Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Should I be aggrieved at an email account left open?

with 4 comments

Approximately three years ago I terminated the service I was receiving from my ISP Blueyonder (whose website now redirects to http://www.virginmedia.com/). There was nothing wrong with the service I hasten to add – it was just time to move on.
Fast forward to today and I’ve been contacted by an old friend who questioned why I hadn’t been answering her emails. I said to her I hadn’t received any emails from her and after a short discussion it turned out that she had been mistakenly emailing my old Blueyonder address. The trouble was, she didn’t know that I wasn’t there anymore because the email account was still alive and well, receiving email, even though I stopped paying them a long time ago. I’m rather aggrieved at it…who knows who has been emailing me and what I have missed in the last three years just because people didn’t receive the usual email returned in failure with the message "There is no email account at this address".
Here’s my dilemma, I’m not really sure where I stand here. Are ISPs obliged to close down email accounts when people leave their service. I never actually asked them to close it down – I just assumed it would happen. Do I have cause for complaint against Blueyonder (even though they don’t exist anymore?).
What do you think?

Written by Jamiet

June 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Definitely a tough subject.  I have dealt with this a few times and kick myself for not having a better exit/migration strategy.  Even more now as google, yahoo, hotmail, live, etc… we create an account to kick the tires and forget it about it until the next version.  In the meantime as part of testing we sent e-mail and now that we don’t use the service we don’t see the response until that provider has a new version that we want to check out.  Of course there is also the issue with the providers not wanting to close out an account because they can use it to claim higher subscriber levels.


    June 27, 2008 at 5:04 pm

  2. Why didn’t you contact all your contacts, and leave them a message that you have a new account?


    June 27, 2008 at 10:04 pm

  3. My solution is to use the Live Contacts feature of Live Messenger.  If ever I change email addresses, phone numbers or even physical addresses, I only have to update it on my own Messenger, then those who have subscribed to my details automatically get the update and they never have to worry if they have the correct contact information for me.  Granted, I haven’t gotten everyone to adopt Live Contacts and Live Messenger, but I’m working on it!  Now if only I can get *them* to keep *their* contact information current!The only other solution I can see is to send out a blanket email if you ever change information, but it is still up to the receiver to update his or her address book accordingly, and I’ve found that most simply don’t.


    June 28, 2008 at 12:45 am

  4. Michael,
    I did. Seems she simply ignored it.
    I would LOVE it if people did that. I always keep my live profile up to date for this very reason but its only 100% effective if every one of my friends uses it in the same way. Which they don’t. Sadly not everyone is as tech savvy as Michael, you or I. Getting everyone onto the same platform and to get them to keep their contact details up to date is a noble goal but realistically its never going to happen.


    June 28, 2008 at 7:40 am

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