06 Feb 2006

AOL and Yahoo to charge for Email

FoxNews via the associated press reports that AOL and Yahoo are going to charge to send email within few months!

The fees, which would range from 1/4 cent to 1 cent per e-mail, are the latest attempts by the companies to weed out unsolicited ads, commonly called spam, and identity-theft scams.

and:

AOL and Yahoo said the program, which is being offered through a company called Goodmail Systems, will target banks, online retailers and other groups that send large amounts of e-mail.

the closing paragraph says:

Companies that don’t want to pay a fee will be able to send e-mail to Yahoo and AOL members exactly as they have in the past, Graham and Mahon said.

but I’m not sure exactly what that means….As a Yahoo email user will I have to pay to send an email to a hotmail user?

I’m also a little confused about this:

The American Red Cross, the New York Times Co. and credit report company Experian have signed up with Goodmail to use the service, Graham said.

Does that mean you’re now charging The American Red Cross to send out Yahoo email (without threat of you tossing them in the "bulk/junk" folder?)….I must be reading that wrong!?

Read the article I’m referencing about AOL and Yahoo! charging to send email soon.

What effect do you you think charging to send email will have? 

Comments

  1. Judi Sohn February 6, 2006 at 5:04 PM

    I work for a nonprofit organization so I’ve been following this issue closely.

    AOL and Yahoo are not charging for email. What they are doing (and don’t be surprised if other ISPs follow suit) is putting in place a premium service to guarantee that your email goes through. That is what you will pay for.

    The new service is kind of like a “first class” upgrade for email. If you’ve paid for the service, that means that this “Goodmail” service has already vouched that you are not a spammer and that your email has been sent legitimately and it will be sent to its recipient quickly and with absolutely no chance that it will land in an AOL or Yahoo users’ junk file (unless the person individually has put it there).

    If you don’t pay for the premium service, your email will be evaluated just as it was before and it may or may not be considered spam, just as it currently is.

    The idea is that most people won’t bother with the premium service and their mail will go through as always. The spammers, those that send a million messages, won’t pay the fee and their email will get caught by the filters just as they already do (or already supposed to).

    The legitimate emailers who send out a lot of email will have to pay to make sure that their mail doesn’t end up getting swept up with the junk. This is fine for the New York Times and the American Red Cross and other companies with deep pockets that can afford this hit. Nonprofit organizations are going to suffer the most because we rely on our email newsletters for our communications and even 1/4 a cent adds up quickly. So we either have to pay this new fee, or take our chances as we always have.

    My fear is that once this service is in place, AOL and Yahoo will turn up the sensitivity on their filters so the only way we can get our mail through is to pay.

  2. Jim February 6, 2006 at 5:54 PM

    Judi – thanks for the interpretation.

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