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Anyone else affected by Vodafone disabling demon.co.uk emails after May 2020

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4: Newbie

Vodafone own the domain demon.co.uk which I've used for my email address since the mid 1990's...

... when they purchased the company that owned it they didn't want to continue with the domain name. For the last 5 years or so they leased the domain to names.co.uk who have taken on my emails.

 

Today I was advised by names.co.uk that Vodafone will no longer lease the domain to anyone or use it themselves. So during the current virus pandemic I face losing my email address from the end of May 2020. While I can change my email address I will obviously face losing access to some services, companies and friends that I miss. Further, some websites etc don't make it easy to change.

 

Anyone got any ideas...?

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108 REPLIES 108
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3: Seeker

Yes I've just had this e-mail.  Like you, it's my main e-mail address.

 

Worth complaining to vodafone?  The problem was created when they bought Demon, after all - why are they not continuing to provide the licence to names.co.uk?

 

Also I don't think less than two months is sufficient notice from names.co.uk for something as significant as closing down someone's main email account.

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3: Seeker

Just had the email too and registered on this forum

Disgusted at Vodafone killing my email address, of over 20 years, at this time of crisis and note their message at the top of this page

 

" Keeping the UK connected is our main priority".   Obviously NOT True

 

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5: Helper

Not had mine yet but heard the news from someone who has.

Are Vodafone going to try and sell the domain or just sit on it? Just how much were they looking to charge that Namesco didn't want to renew, or were there some weird conditions attached?

On top of the annoyance I have absolutely no faith that the system will be able to handle me changing the login email address Vodafone recommended I use as a sign-in to the account management and billing, what with that being the proper official billing contact email for my account which (spot the unrelated gripe) Vodafone have somehow managed never to use for contacting me about billing except to tell me the price is going up.

 

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17: Community Champion

The trouble with using provider email addresses is that one day you'll probably lose access, either by discontinuation of service or simply changing supplier.   Once a brand ceases normal operation, it's good idea to consider migrating sooner rather than later.

Personally, I'd prefer to use a big brand such as Google, Apple or Microsoft as my underlying provider and then have my own domain on top of that.   Using your domain address for logins means that you simply direct it to whatever the underlying service is to receive notifications etc.

If you're losing Demon, now is the time to change your logins (while you can still get the "did you mean to do this?" email) and send a round robin to all your contacts telling them your new address.   It can take a while to get some of them to update their address books, which is why it's a good idea to start early.   However, you have their details, so can still keep in touch, hopefully.

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3: Seeker

Yes, and I have no particular issue with that in the longer term. 

 

However less than two months notice is not sufficient and the timing is particularly poor given what is happening in the world at the moment. 

 

For example, I am a medical doctor and my demon.co.uk address is the address that the General Medical Council use to contact me. It is not easy for me to update this with the GMC at the moment because our online accounts have been put on hold during the Covid-19 period and their phone lines are busy with rather more important things than having to update my contact email.

 

I think we should have been given proper notice by names and Vodafone. e.g. last year when the domain licence was renewed, they could have told us that it was the final year of the licence, giving us a year to move everything over at our leisure. 

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5: Helper

Demon email addresses were not the same as regular 'provider email addresses', these were originally only queued by Demon not hosted by them, and when it was all moved to being a domain hosted on one of the big providers i.e. Microsoft it was a paid-for service, and have never been something provided free of charge in the same way as a standard freebie ISP mailbox.

I doubt we were costing Vodafone anything beyond some very small peanuts.

 

The intent to tidy up us inconvenients should have been made clear much further in advance. That's the annoyance, not the insistence that we should keep the addresses in perpetuity!

 

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4: Newbie

From what I can gather it affects 1,000's of us that use demon.co.uk...

... I'm hoping Vodafone will at least extend the deadline until the virus pandemic is over.

 

I've so far found 4 of 20 important uses of my email address that would be an issue to change - covering delivery companies, health and government offices, financial not to mention friends and family - some folk don't use social media that much, email is still a good way to communicate.

 

As I've had my demon.co,uk personal email for almost 30 years as a very early user of emails I've pushed for an extension and will also push for the domain to be released for Namesco or anyone else prepared to continue with it, even Vodafone as it seems to be more financially viable than they expected. It would appear Namesco and Vodafone can't agree how to continue, hence Vodafone pulling the plug on our emails. Vodafone don't seem to want to use the domain themselves and I would have thought it straightforward enough to pass on all legal implications of its use to a 3rd party like Namesco. Hence the potential of this being of interest to Ofcom and Trading Standards as a form of restrictive practice - see more on this below.

 

Ofcom were already in the processs of reviewing a new regulation to allow folk to take their email address when transferring from one ISP to another, as we do now for mobile phone numbers. This would be a done using sub-domains or some such rerouting but unfortunately is still in review. Had a new regulation been in place then this denial of the demon.co.uk for our email addresses would not have been legal. 

I have complained to the following, it might help it you also do so - feel free to quote the above, but not me...

 

Vodafone’s CEO - Email  [MOD EDIT: This post has been edited to remove personal information, please see Community Guidelines] - yes you will get a response from his directors support folk.

Note: Vodafone say they considered our use temporary, which was true for a couple of years, but considering it's been over 5 years I and others don't consider this temporary. They also say it was a free dial up service - well I've been paying for my email usage for 28 years, it was never free for me. Vodafone are reconsidering, however, I've not heard back again... yet.

 

Ofcom - https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/how-to-report-a-complaint

... like most folk they are really busy so have moved simple access to forms, when you can find them.

 

Trading Standards - https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

... they are considering this as potential unfair practice - Ofcom and they don't like companies trying to implement changes that would be affected by regulations under consideration. 

Your MP - the office of my mine took it seriously as an unacceptable communication issue for folk during a Virus Pandemic and potential bad practice affecting 1,000s of people.

 

Media, like Computing/IT related circulations, BBC, etc - everyone quite rightly is concentrating on the Virus Pandemic, however, so far everyone I've contacted have been interested - as it blocks communication to many people during a pandemic.

 

I'll post updates that seem significant...

... for Namesco folk that have not received their communication they have a dedicated phone line for those concerned. Check your Control Panel for a message or call them on the normal number.

They can offer new domains and email addresss for you, but that's not my issue - these days I'd go Google or some other well established domain rather than continue to pay, or pay as much as I do now. The issue for me is the pain and potential failures to access important websites and companies - changing ones email can be easy, but it can be difficult and problematic.



 

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5: Helper

From the above remark about Vodafone considering the continuation of Demon email addresses as being only temporary, I looked through old emails (April 2012 and August 2016) and see no indication to customers that this was the case, though I do see their inaccurate description of it being 'free demon email' which in any case became even more inaccurate once we were explicitly charged for it.

 

 

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4: Newbie

Update From Adtadt...

The 'public' email address of Vodafone's CEO, which get answered by his Directors Support folk is available at:

telegraph.co.uk/bills-and-utilities/phone/vodafone-make-customer-services-listen-complaint

Look for the text:  How to complain directly  - (there's the email address and social media accounts concerned)

To answer some questions...

... While Vodafone own the demon.co.uk domain they don't seem to intend to use it themselves or allow it to be used. As this denies access to 1000's of email addresses it seems reasonable to hold Vodafone accountable for this, hence demon.co.uk users should make themselves heard.

... Just like denying mobile phone numbers when users change Service Providers is no longer allowed by Ofcom, they are reviewing the same for email addresses, hence contacting them seems reasonable as an example of what affect it has as mentioned in my earlier posts.

... I'm advised complaining to Trading Standards is helpful as they do consider business practices that may affect other companies or individuals and any restrictive practice.

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Moderator

Hi @Adtadt, We'll be happy ot take a look into this for you, pop us a message through Facebook or Twitter and we'll be able to help.

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3: Seeker

Thank you Adtadt for your efforts on this, much appreciated. 

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4: Newbie

Mark,

Not sure if you understood the real issue as detailed above?

I don't want to change the private email address I've had for 30 years, it would be like losing my mobile phone number, which is not allowed by Ofcom. While Ofcom is currently reviewing forcing ISPs to allow customers to take email addressses from one ISP to another, this is not yet a regulation.

 

So, considering I've had Vodafone Directors Supoort folk tell me they won't change their minds, do you still think it's worth posting? Will Vodafone continue to allow me to use my ...demon.co.uk email address perhaps if I pay yet more? 

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3: Seeker

I too have had a conversation with Vodafone's  Directors Office and found them non sympathetic and unwilling to change their plans.  They do not think that having to change your email during a pandemic is any big deal.

 

Searching the internet reveals that Vodafone has a very low level of customer satisfaction so probably is immune to a bit of bad press. The sad conclusion is that Vodafone views its former demon customers as an irritating inconvenience.

 

So farewell to the last vestige of demon and a strong feeling that Vodafone is never to be trusted again

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5: Helper

Finally the last of the Demon accounts I have dealings with has been notified - this was email-only after letting the broadband expire (notwithstanding vodafone trying to retrospectively insert a 50 quid connection fee, got that fixed before it was taken though - the Demon accountancy dept being responsive and more importantly taking written requests, no pointless hours wasted on the phone).

 

There must be others who had moved broadband but kept the email as it was a separate service. I'm not sure I've ever seen one where the domain was just going to be taken away for no good reason. This is a subscription service and I don't think it unreasonable for people to want a decent explanation.

 

 

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3: Seeker

@Adtadt wrote:

.....Anyone got any ideas...?

 

Did anyone check if this was a hoax?  I received th eemail on April 1st.

If it is true, has anyone asked if Vodafone/ Namesco will sell the domain to a consotium of us users?





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3: Seeker

My first thought was to check it was not a hoax.  Namesco confirmed it was indeed true.  Vodafone are determined to close the domain and, wrongly, claim we had all been told in 2016 that it was a temporary arrangement with names.  I have checked the original email and no mention is made of temporary 

Vodafone will not be shifted, shutting the domain seems part of their business plan and will happen despite pandemics or any concern for their ex  demon customers. At least Namesco are being very helpful

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3: Seeker

I only got the email today, 22nd April 2020 and was absolutely livid. I've had my Demon address since 1992 and, as has been remarked, when we were transferred to Namesco there was no mention of this being a temporary arrangement. I don't know how much good it will do but following adtadt's lead I've written to Trading Standards, Ofcom, Vodafone and my MP.

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2: Seeker

Yes I'm also new to the party. Got my email yesterday and also had mine since 1994. 

 

The cynic in me thinks this is Vodafone trying to push this through now before new legislation stops them and it will go under the radar in these unprecedented times. 

 

My wife and son also use this address it's really hassle and worry we don't need at the moment.

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3: Seeker

Yes I’ve had the same email from Names.co, I’m absolutely livid!!!! This has been my main email for over 20 years and now they are going to shut it down with no solution!!!???

Vodafone need to continue to support this domain, or at least let Namesco take it over?

How on Earth did they think they could just let it drop like that? Fuming!!!!!!

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