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Old 19 Jan 2017, 10:06 AM   #40
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 24
I got my fastmail Member account in 2002. I have used it as my primary email address ever since, and I have mostly been very happy with the service.

When I got this account, I could have gotten a free email address from another provider like instead, but since I liked fastmail's interface and I wanted an email address that would be mine for life, I chose to pay the $15. I also paid for some storage upgrades so that I could save more than the included 16MB of old email.

I was annoyed when they later stopped allowing me to buy further storage upgrades, but at least I still have a functional account that works well.

1. Some of you claimed that fastmail never offered a lifetime membership. That is simply not true. Look at their pricing page from 2002:

which says, "US$14.95 one-time fee, gives you a lifetime member-level account."

and their home page:

which says, regarding their Full and Enhanced accounts, "* - Includes lifetime 'Member' account if subscription not renewed."

2. Many of you don't seem to understand the concept of a contract. Fastmail chose to offer a lifetime account for $15. They didn't have to do that; they did it to earn money so they could continue to stay in business. I chose to buy it because I thought it was a good offer even though most other email providers were, then as now, free. I would never have bought it if I had any inkling that they might someday start asking me to pay for it, because (1) I knew that most other email accounts were free, and (2) I had already previously gotten burned when I had to stop using a school email address after graduating and I found out how hard it was to get everyone you know to switch to using a new email address. I figured that paying a modest amount for a lifetime account was better than signing up for a free one that might not last as long.

I did *not* buy the right to keep the account until they decided they didn't feel like supporting it any more. I did *not* buy the right to keep the account until they decided to refund my $15. I bought the right to have an account that I could keep for life. Later I encouraged my wife to do the same. Now fastmail is trying to renege on their promise to support those accounts and extort further payments from myself and my wife to avoid the significant effort and problems that would be caused by trying to get everyone to start using some other email addresses for us.

3. Some of you pointed to some legalistic terms of service on fastmail's current site. None of this is applicable to my purchase in 2002, because none of that was on their site then. The only thing like that at the time was a disclaimer ( saying that they aren't responsible for damages caused by any defects in their service.

4. Some of you seem to think that charging recurring fees for email is somehow good business or inevitable or whatever. None of this justifies breach of contract.

In my opinion, fastmail should be *really grateful* to the people who paid for member accounts and kept them afloat when they were a small startup company. Without us they wouldn't have survived. Since then, they have succeeded in selling more expensive, recurring-fee services. Good for them. The least they can do is continue to support Member accounts for the lifetimes of their owners. Ideally, they should also continue to support Guest accounts as long as their users log in once every 120 days, which was what they have always said they would do. It's called keeping your promises. It's called being grateful to your early adopters. It's also known as good customer relations and good business.

They wrote "Given the limited number of remaining 'Member' users we have decided to no longer support this account type to help simplify our internal architecture." Sorry, fastmail, you have no right to decide that given the fact that you sold lifetime accounts to your Member users. If it's too much work to keep supporting a separate Member level, you could simply change our accounts to be free Basic accounts. If it's too hard to keep track of who has to pay for a Basic account and who gets it for free, you could give us paid Basic accounts that happen to be pre-paid for 100 years.

Am I going to go to the effort of bringing a class action lawsuit against a small company to keep my email address? No. Am I going to submit to fastmail's extortion and start paying them an annual fee of their choosing for the right to keep my email address alive after I already paid them for the right to keep my email address alive for life? I haven't decided. But whoever at fastmail is making me decide this should be hanging their heads in shame.

And whoever on this board is making excuses for their extortion doesn't understand the concept of a contract.

Last edited by neoforum : 19 Jan 2017 at 10:37 AM.
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