>.demon.co.uk still resolve to my static IP address.

        1. Alfie Noakes

          Re: AC

          "Vodafone have recently announced they are closing Demon as an ISP.

          Where that leaves the email service that was outsourced is an interesting point..."

          Hopefully names.co.uk have an ongoing agreement with Vodafone, otherwise i will have to transfer my 170-odd demon e-mail addresses yet again :(

          Nothing to suggest it is happening at https://demon.net/, but i wouldn't put anything past Vodafone EVER again (dropped them as an ISP some time ago, as they did nothing but collect your DDs).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC

            "Hopefully names.co.uk have an ongoing agreement with Vodafone, "

            Just looked at demon.net. The home page is still advertising the service Sales prices. The Support pages appear to have been dormant for ages. The "Your Usage" page just times out.

            No announcements anywhere about closing Demon ISP.

            The "latest" announcement is the old one about them outsourcing the email etc. The small print of that faq says that outsourcing would only last for two years - so that looks like namesco will have to close the demon.co.uk email service later this summer 2018.

            Now where did I put that that piece of paper with suitable vacant domain names.....

            OLD FAQ:

            "Yes, Namesco will be migrating email addresses and websites that sit under the demon.co.uk domain. You’ll be able to continue to use these for around two more years. Services that were previously provided free will incur a small fee. Namesco will be writing to customers with a special offer to allow you to continue with the previously free services"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Damn

          A tragic end for Demon then. I was with them for years, they were awesome...lagged behind a bit when Broadband became a thing though.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        So @demon.co.uk it is then

        I wouldn't - not unless they have improved radically in the last five years.

        (Demon were my first ISP in the early-mid 90's. I watched as they were successivly borged by a set of owners who only cared about share price and how many quick bucks they could make and losing any semblance of customer service and techiness along the way. Left them about 5 years ago - for IDNet. Now with Zen).

    8. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      Fastmail

      Disclaimer: Satisfied paying customer for many years.

      1. Stu J

        Re: Damn

        +1 for Fastmail, 14-year satisfied customer here...

    9. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      "Any recommendations as to where I should move to?"

      A vanity domain you pay for, then you can redirect as you want and noone will be any the wiser.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        "A vanity domain you pay for, then you can redirect as you want and noone will be any the wiser."

        Nothing vain about it. It's just a more practical solution. If you have your own domain you can move ISP without disrupting your email contacts.

        Some years ago my formerly very good ISP fell into the clutches of TalkTalk. At that time I'd used the ISP email. I moved to a new ISP but to prevent a recurrence of the inconvenience of that happening again I registered a domain with a registrar who provided an email service. After my new ISP fell into the clutches of Sky I switched to another ISP.

        I also found that eventually my original choice of registrar started getting outages which they never troubled to explain - and seldom troubled to acknowledge to I transferred the domain and email service to another registrar/email provider, again without disrupting my email address.

        The other side of having your own domain is that you can set up and tear down addresses as necessary. Anyone I expect to deal with on a regular basis is given an alias I've set up specifically for them. If they start spamming I simply drop that alias; in fact I've the option of setting it to bounce email with a message telling the sender why they're being bounced. I also set up aliases which will only last a few weeks and anyone who doesn't, in my view, need a long term alias gets given the current one of those which will be pulled immediately if it gets spammed.

        For a few quid a year you can have a flexible email service that's not, on the one hand, tied to a service provider you can't dump, nor, on the other to a big corporation who treats you as their product.

        I have a Hotmail address for situations which demand an email address but where I don't expect any interaction whatsoever and that's treated as /dev/null and a gmail address if I need a Google login which carries no traffic at all.

        1. jackalek

          Re: Damn

          Regarding the aliases and customer error messages, are you using comercial provider for this, or is it home brew set up ?

          I've my own email server, I managed the custom error message as well, however I can only do it by hand via SSH. I would like to be able to do it via website, much easier.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn

      I have used nyx.net since 1994 (yes, that is about 25 years ago, no typo).

      In addition to being free it includes procmail for filtering and (static) user web pages.

    11. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      witch.net?

      Sounds familiar.

    12. JakeMS Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      For personal email I recommend Fastmail.

      I always suggest avoiding free services like gmail, hotmail, yahoo if you can afford to. I also recommend avoiding ISP email as it can get tricky when you switch ISP or what this article talks about happens.

      Free services like gmail are good if your not too concerned about privacy or are a light email user.

      But if you require good decent reliable ad-free email then your better off paying for the premium.

      I recommend Fastmail because their based in Australia and do not scan your emails for advertising purposes.

      I use them for my personal email and to be honest never had any issues with them for the last two years I've used them.

      Just my personal opinions though :-)

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Damn

        @ A Non e-mouse @Stu J @JakeMS

        Another +1 for Fastmail (run with my own domain) from me although with one reservation (see below). I have three accounts with them which replaced all my "Free but you are the product" accounts about 4 years ago. Yes it costs money but is good value and support is excellent. Twice now I've had a support ticket elevated to the top tech guy to investigate when the lower level techs couldn't sort it.

        One thing I would note - AIUI although they're an Australian domiciled company they have their data centre in NYC so this could mean it's still subject to direct scanning by the Murricans. If they could move my account storage out of The Land of the Free that'd be ideal.

    13. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      "Any recommendations as to where I should move to?"

      gritpants.org.uk, ngritpants.co.uk and ngritpants.org.uk are available. Maybe register one of those and point it somewhere. If you don't like where it is pointing, then point it somewhere else.

    14. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Damn

      Any recommendations as to where I should move to?

      Server hosted at home :-)

      (Yes, yes, I know it requires a business line since most ISPs won't accept emails from home IP ranges and also requires a bit of knowledge to set up and run.. but think of the fun! Think of the adventure! Think of the loss of social life!)

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        I switched off my home-hosted server after 10 years. I bought a Dell cheap-as-crap server for £99 in 2007 and it has been running non-stop (well, more or less) ever since, with a few hard disk changes of course. It's always been reasonably OK, and not too much of a burden, but I wanted something more reliable. I got too many spams, and too many emails that just got mis-reported as spam. And I couldn't see the point any more.

        So I decided to use gmail for my personal email and moved my work email to office365. I use my personal email so little for actual communication with people I know - I only use it for setting up accounts with thinks I purchase.

    15. HarryBl

      Re: Damn

      gandi.net. 6 quid a year for a co.uk domain with 5 free email addresses. Based in France. Their motto is 'no bullshit' which seems to be the case.

    16. Pseudonymous Clown Art

      Re: Damn

      Proton Mail.

  3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    It seems odd that all ISP's don't offer email services. They surely cost practically bugger all and are a method of locking in customers.

    eg: "I can't leave TescoWeb, I don't want to change my email address"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I can't leave TescoWeb, I don't want to change my email address"

      That didn't stop Vodafone closing the Demon email service (and web space) and handing control to an external supplier on a separate subscription basis. Vodafone didn't reduce the Demon subscription in recompense either.

      Now Vodafone are shuttering Demon completely. That presumably means personal home servers visible as <mydomain>.demon.co.uk will also now become unavailable. Presumably you will have to buy your own domain to map onto a (new?) Vodafone static IP address.

      The email they have sent to Demon customers is totally lacking in any meaningful information.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Presumably you will have to buy your own domain"

        That's the best solution. It makes your domain hosting independent of ISP. You're free to change either as it suits you.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        "That presumably means personal home servers visible as <mydomain>.demon.co.uk will also now become unavailable."

        What about NoIP? I use this myself (it is directly supported by the Livebox, so the router itself registers any change of IP address) and the free service only needs you to jump through a basic hoop (solve a captcha and poke a button on a form) every 30 days. That's not too difficult.

    2. Steven Raith

      "It seems odd that all ISP's don't offer email services. They surely cost practically bugger all and are a method of locking in customers."

      Until you start dealing with being blacklisted because of spammers, maintaining relays, incoming spam filters (which are never as good as Google, et al), hardware maintenance and replacment (or expansion if you're doing it using your own internal cloud infrastructure) etc. And that's before you start looking at ensuring it stays secure, patching, minimising downtime etc.

      People who think email is easy have never maintained a 'bare metal' email platform, in my experience. And those who have maintained a bare metal email service try to avoid it in future if they can help it...

      Steven 'fingers burned' R

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        "Until you start dealing with being blacklisted because of spammers,"

        Certain spam server listings are known to react to spam being sent from the user of an ISP by blacklisting entire address ranges used by that ISP...

      2. d3vy Silver badge

        "Until you start dealing with being blacklisted because of spammers, maintaining relays, incoming spam filters (which are never as good as Google, et al), hardware maintenance and replacment (or expansion if you're doing it using your own internal cloud infrastructure) etc. And that's before you start looking at ensuring it stays secure, patching, minimising downtime etc."

        I have been maintaining my own mail server for my business and personal use for around 10 years, I also host email for a few non profits and friends at least once every 6 months I have to go through the process of trawling the logs, working out whats happened and why we have been blacklisted and groveling to the various places maintaining the black lists (interesting point SpamCannibal seems entirely automated and I have not once managed to speak to a human) on a few occasions I have had to buy a new IP address to send mail from because I have not been able to have our IP removed from the blacklist.

        Its a pain in the arse and its making me think more and more that Ill just pay Microsoft for office 365 and let them worry about these things!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "It seems odd that all ISP's don't offer email services. They surely cost practically bugger all and are a method of locking in customers."

      They did. Even all the "free" dial-up ones (well, 95% of them) did so. The reduction in "free add-ons" came with the broadband price wars, web space went first then email was outsourced and/or removed. It's a race to the bottom because the majority of customer look only at the price of the package, few want their own web sites and most use webmail from google and the like and are happy to moan about shite customer service without acceptting that the customers demanding ever lower prices are the root cause.

    4. d3vy Silver badge

      "It seems odd that all ISP's don't offer email services. They surely cost practically bugger all and are a method of locking in customers."

      Hmm, Locking in customers - probably not so much judging by how often my non technical friends change phone numbers I doubt that they would care about an email address!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm now wondering if these email services harvested data for others and are closing because of the GDPR?

    What's that? Free email you say? Where is the money in that?

    Who is next? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of "GDPR: The Early Reckoning"

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      They don't have to be harvesting anything to be a liability. The GDPR fines, breach notification and subject access request requirements are enough to make running anything for free way too risky to be worthwhile.

      1. GIRZiM

        >The GDPR fines, breach notification and subject access request requirements are enough to make running anything for free way too risky to be worthwhile.

        Why, it's almost as though the industry lobbied the EU to change the law in such a way as to make it so that they didn't need to offer free services any more but could still continue with the advertising because "We're only as cheap as we are thanks to the advertising. Good luck finding anyone who doesn't do it the same way as us for less than more than you can afford. Do still feel free to pay someone else though. Have a nice day. Oh, you'd like to pay us for advertising to you after all. Very well. First question: what is your inside leg measurement?"

    2. JakeMS Silver badge

      Well...

      General rule of thumb when it comes to services is if you're not the one paying, someone else is.

      It costs money to run a service so ask yourself this, who is paying and what is that someone else paying for if not the service?

      Yup, you guessed it advertisement or your user data, usage habbits.

      Now ask yourself this, do you still want to use the service knowing that?

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        If we are talking about Tesco's ISP service, then I'm pretty sure they charged for it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vodafone have said they are shuttering the Demon domain "later this year". They are offering "discussions" about which Vodafone broadband service a user will buy instead.

    That affects any Demon users who host a home server visible on their personal demon.co.uk subdomain.

    They have not indicated whether the demon.co.uk subnet will still be preserved for the external email service that they forced users on to a couple of years ago.

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    What's next for Tesco?

    closing their Mobile offering?

    Samsung won't be happy if they did as all their in-store stores seem to display are Galaxy phones.

  7. Zebo-the-Fat

    I have been using gmx for email for years, never had a problem. I use IMAP to pick up the emails so I never see any advertising on their webmail page

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I would not use the free email address that comes with the ISP again after having lost an NTLworld address that I had used for years. Back in the day when VM was still NTL I had cancelled my TV and broadband as I moved to an area that couldn't get NTL services at the time but the email account carried on working regardless.

    So I didn't think anything about it years later when I decided to cancel VM broadband and in doing so they closed my old NTLworld email as well without any notification.

    1. Dave 137

      Apologies as I'm an ex ISP customer service/tech support drone, but wasn't your intention to leave and stop paying your bills enough notice that you probably weren't going to be provided their services any more? The amount of calls I've had where someone said "all my emails have stopped working when I cancelled with you" is incredible. Well duh. No one does anything for free! Want your email back? Let me transfer you to our sales department...

      1. Commswonk Silver badge
        Devil

        @ Dave 137:Apologies as I'm an ex ISP customer service/tech support drone

        If you are looking for sympathy you have come to entirely the wrong place. The "apologies..." should be enough to ensure you live to tell the tale, though.

    2. ICPurvis47
      Boffin

      NTLworld email address

      I joined NTL when they first put a cable down my street back in about 1997 or so. I mainly did so because BT refused to take me back after I had transferred both telephony and dial-up internet access to Screaming.net, who then sold the business to another POS organisation, who promptly dropped the telephony part and left me with a dead phone line. Fast forward several years, and NTL became Virgin, all well and good, I had all the connectivity I needed to run my business and personal life. Then I was forced to give up my home, and decided to move to the Wild West (well, Wales, actually), and Virgin's tentacles don't reach that far, and they refused to utilise LLU from the BT box just half a mile away. I am now back with BT, but V said that I would lose my NTLworld email addresses after 3 months, as I had chosen to leave them. I argued that no, I hadn't chosen to leave them, I had asked them to continue my service, but they had refused, stating that I was outside their service area. We eventually reached an agreement, I can still receive incoming emails through my NTLworld addresses using POP3, but I can't send through SMTP, and I can't access the email service online to make any changes. How long this will continue remains to be seen, but in the meantime I am migrating everything to my own .co.uk domain name and using hosting for both website and email provided by a relative's ISP service.

  9. Joe Montana

    Own domain

    If email is important to you, then you should always own your own domain. Then it's under your control, and so long as you keep paying the registration fees every year it won't be taken away.

    If you're using someone else's domain not only do you usually end up with a stupid username because everything sensible will already be taken, but you also are subject to the whims of the provider who could at any time decide to shut off the service.

    If you own your own domain then its portable between providers, or you can even host your own - a cheap virtual server or a raspberry pi running at home (assuming you have a home internet service with static ip) will be more than adequate for personal email hosting.

    Perhaps someone should sell PIs preconfigured for this purpose.

    1. pleb

      Re: Own domain

      "so long as you keep paying the registration fees every year it won't be taken away."

      Unless it is a .EU domain.

  10. dieseltaylor

    So Tesco can give a months more notice than the consumer's champion. (Self-styled)

    Nice reversal of roles.

  11. Dave 15 Silver badge

    seriously sad

    I have had this email for years, it is the one everyone knows, now it will no longer be valid.

    Wish there was an automatic way of redirecting so I could keep the address even if someone else runs the 'service'

    1. KeefD

      Re: seriously sad

      It can be a monumentally tedious task dealing with having your free email address pulled. I've had numerous Tesco email addresses for 15+ years and just remembering where I've used them is taking some doing. I did purchase my own domain years ago but simply lacked the enthusiasm to complete that task of moving everything, something which has now become a little more urgent; but ultimately a worthwhile exercise. What's making it a little more 'entertaining' are those websites where you can't change your email address on-line such as John Lewis and Costco amongst others. Sadly it also exposes those naughty institutions who still send out plain text password reminders, not resets, in emails.

      It's definitely worth getting your own domain and then updating everywhere it's necessary (but completing the task, d'oh) to avoid the pain.

  12. arctic_haze Silver badge
    FAIL

    Why am I not surprised?

    All "something as service" offers are doomed to end this way.

  13. Nano nano

    Déjà ...

    Just like Freeserve ... and so it goes ...

  14. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I keep telling our customers to change their personal email addresses for this reason. I actually say to them that there is no guarantee this email address will continue to work, Tesco/TalkTalk/BT/Whoever are under no obligation whatsoever to keep it working. The number of 'tinyworld.co.uk' and suchlike email addresses I see out there is decreasing, but there are still a lot of people who insist on keeping them.

  15. MJI Silver badge

    DIY Server

    To be honest it is the best answer, we all have one but daughter wanted GMail so uses that. I prefer privacy so use one with my surname as the domain name.

    I have a really good email address!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trolley dolly

    thats not a Tesco trolley! outraged

  17. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Really?

    Sorry - is no-one going to mention the fact that the header image for this article is in Sainsbury's?

  18. Gordon Pryra

    Compuserve

    All these addresses going yet my Compuserve account still seems live....

  19. ukgnome Silver badge

    But why though

    but why use a stock photo of a Sainsbury shopping trolley

  20. This Side Up
    Headmaster

    There's a lesson here

    Never use your ISP's domain for your email address or web site. Register your own domain then you can keep your address when you change your ISP. All you have to do is update the DNS servers.

  21. Cleverfiend

    I remember when Tesco launched their ISP. I blagged manager as an email address and a friend on IRC (I guess that dates it...) persuaded me to get checkout.supervisor as well. The manager one used to attract some great complaint emails that I responded to before I lost interest.

    I'm more surprised to know this service has lasted as long as it has...

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