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Messages from the Free Email Provider GuyTM
Wassup with Webmail?
A commentary on Netscape Webmail, by guest contributor, Judy Wogoman*
Mar 24, 2001
I wish I could write a glowing recommendation for Webmail. I've had practice--when I first started NetNuggetz Newsletter, Webmail was my business' email "home". Free autoresponders--I was spoiled. I could email my little newsletter with one click, a simple "BCC" of my "Subscribers" address group, and the ezine was zipping all over the world with its package of free business resource links, original articles, and--often--an endorsement of Webmail.
When other publishers complained about unreliable email, I recommended Webmail honestly and enthusiastically.
Then the ride started getting a little bumpy. It started when they "lost" my primary email address and password in a "maintenance" session. The new password didn't work. The old password didn't work. I emailed tech support. Two days later, everything was fixed, and I continued to recommend Webmail.
Then my Subscriber address group disappeared. Another email to tech support. Autoresponse that basically said "you can get prompt tech support by paying $29.95. Otherwise, WAIT." I finally got tired of waiting and re-entered my address book info. (Three months later, I got an email asking if I still had a problem.)
It got to the point that I dreaded seeing the messages announcing "maintenance" of the service. I started "exporting" a copy of my address book every time, just in case. Boy, am I glad I did.
In the last "improvement" of the service, the ENTIRE address book disappeared, as did all the old saved mail (there was a note on the site that it might take 24 hours to bring back old mail. That was two weeks ago.) and the autoresponders. I emailed "the service" and have yet to receive ANY kind of response or even an acknowledgement.
The last straw was learning that business email sent to my address last week was being returned "user unknown" even as I was still receiving mail every day!
I am now going through the "challenge" of replacing all the Netscape links that I have scattered all over the place. (Not an easy task, since the NetNuggetz website offers free content to webmasters and publishers and each article contains an email link in the resource box.)
Webmail was originally offered to me as part of a "small business" package. I can understand the need for business to change, and I can even understand the dropping of unprofitable "free" service extras. But what I cannot understand is how a major player like Netscape can behave so unprofessionally in a transition, damaging people's reputations and disrupting the very businesses they purported to be interested in helping to build.
Judy Wogoman is the author of "350 FREE Press Release Resources" and "The Press Release Workbook" and publishes NetNuggetz Newsletter. For more free business resources, visit http://www.netnuggetz.com.
* This article was written by a guest contributor and does not necessarily express the opinions of the Free Email Providers Guide.
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