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Old 24 Jan 2017, 08:29 AM   #151
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by communicant View Post
I believe that FastMail has been commercially shortsighted and tone-deaf in this matter, but it must also be said that this has not been the forum's finest hour either.
That is my opinion also.

To those who are affected, I accept that losing a long time email address is extremely annoying. I think it is also important not to go completely overboard in ones reaction. Sending out reminders of your new email address to all correspondents who have not communicated with you yet using your new address, at three month intervals for the next 18 months, will (in practice) usually get the point across to everyone who is important. If you happen to have a 90-year-old grandmother who does not know how to update the address book, you may need to arrange to get someone to help her, but she will almost certainly need computer assistance sometime in the next year anyway. I think FastMail is wrong, and you have my sympathy. However, it is not the end of the world.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 08:45 AM   #152
neoforum
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Quote:
I purchased a lifetime subscription to Sky.FM (now RadioTunes) a few years ago. If they decided to end my subscription (for whatever reason), I'd be upset and would cry foul. But if they refunded the entire amount I paid for the subscription -- providing me with free access for the years I've had it -- I'd still be upset about losing the service, but would be content that it was handled appropriately.
This isn't a good comparison. I can't just switch to a new email service and still get the messages that will be sent to my fastmail address years from now. Even if fastmail offered me $100 to discontinue my account, I wouldn't want it. I want them to continue maintaining my account, as they promised, because I've been relying on my email address as a way for people to contact me for 15 years. And I don't like the idea of having to start paying them even a small amount to keep my account, because I don't want to reward fastmail for breaking their promises.

What if the next thing fastmail unilaterally decides is to raise their prices for all of your accounts to about 40 times what you've paid in the past, so $1200/year for a Basic account, and said that if you don't want to pay for that, then your addresses will be discontinued, but they'll be happy to refund whatever you paid for your accounts in the past? Would you just say, no big deal, I'll just let them discontinue my addresses and give me my money back and be happy that I got free email service for however many years.

Or would you feel betrayed that they were effectively trying to blackmail you into paying a lot more than you agreed to pay to maintain the accounts you've been relying on? That's exactly what fastmail is doing to Member account holders. (And then if you complained on this forum that the price increase to $1200/year was uncool, a bunch of business owners who already pay $1000/year to run their own business email servers would accuse you of acting entitled and tell you to "cough up" if you want to maintain your accounts.)

Seriously: before you all respond with some new argument, I'd like everyone here who has been defending fastmail to actually answer this simple question: how would you feel if fastmail raised their prices to 40 times what you've paid in the past (and offered your money back if you don't want to pay that much to keep your accounts)?
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 09:13 AM   #153
jchevali
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Let's see if I understand.

If I'm aggrieved at what $FM is doing, I've got to:
  • Seek remediation, at my own expense.
  • Try and move on so that I don't waste any more of my time in this.
  • Next time I'm offered lifetime-anything, be a cynic and not believe it.
  • Since "crime pays" (like making false promises), start doing that to others.
  • Secretly derive pleasure (besides financial advantage) from duping people.
  • Since I can only get away with murder by lying I'm honest, lie I'm honest.
  • Dupe as many people as possible in better, more sophisticated ways.
  • Take over the world.

Does it sound like a reasonable "evolution"? Is that how I draw a lesson from this, survive, become stronger (assuming that this won't kill me), become smarter, more cunning, more entrepreneurial? Is that how the world should work? Are we headed to live in a rapacious world where one's word means nothing and it's cut throat first and ask questions later?

I'm asking because I've only about managed the first two or three bullet points. Trust you'll advice if you think I should keep going. I'm a good pupil, I want to learn.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 10:36 AM   #154
sflorack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoforum View Post
Seriously: before you all respond with some new argument, I'd like everyone here who has been defending fastmail to actually answer this simple question: how would you feel if fastmail raised their prices to 40 times what you've paid in the past (and offered your money back if you don't want to pay that much to keep your accounts)?
Simple. If I relied on an email provider for my livelihood, I would never use their domain. I wouldn't use Fastmail (using their domains), Yahoo, AOL or Google because any one of them could suddenly decide to pull-the-plug and render my email address obsolete.

If FM raises their prices by 40x, I would change the mail exchange server of my domain (which cost me less than $10/year) to another provider and not lose a thing.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 11:21 AM   #155
andrej
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Well I had been superstitiously relying on my silence on this issue, so as to delay the discontinuation of the grandfathered plan. Alas, the day hath come.

So, I paid for a Standard Membership (when they were one-time $14.95) back in (I think) 2002 and have been very satisfied using Fastmail since. I have loved the power of using SIEVE scripting, and nothing else could touch it. I also tolerated the 16 MB inbox limitation, and oddly enough, still do to this day.

But I knew that my account was on borrowed time. As I continued to see Fastmail push expensive plans, I just began to feel that Fastmail was being tailored more towards professionals and businesses, not the passing messenger such as myself. I am quite disappointed that they do not even have a "simple ads in your signature" option for free as they used to have.

So, I regret to inform the Fastmail team that I am not going to continue to use Fastmail once my Member account expires, and I can no longer recommend this service for personal email. (For business email, I think it's probably fine.)

I will explore other options, such as Gmail and iCloud, both of which I can use for free, and I welcome alternatives (preferably with SIEVE scripting, which neither seem to allow).
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 12:36 PM   #156
samhu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrej View Post

So, I regret to inform the Fastmail team that I am not going to continue to use Fastmail once my Member account expires, and I can no longer recommend this service for personal email. (For business email, I think it's probably fine.)
Fastmail's probable response - "Double Yippee!"
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 12:52 PM   #157
samhu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflorack View Post

However, "those who are distressed" do have some degree of naiveté if they sincerely felt that they could buy an email address that would be available for their lifetime. What if FM wasn't changing their policies and simply went out of business and sold their domain?
I'd be significantly less distressed if my pet orangutan died of old age at 50, compared to if he was cut down in his prime at 15 by being intentionally rolled over by my neighbour in her SUV.

Last edited by samhu : 24 Jan 2017 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 06:47 PM   #158
paul29
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Communicant's post #149 ("FastMail has been commercially shortsighted and tone-deaf in this matter" etc.) and similar ones are entirely right.

Dropping Google Reader isn't comparable to dropping FM member accounts because there was no user identity connected to Google Reader. You could switch to something else easily enough. But if your mail is on a fastmail domain you can't take it with you. So this is more like shutting down Gmail and telling people they have to buy Google Apps accounts (or whatever they're called) to keep using their addresses.

Suggesting that a refund gets Fastmail out of the deal is silly. If Fastmail sold company shares to early investors for $1 a share that are worth $1000s now, can fastmail buy them back at $1? That misses the point of early investing. If a bus company sells you a ticket across Australia and you get on board, can they refund your ticket halfway across Australia and boot you off the bus into the outback because they changed their business model? Heck no--they have to get you all the way to wherever they said they would take you. First people said FM never claimed "lifetime" and then archived posts showed that they did, that should have ended the story.

Suggesting people buy their own domains when FM hosted personal domain emails start with their $50/year plan is also tone-deaf (though other places will do that cheaper or free, admitted), and they already have established FM addresses. I went through this with another provider in the 1990's, said "never again I want a permanent email this time", bought a medium-cool sounding domain name and have gotten my email (currently through FM) on it since then. I also have a few unimportant personal web pages on it but moving those would be no real hassle.

So as for the value of email address continuity? Earlier this year someone contacted me through the domain privacy forwarder and offered me $6000 (six thousand) USD for my domain, far more than I thought it was worth (I'd have guessed a few hundred), but I turned it down because they wanted it immediately and I couldn't deal with the email interruption. It's THAT much hassle. If they had offered a 3 year transition period I might have thought about it, but that's not how these things work. If they offered $60K instead of $6K, then a 3 month transition might have been ok, but immediate would still been a hard sell.

I'm relatively new (2.8 years) to FM, I have the $40/year Enhanced plan that will be up for renewal in a few months, I'll probably renew out of inertia but I'm going to start planning a migration after that.

Those member accounts are old enough that the abusers are long booted, the support load has to be pretty low, so operationally they're a few rows in a database and a few blocks of disk space, and a little bit of network traffic. Bumping them up to Basic sounds much better than what's happening. Or offering to forward the addresses to other providers would be a huge improvement even though it doesn't uphold the lifetime membership claim. This isn't rocket science, FM's overhead is mostly fixed, and every cpanel web hosting plan these days includes unlimited (ugly) email for free without ads, ISP's usually include email etc., so it's not such an expensive thing to offer at a basic level.

It does look to me that FM is planning an exit (i.e. sell the company) and my guess is it will come through quite soon, like this year and probably in the first half of it.

Since recently I'm a happy customer of mxroute.com which hosts email for your own domains, has good spam filtering and deliverability, answers support tickets fast and personally, and is ridiculous cheap if you use a promo code. Feel free to PM me if you want me to check on what works these days. I'll probably send you an affiliate url but you absolutely don't have to use it to sign up with them.

Migadu.com will also host your domains for free (unlimited storage and mailboxes, but outgoing traffic limit of 10 emails per day and they put a small blurb with their url in the signature of each message) if you just want a place to park a stable address for a while.

Last edited by paul29 : 24 Jan 2017 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 08:05 PM   #159
GoodbyeInJuly
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Before I say goodbye, I'd like to first thank fastmail for the 10 years of service it has provided to me for free.

I would love to stay with fastmail and I would consider making a purchase if there was a plan for me, but since I am a trivial email user who only sends 3 or 4 mails per week you can't really expect me to pay for business based model subscriptions, I consider even basic to be for businesses. Also with the added discontinuation of the classic interface which is the only interface I like, that really doesn't encourage me to open up my wallet.

The only reason I would pay anything now is in order to say thanks and avoid the hastle of contacting my few friends, but I doubt that money would make it to the hands of the fastmail staff that started that loveable classic no frills just reliable good decent clean email. So since this new fastmail company doesn't care about the little personal email users anymore I guess my love for FM will also come to a sad end.

Really wish you would of found a way to keep the little guy and those that paid for lifetime email, surely killing off this small user base won't save much money or even gain much money from the few people that give in and start paying. Seems like a poor decision from where I am sitting but I don't know all the inside facts. Hope you had good reasons.

Goodbye and Good Luck.

P.S. It's nice to see some old webtv users still alive in this thread. Not having my fastmail email will be almost as sad as not having that LBB.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 08:53 PM   #160
Pfolson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoforum View Post
I'd like everyone here who has been defending fastmail to actually answer this simple question: how would you feel if fastmail raised their prices to 40 times what you've paid in the past (and offered your money back if you don't want to pay that much to keep your accounts)?
I'd be grateful for the money I was getting back, since the FastMail terms of service clearly state that they can make whatever changes they want without offering refunds of any kind. Then I'd move on quickly and take my account elsewhere. What I would not do is waste hours of time whining or complaining about how unfair and inconvenient it all is, talking about class action lawsuits, begging for sympathy (or empathy) from anonymous users on an Internet forum, and feeling offended when some people don't offer that sympathy (or empathy).

It's like ripping off a Band-Aid -- you can do it slowly or quickly. There is pain either way. You can't control the pain. All you can control is how long it lasts. A lot of the people posting here seem to want their pain to last as long as possible. I'm sorry that some of us are not appropriately empathetic with that choice.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 09:03 PM   #161
samhu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfolson View Post

What I would not do is waste hours of time whining or complaining about how unfair and inconvenient it all is, talking about class action lawsuits, begging for sympathy (or empathy) from anonymous users on an Internet forum, and feeling offended when some people don't offer that sympathy (or empathy).

A lot of the people posting here seem to want their pain to last as long as possible. I'm sorry that some of us are not appropriately empathetic with that choice.
Actually, some of us Members are "whining" here for a much more fundamental reason which you seem to have completely missed. Status quo service for us, by Fastmail being honorable.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 09:13 PM   #162
dave001
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I just received the email notice today.

I got "member" accounts for myself, and also for my son (who is now grown up).

It's really sad and disconcerting to see this happening. I thought the fastmail guys were the good guys. I never expected them to do something like this.

The main value is in the email address itself (that's been in use for so many years), and not as much for the webmail service. Mine is just setup to forward email, though I think my son still uses his.

At the very least, I'd hope to be able to continue to forward my email (and update the forwarding address as needed).

Wow, really too bad.
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 09:15 PM   #163
BritTim
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Some Member account holders have indicated that they might be willing to fork out for a very low cost solution (albeit under protest). It reminded me that the old Ad-Free account was supposed to provide just that: a low-cost solution for those with minimal requirements. It was originally US$4.95 per year.

http://web.archive.org/web/200903070....fastmail.fm/?

Assuming FastMail might be willing to compromise, could this be a viable way forward, or do most Member accounts feel there is a matter of principle involved here that they are not willing to compromise on?
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 09:21 PM   #164
walesrob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul29 View Post

It does look to me that FM is planning an exit (i.e. sell the company) and my guess is it will come through quite soon, like this year and probably in the first half of it.
Any proof?

I say again, why would FM buy Pobox then sell the whole lot just a year later?
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Old 24 Jan 2017, 09:54 PM   #165
walpurg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfolson View Post
What I would not do is waste hours of time whining or complaining about how unfair and inconvenient it all is, talking about class action lawsuits, begging for sympathy (or empathy) from anonymous users on an Internet forum, and feeling offended when some people don't offer that sympathy (or empathy).
If you say so. In my experience, people willing to waste their time to chime in with this type of commentary on matters that don't affect them personally rarely refrain from complaining on matters that do affect them.

In any case, apparently no one from FM is interested in elaborating on how exactly this change will "simplify [their] internal infrastructure"? That's a bit disappointing, because when @brong and others explain the nitty-gritty behind the scenes, it almost always helps to make whatever FM is doing feel much less arbitrary than it may seem at first.
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