Telecommunications company eir has confirmed that it will not proceed with plans to charge customers for ‘eircom.net’ email addresses in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The company advised email account holders last month of its intention to impose a €5.99 monthly fee for its eircom.net email addresses from the beginning of next month. The charge would have meant that customers who have held an eircom.net email account for many years, will have to pay almost €72 a year for what was a free service.
The company said at the time that the charge would be used to invest in maintenance and improvement of the service going forward including increased email storage.
The news was however met with anger by many who have had the addresses for over two decades including residents in Ennis Co Clare who received the special ‘firstname.lastname@example.org addresses when the town won the then £15m (Eircom) Information Age Town competition in 1997.
Customers expressed anger that it would be next to impossible to amend the details of all their banking and other subscriptions for which they’ve used the email address to communicate for years.
When first announced, customers were to be allowed a two-month window from March 31st during which they would have to decide whether they wished to keep the email address and pay for it, or forfeit the facility. Customers were advised to download any emails or addresses in their accounts if they decided not to pay for the service.
Angry customers had bombarded eir with complaints on social media in recent weeks about the proposed charge while in recent days, people have been asking company to step up and drop the charge during the current health crisis.
An eir spokesperson has confirmed: “In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, eir has taken the decision to put the subscription charge for the eircom.net email service on hold for the foreseeable future. Last month eir announced the introduction of a subscription charge from March 31st, 2020, to enable investment in the maintenance and improvement of the service.”
“eir’s priority during these challenging times is the maintenance of essential communication services for all eir customers,” the company said.