March 21, 2002

I told you so

Not a nice way to start the day. First up in my mailbox as soon as I get to work is a mail from Yahoo! containing the following:

Effective April 24, 2002, Yahoo! Mail will no longer provide free POP3 Access or Auto Mail Forwarding to Yahoo! Delivers subscribers.

I have been using the free POP3 access from them for a couple of years now and will sorely miss it. I had speculated on this a while back in an earlier post and I am not very happy about the fact that I have been proven right.

The move, I guess, is part of the radical restructuring that the new CEO Terry Semel has started out on, to turn the company around. From the looks of it he is getting somewhere, if reports like this are to be believed.

Yahoo! has a very unique problem on its hands. It enjoys excellent credibility and popularity among its loyal users, but it simply has no idea how to turn all that goodwill into a sustainable and sizeable revenue stream.

Still, the way the company is going about it does not look very convincing to me. It smacks of someone trying to cash in on the trust that it has made over all these years. Something on the lines of "now that we have done all the hard work, it is time to fleece".

The advertised rate of of $29.99 per year just for getting POP3 access is just plain ridiculous. For that much money you can decent hosting with at least 5 e-mail ids at a more than average hosting company.

Right now Mr Semel's problems are hardly of any consequence to me. All I know is most people use my Yahoo address to contact me and it is going to be at least another six months before I plan to get my own hosting and domain.

So gotta go now folks. I have a few people to notify of my mail address change and yes it is time to empty all my folders at Yahoo.

I have a feeling before long we shall see them exiting the free service arena in its entirety.