Parting ways will be so painful

The danger of Internet provider supplied email addresses

As a personal corollary to yesterday's post about separating a small businesses email hosting from its website hosting, individuals need to think about their personal email addresses.

A great many individuals get their email address by default. When you are using Time Warner Cable for Internet service you get an email address with a rr.com or maybe a twc.com domain. You certainly need this email address to login to your account (for billing and managing services) and your router at home probably uses it to access the Internet. Most ISPs work this way.

Since they give you an email address, why not use it? Much like the post from yesterday, the key reason is portability.  If you change from Comcast to AT&T, your Comcast email address is no longer available to you. If you actually use email, you will have a lot of problems.

For instance, if you have signed up with any accounts like Amazon using the Comcast email address, and you need to recover your password, Amazon will send the recovery email to the dead Comcast email account.  Now you are destined for call center hell as you try and gain access to your Amazon account.

The time to start migrating is now.

Having an email account at Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook.com will make your life much easier. Plus, Gmail and Outlook.com have all sorts of features that could make your life easier. Both of them offer an online calendar, word-processing, spreadsheets, presentations. All of them work well with desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. They all have outstanding spam filters and are incredibly reliable. If you set them up correctly, you can even see all your mail on all your devices all the time.

Don't like Google? Use Outlook.com. Don't like Microsoft? Use Yahoo. There are more, but I am happy with these. You will get advertising along with these email accounts. That is the cost of free.

By the way, if you want to move away from your AT&T address, moving to a Yahoo address will be painless, Yahoo is the email provider for AT&T so you are used to how it works.

What steps come next?

  • Go sign up at one of the big services (Gmail, etc)
  • Start using that email address as your primary email
  • You can probably setup your ISP-related email to forward to your new address - that will get you into the habit of checking the new email only.
  • Over time, notice where you have used the ISP-related email address and take the time to change to your new portable account.
  • Eventually you will forget you ever had a "@swbell.net" account.

You will be really happy you did this when you tell the cable company to take a hike. Or you move to an area that they do not cover. I have seen it happen to many people.