There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch - Hotmail
Article by: Richard Lowe
This column is about TANSTAAFL, which is a term from a book by
Robert A. Heinlein (one of the best Science Fiction authors that
ever lived) called "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress". The term
means "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". This concept
is the basis of the plot of the book, which is about a Lunar
penal colony and it's attempt to free itself from Earth
, 8 Tips To Get Your Kids Enjoy Home Gardening domination.
Recently Microsoft instituted a new policy regarding their
Hot , Looking for the latest assistance witrel="nofollow" h reference to decks. mail service which annoyed a large number of customers. Like
most free email services, Hotmail has been struggling with the
recent failure of the advertising model. (Advertisers pay for
services to show ads to people, who get the services for no
cost). This failure means fewer advertisers are willing to pay,
and those that do pay demand lower costs and higher returns.
Hot , Gazebos - To Build or not to Build, that is the Question mail has taken the same tack as many other previously free
services - they are attempting to remain free, but reduce the
benefits of the free accounts in order to entice people to spend
money for paid accounts.
Their new policy was simple and seemed straightforward to them.
They simply decided to delete all emails in the SENT items
folder that were older than thirty days. This seemed like a
perfectly valid decision to them, so reasonable that they only
sent one notice to their users.
Well, it was not reasonable at all.
I've run into similar boneheaded thinking before, of course. I
manage the production computer department of a multi-billion
dollar company. Our job is to ensure that all of the user
workstations and the applications servers are up, running and
doing useful things 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One day one of my people (who should have known better) decided
he needed to work on the workstation of the CFO (Chief Financial
Officer). Disk space was low, so he emptied the trash can. Seems
perfectly reasonable, doesn't it?
Well, as it turned out, the CFO was using the trash can to store
documents. She never emptied it, and thought it was just another
folder. So she stored hundreds of sub-folders and thousands of
vital company documents there. She thought of it as a place , Getting Started in Real Estate! to
put documents that she no longer needed.
Now, just about any other user would have been told that this
was not proper and that would have been the end of it. However,
this was the CFO, a vice president in a multi-billion dollar
company. We had to scramble to recover the documents, and only
managed because I had made a backup of her system, including the
The Hotmail action was discussed on several forums recently.
Below are some of the conclusions and my answers. You may find
Why would Microsoft do such a terrible thing? - The point is
Microsoft (and Yahoo and others as well) are trying to give an
incentive for people to pay for their service. Thus, slowly
removing features , Getting Started in Real Estate! from the free service is the chosen way to do
Microsoft is evil! No other companies are doing this - Virtually
all of the "free" email providers, web , Why Organic Gardening? hosting companies and
others are doing much the same thing. Most are far more brutal
than Microsoft was in this case. Many free hosts simply deleted
tens of thousands of web , The Perfect Accent -- Miniature Roses sites with very little notice ...
You cannot hang it on Microsoft. They sent an email and those
who did not read it or ignored it deserve what they got - I can
hang it on Microsoft. One email is not enough. The post office
is required to go through agonizing public hearings to make
change , Gardening Tips for Avoiding Fungal Diseases s, why shouldn't email providers be required to do the
same (regardless of their one-sided terms of service agreements
that very people people would understand even if they took the
time to read them).
Microsoft should not have done this. After all, MSN is
subsidized by Windows , Higher Home Appraisal Values XP, which costs an incredible amount of
money - Windows , Looking for the latest assistance witrel="nofollow" h reference to decks. XP and MSN are two separate divisions in
Microsoft and have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Window , Getting Started in Real Estate! s XP sales in no way go towards supporting MSN or vice
Why would you trust a free service with your vital email? It's
free, so you get what you pay for - We trust 3rd parties all of
the time. We trust the post office to deliver our mail, the
water , What Bonsai Supplies Will I Need? company to give us water, , Details Of Lawn Mower Blades and MacDonald's to not poison us
with their food. , Higher Home Appraisal Values Why shouldn't we trust our email provider? If
we find we cannot, it's time to find another one.
It's free! You should not expect anything from a free service -
There is, however, a certain expectation that goes along with
providing the free service. MSN is trying to build a name and
they are touting themselves as safe, , Create The Perfect Garden Pond easy, comfortable. These
actions don't help that perception at all.
And people are paying - the service is not by any means free,
any more than network television is free. Users have to view
advertisements in both email and on the web , Starting your seeds the right way site, and those ads
are paid for.
The charges are simply indirect.
This just proves you cannot trust Microsoft - it's not just
Microsoft. Other large companies (Yahoo comes to mind right
away) institute changes , Create The Perfect Garden Pond with little or no notice and no feelings
for their users at all.
I find it interesting that companies can make changes , Kitchen Design ï¿½ Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitch like this
at will - imagine if the post office decided to burn all of the
mail that sat in PO boxes for more than a month?
It's up to us as consumers to leave services that act like this,
and to make the reasons why we leave known. It is not acceptable
for companies to treat their users, who depend upon their
services (regardless of the price), as commodities. Users and
customers are people who deserve respect.
Individuals who leave cannot make an impact, so why bother - It
does not matter what the impact is upon the company or
corporation you are leaving. If the company does not provide
decent service, free or not, and treats you (the customer) as a
commodity instead of as a human being, then you should leave and
find a company that is better suited. This is the way to change
, A Quick History Of The Clock a corporation.
People should not use free services. Paid services would never
do this to their customers - Unfortunately, pay email services
make the same kind of decisions (or simply fold upon occasion).
My experience is you just have be prepared.
Companies such as Hotmail clearly state this kind of thing in
their terms and conditions - The problem is that it has because
normal and accepted for companies to be able to have a line in
their terms and conditions stating "we can change , More Funky Garden Plants these terms at
any time without notice". Imagine if that clause was in your
home , Kitchen Design ï¿½ Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitch mortgage or car loan or whatever! The mortgage company
could change , More Funky Garden Plants the terms of the loan without notice, or could
decide it wanted a parking lot on your property , Looking for the latest assistance witrel="nofollow" h reference to decks. and you wouldn't
know until the bulldozers showed up!
That's the thing that needs to be changed. Terms and conditions
should not be modifiable from the second they are agreed to
without permission (not notice, permission).
People should back up their email so it is not a disaster , Add Some Pizzazz to Your Powder Room! when
this kind of thing happens - One of the real issues here is
hot , Popular bulbs for the home gardener mail and msn are touting themselves are easy, comfortable,
something even a child or a completely computer illiterate can
use. Thus, the concept from MSN's advertising and promotional
materials is you don't need to back up, you don't need to worry,
and so on. Now, people "in the know" or who have experience know
better. But I cannot blame someone for trusting ... shame on the
corporation for uncaringly breaking that trust and treating the
individuals as commodities, no more valuable than any other raw
What can we do? We are helpless to large corporations - Has
anyone heard the words "class action lawsuit"?
On what grounds? - It's time to get corporate America's
attention. Doesn't matter what the grounds are ... just the mere
fact that a lawsuit has been filed by enough people can send
shivers down the spines of any executive and force change. , Feng Shui Colors And What They Represent And
I'm sure that any lawyer worth his 50% commission can think of
any number of laws that may have been violated.
The point is we (individuals) need to tell corporations that we
will not be treated as commodities. There are many ways to do
this, and lawsuits are just one of them.
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