Here’s the full text of the email message that Eastlink is sending to ISN customers about the @isn.net email situation (I received a copy because I have been firstname.lastname@example.org since day one):
On January 31, 2008, EastLink became your Internet service provider as a result of our purchase of Island Services Network (ISN). EastLink has been proudly serving Maritimers for more than 35 years. During this time, we have grown to become the largest privately held communications and entertainment company in Canada and have more than 800 employees located in offices throughout Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
EastLink will be converting all customer email addresses from the existing ISN email address to new EastLink addresses throughout March and early April. This change is necessary to provide the full range of features and benefits provided with EastLink’s email service including expanded virus protection and spam filtering.
Please call us at 1-888-345-1111 to select your new EastLink email address. It is imperative that this occur before April 15th, 2008, the date which ISN email addresses will no longer operate. If you have already changed your email address, please disregard this message.
Our Technical Support Representatives will be happy to assist you in setting up your new EastLink email address and updating your email client. Throughout this time, you will continue to receive email at your current ISN address, however, please note as of April 15th, 2008 emails sent to your old ISN email address will be returned to sender as undeliverable. We understand that changing your email address is inconvenient, however it is a necessary step in providing you with the reliability and performance that has made EastLink’s Internet service one of the best in North America.
Please note that customers who utilize personal webspace will also need to transfer it to EastLink by April 15th, 2008. This can be arranged on the same call.
Note: If you are an EastLink Business client, and currently use an ISN email account, please call 1-877-813-1727 to select your new EastLink address. If you have a business vanity email (i.e. email@example.com) no changes are required.
Thank you for your understanding during the transition to EastLink. We look forward to providing you with the excellent service for which EastLink is known.
The email is signed by Dan McKeen and Lee Bragg, co-CEOs of Eastlink.
Setting aside the essential inaccuracy of the argument — that disabling @isn.net email address “is necessary to provide the full range of features and benefits provided with EastLink’s email service,” which is more marketing-speak and than technical analysis — it’s March 17 today, meaning that they’re giving me and my fellow @isn.netters a month to change over email addresses we’ve have for more than a decade.
This is pretty crazy. I mean, I can’t imagine why this is at all necessary and it is surprising that ISN didn’t put any protection in place before the sale.
Eastlink could at least offer email-forwarding service. That would mean that they could offer the “full range of services” that aren’t possible under the @isn.net domain (sarc) but will still avoid the pain that this will put people through.
And for anyone reading who may be thinking “big deal” — I lost an email address that was only 4 years old and it was beyond painful. Missed opportunities, lost connections, lost passwords on websites, etc.
I am burned _very big_ by this whole email change. I own a small two-room B&B. A good 90% of my bookings come by email. My email, as published in this year’s tourist guide, as printed on a couple thousand rack cards ready to be delivered to tourist info. centres, as given out to potential guests — literally all over the world — is firstname.lastname@example.org. I wonder how many guests I am going to lose when their emails return to them undeliverable. Will Eastlink compensate me for lost business? Not bl—dy likely! Will I _ever_ buy a service from Eastlink again in my life? Even less likely…
Jane, it looks like you’re not alone: Google shows 64 isn.net addresses in this year’s Visitors Guide. All other things being equal, that’s 64 links that will go dead on April 15th.
I was one of the many ISN customers who protested and in consequence was allowed to keep our email and website addresses and URLs until the end of 2008. But now I want to make the change. However, I am wary of Eastlink! It’s not that easy! I have an extensive website — <maplewood mall=”“> — that I want to greatly reduce in on-line size. My goal is to do this yet make it possible for web searchers to access all the content now on the site via emails to me and replies from me with attachments. Can I do this? How do I find out how to do this? Thank you. Robert Tuck