My free web email hosting service is about to start charging WHAT?!

Wow. Just… Wow.

Remember how in the early days of the Internet Economy, the mid to late 1990s, there were bidding frenzies over hot domain names like,,, on the assumption that such “cachet names” would be extremely valuable? That’s all laughable now, right? Maybe not. Evidently some people out there think (a) that email domains at least really do carry that kind of valuable cachet, and (b) that NYC is so ubercool that it’s EXTRA valauble.

You see, I’ve been using an email address of “<first_init+lastname>” as my primary email since 1998. While at some point it changed to being a Gmail hosted service, for all that time it’s been free. No more.

I just got notified that starting on Jan 1st., 2014 it will still be hosted by Gmail, but will become a “premium service” charging a fee for the cachet of having “” as an email domain. That’s all the “value added” they’re giving for the fee.

And what is that fee? Ah! I can’t even bear to type it, or to describe how there’s a steeply sliding schedule that assigns more and more value to shorter and shorter email handles. Just look at the screencap I took, since history and common sense shall surely sweep evidence of this away in short order.

[NOTE: Those insane fees look insane enough at a quick first glance, but look closer… At the payment period.]

Welcome to New York! The concrete jungle where dreams are Play-D’oh!

BTW, if you visit their website at to try to sign up for the hottest new email address on the planet, you’ll find you need a special “invite code” to be cool enough to give them money this early. As an existing user, I was invited to do so under “special terms” (no “setup fee” and a discounted annual fee of $199, though for 2014 only - after that, I’d be paying the regular fee).

Since I have decided, after due consideration, to regretfully decline this opportunity, you can use my invite code if you like: 9286. That way you can verify that handles like, oh, “” are still available! I can’t see how anybody wouldn’t snap that up right now!


You gonna re-up?

That is dodgy as fuck. Imagine if you were one of the 26 people who just found out their free email account was being held hostage for twelve thousand dollars. You’ve got two months to copy everything you need to save, and to transfer every subscription and account to a new address.

I’ve been doing some casual work for a little (non-IT-related) company over the past weeks, and as part of poking round in their computer systems, discovered what they were paying for web hosting. It was roughly 10 to 15 times more than what I would consider a reasonable market rate for the service. And yeah, they’re off it now, but it’s only because as well as being outrageously expensive the hosting was also crap.

They’re quite a prosperous company, and I reckon wouldn’t have blinked if they had suddenly been up for $80 a month for their company email. No IT people in the permanent workforce (actually, not much of a permanent workforce TBH). They pay bigger bills than that all the time.

You only need a few suckers…

<Stefan> New York’s hottest email address is GAHHHHREEEEYAHHHHHGGGG <Stefan>

Now this is why I keep coming back to this board.

Wow! I guess they expect to be handsomely reimbursed for all those years of “free” email.

One of the reasons I haven’t switched to satellite vs. cable is because I’d lose my email address. We’ve had it for 15 years, maybe longer. I know what a PITA it is to have to change email accounts. At least you have a few months notice so that you can start changing the address over.

You can get your own domain and virtually unlimited email capabilities for under $100 a year - way under, if you choose your hosting and registrar by the buck.

I gave up on having someone else hold that critical piece of online identity more than 20 years ago. The only time I have to change an email address is when one of my general-delivery/public-exposure ones gets polluted, and then it’s an annoying ten minute job instead of an agonizing two-week one.

$100 a year? I pay less than $20 a year!

I have my own domain and use catch-all forwarding to have an unlimited number of email addresses.


Imagine if everyone paid for e-mail and more characters in your e-mail equaled a cheaper price. We’d see tons of e-mail addresses like that. In fact people would be judged by the length of their e-mail address. “Wow,, that dude is a straight playa!”


Look again. It’s $100 a month.

It’s a confusing chart, because you think they’re giving you an annual price due to the header saying year, two years, etc, but then when you look at the price they sneek a tiny /mo in there.

Well, that and the fact that the large heading at the top of the table says “Monthly Cost Per Email Category.” :slight_smile:

You can register your own domain for about $10 a year and get general hosting with web, ftp and email (20-unlimited accounts or 20-50 accounts with unlimited forwarders) for $50-100 a year. And never, ever have anyone jerk the e-rug out from under you again.

You know, I remember how annoyed I was when Rocketmail went down and I had to tell everyone to switch over to Yahoo. Why is it that so much of the advancement of the internet has been in the field of annoying the snot out of its users?

Quartz was responding to Amateur Barbarian (the post immediately above) who clearly stated that they paid under $100 per year.

ETA: I really have to refresh more often.

It’s apparent to me that they are intent on turning into a premium tier address bank. To bad about all the riffraff being chased out. Gentrification comes to email…

I use Fasthosts in the UK.

It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I’ve had my own domain for about eight years now, and it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

One trick I do is this: whenever a company asks me for my email address, I give them That way I can easily sort my inbox, and it’s easy to set up a spamblock if they start abusing it. I can also see who sold my info to spammers.