We continue to be astounded by the number of New Zealand businesses of all types and sizes, that continue to use the free email addresses that their Internet Service Provider (ISP) gave them. These are the free email accounts that ISPs give their customers when they signup to a new internet connection, and the free email address often ends with the domain name of the ISP. eg firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com etc.
One reason ISPs give their new customers a free email address, is so the customer remains using them for their internet connection, as it creates a ‘tie’ to the ISP. ISP’s know that it can be a major hassle for people and businesses to change an already established email address at a later date. An established email address will be in people’s address books, businesses may have printing and advertising that use the ISP email address, and people also may have logins and passwords with online services, that also use this email address. As many businesses print their email address on their vehicles , stationary, banners etc, it could result in a lot of work and expense to change the email address to something else at that later date.
However people do need to understand that email addresses that your ISP has given you, are actually owned by the ISP. As far as we understand, a business has no ownership right over an ISP email address. So ISPs don’t usually allow an ISP email address to continue to be used, if you switch to another ISP. Those ISPs that do allow you to continue using their email address after switching to another ISP, may charge you a monthly fee to continue using it with another ISP. Sometimes this price can be relatively high, and we have heard of ISPs charging up to $20 per month just for a single basic email account.
All businesses these days, whether they be small, medium or large, should be using proper domain based email addresses, using their own businesses domain name. eg firstname.lastname@example.org. There is really no excuse not to use a domain based email address if you are a business or even sole trader. We would also recommend domain email for personal use, as you can keep it for life.
As a result of so many New Zealand businesses still using ISP email accounts, we have put together a top 10 list of why New Zealand businesses need to stop using their free ISP email address, and why continuing to use an ISP email address can be a ‘major fail’ for any NZ business.
- They look unprofessional
ISP email addresses look unprofessional, as you are using another companies domain name (your ISP) as part of your email address. People receiving a business email from a business that is using an ISP email address may ask themselves, why is this business not using their own domain name for their email address. Can’t they afford it or lack the knowledge of getting this setup?
- ISP email IPs often gets blacklisted
This is becoming a more frequent problem we have found with several NZ ISPs. ISP email servers can regularly get blacklisted by real-time blacklists(RBLs). This means your email may either get bounced back to you, or will arrive in the recipients junkmail folder, and the recipient may never see it. Blacklisting occurs due to the high number of ISP customers all using the same free ISP email servers. So if one of the ISPs customers starts spamming, and the email servers IP gets blacklisted, all email users sharing the same server IP can potentially be affected. The same problem can occur if the ISP has customers who are infected with ‘Malware’ or have ‘virus’s’ on their computer, which have hijacked their computer and are sending out automated spam through from the ISPs network. From our experience, dealing with ISP’s who have had their mailservers blacklisted is very difficult. ISPs frontline call centre customer staff are usually very poor at knowing what to do. Escalating it to their technical staff can also be a slow and frustrating experience, as you can’t usually communicate with their technicians directly. Especially as some ISPs contract out their email services to third parties. ISPs do tend to be very slow at responding to blacklist removal requests, so ISP mail servers can remain blacklisted for a very long time. We have contacted a few major NZ ISPs in the past, in order to help out particular customers who have had their ISP email addresses blacklisted, and they weren’t particularly helpful. They even advised the affected business not use their email servers for business use, but to instead send from a domain based email account. Some ISPs don’t appear to have the resources to monitor their mailserver IPs and keep them off the real-time blacklists. Therefore we would now never recommend using ISP email addresses for business use.
- Reliability and security
ISPs can have other problems with email services, such as long extended outages, and accounts getting hacked. Who can forget all the problems that a major NZs ISP recently had with their email systems, which was widely reported in the media. Other ISPs also have had their share of major email problems, so it isn’t just limited to one ISP. It is true that any email provider can suffer from outages and problems from time to time, or even go out of business. But with a domain based email address, you can simply change providers if you aren’t happy, and still retain your email address, which gives you far more flexibility and options should problems occur. You can’t usually do this with a ISP email address, you are stuck using that email address on their email servers.
- You tie yourself to ISP branding, that may have negative connotations
Many people have strong feelings about certain ISPs that they may have had bad experiences with in the past. ISP’s can gets bad PR in the media which can also give people a bad impression of an ISP, especially if it is related to the reliability and security of the email provider. So using a email address that uses the name of that ISP in the email addresses domain, those connotations maybe carried across to your own business, and may create bad ‘karma’. This is especially the case if your ISP email address has been hacked in the past, and was sending out spam to your contacts in you email address book.
- You get stuck to your ISP for internet services
We have heard of businesses who wanted to move ISP, but because their email address was hosted by their ISP, they didn’t want to risk losing it. Some ISPs may not let you use their email address if you change providers, and they may delete it instantly as soon as your account is closed. This however depends on the ISP. Some ISPs may allow you to continue using it, but may charge you just for the use of the email address . This is never a problem with domain based email accounts, as they are independent of an ISP, unless you are hosting your domain with your ISP.
- Limited storage and features
Many ISP email accounts provide a minimum amount of email storage, and may only provide basic POP or webmail access. They also may have tiny attachment limits, of only a few MB. Whereas with domain email, you choose a hosting provider based on your email requirements. For example, we provide a comprehensive range of email services including IMAP, POP, SMTP, as well as the commercial Atmail webmail system.
- Adverts and Email scanning
Some ISPs use third party email providers that can display advertising in your webmail. Some providers may also scan your emails for content, often for advertising purposes, so that relevant advertising are displayed to you. This is one reason why it is free, you aren’t the customer, you are the product being sold to the email providers advertisers. As the saying goes, their is no such thing as a free lunch. All of our email services are business grade and advertising free.
- Limited Life
As ISP email addresses are owned by the ISP, it means that if the ISP goes out of business, stops trading under a particular brand, or you want to move ISPs and don’t want to pay extra for the address, you will lose that email address.
- Someone else could start using your ISP email address
If you are a business using your ISP email address, and you have used it in your previous advertising campaigns, and you cancel your ISP services and email address, potentially one of your competitors could get your ISP email address. This means that they could benefit from the advertising that you have previously paid for, or they could even get your clients contacting them instead of you! This of course depends on the ISPs own policies, as to whether they allow old email addresses to be recycled and reused. If you think this could be a problem, you may want to consider forwarding your ISP email to a domain email account for a period of time, and contacting all your existing contacts. This is really the reason why it is a bad idea for any NZ business to begin using an ISP email address in the first place.
- It isn’t any more difficult to have a domain name based email address
As long as you get a good domain email provider, it need not be any more difficult to have a domain based email account, over an ISP one. For example, with our NZ based email system, the domain name and email accounts are all managed from inside the same unified control panel. You can register/renew NZ domain names and setup as many email accounts as you want, all from the same control panel. As well as basic POP email, we also provide IMAP, SMTP, and the commerical Atmail webmail platform. We also have a comprehensive range of illustrated tutorials to show you how to do it. We also provide all clients with their own support manager in case you need help or run into problems.
Pretty much all the above problems can be resolved by using a domain based email address (eg email@example.com), with a reliable NZ based email hosting provider, like the Lounge Network. A domain based email address is portable, and potentially it allows you to have an email address that you can keep it for life, as long as you retain ownership of the domain and don’t let it expire. You can use the same domain email address with any email provider of your choice, so should the email provider you use ever goes out of business, you can easily move to another provider, and retain your email address. This means that it has great flexibility. A domain based email address also looks professional. Even a small business can set-up multiple email addresses and forwarders, so a small business can look larger than it actually is.
At the Lounge Network we can help you move to a domain based email system. All you need to do is contact us with your requirements, or signup to our Business Hosting Plan,which offers both Premium Unmetered Web Hosting and Email. We can manage everything from your domain name registration, setting up as many email accounts as you need, and it is all hosted in our single unified hosting control panel. If you already have a domain name, all you need to do is provide us with your domains UDAI code, and we can transfer it across into your control panel, and get it all up and running for you.
The Lounge Network has been a Premium NZ provider for web hosting and email hosting services for over 12 years. Our hosting services are of a Business Grade and our business hosting servers are based in Auckland New Zealand, for fast loading and response times. Our support is also 100% New Zealand based, and best of all we are 100% NZ owned and operated. Many hosting providers operating in NZ are now overseas owned and supported where their profits get sent overseas, but being NZ owned we reinvest back into the NZ economy.
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