When you sign up to an ISP they generally provide you with a free email address. DON’T USE IT!
Why not? It’s a perfectly good email address right? Wrong! It’s actually a ploy to make you stay with that ISP.
Consider that in a couple of years time, your ISP increases its prices or adjusts their plans and you want to move to a different ISP… you no longer have that free email with your old ISP, and anyone who tries to contact you on it will not be able to. This could also happen if your ISP goes bankrupt or closes down for any other reason.
How much this is a problem depends on how much you use email, but even if you think you won’t use it very much, you’ll soon find that your bank, council, landlord and library are using it to contact you, and you get a bunch of emails from various clubs you’re in, as well as subscriptions to various newsletters and mailing lists. Add to that everyone who you’ve ever sent an email to, and quite a few people know what your email address is. If you use your email for business and have business cards, or your details are published in any contact directories, the yellow pages, or on the web, it’s infinitely worse. Try to log in to some websites and you’ll find that without access to your old email address, you can’t do anything.
So what do you do? Well, you have to stay with your existing ISP and put up with their prices, their downtime and their technical support. This is called Vendor Lock-in, and it’s EVIL!
In the next instalment, I’ll be proposing some solutions to this problem.