Are FREE Email Accounts REALLY Free?

FREE Email Accounts?  You get what you pay for!!!

We’ve all been told there’s no such thing as a free lunch; yet it’s hard to resist the call of “FREE.” That’s one of the reasons so many people have free e-mail accounts through Hotmail, MSN, and Gmail.

And while you might not be paying out of pocket for these services, there IS a cost. Here’s the price you pay when you use a free e-mail account: 

An Extra Helping Of Spam: And loads of it. Are these free services selling your e-mail account? Do spammers have ways of gleaning your e-mail account? No one seems to know for sure (or at least they’re not talking). But the bottom line is you’ll end up with a lot more ads for Viagra than you bargained for.

Your E-mails Aren’t Guaranteed Delivery: The majority of spam messages come from free e-mail accounts. Even though you aren’t sending them, spam filters look at the server sending the message and, if it’s a known source for spam, will block the e-mail from going through. That means your e-mails might be getting blocked before they even reach the sender.

Customer Service? Non-existent: See you DO get what you pay for! If you have a problem, you’re usually on your own to figure it out.

Difficulty In Moving, Forwarding, or Downloading: Free e-mail services require that you read your e-mail through their web interface. If you want to move, forward or download your e-mail, contacts or other information, the process is cumbersome and sometimes impossible.

No Archiving: E-mail archiving, or storing old e-mails in a searchable, retrievable format has become very important (even a legal requirement) in some industries like medical and financial. E-mail is considered a form of communication and if you use it to support customers, order products, or to negotiate any type of deals, you want to keep a record.

So while these free services are okay for chatting casually with your friends, they are NOT recommended for business purposes or for sending anything you consider important.

Here’s a question to ask yourself: if your e-mail account was erased tomorrow and all of the messages, contact information, and history went bye-bye, would it be a slight inconvenience or a catastrophe? If it’s the latter, then you need to bite the bullet and get a “real” e-mail account. And, while you’re at it, you should also get an account that reflects your own domain name.

The only reason for keeping a free e-mail account is to provide certain web sites with an e-mail address when you don’t care about getting communications from them, or that may spam you later on. If you have your email configured through your own domain, we’ve even got a solution for that – disposable email addresses –but that’s a topic for another article.

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