David has been having some trouble with the free email provider GoNuts4Free – it’s a common story.

David has been having some trouble with the free email provider GoNuts4Free – it’s a common story.

Q. Could I now ask you if you know anything re the subject matter of GoNuts4Free? We have had an email service from them for about 5 years now and suddenly about 2 weeks ago all service stopped.  When I eventually got through to what purported to be their help line – 902 274 413.  I was told that they had decided early last year that this would now become a subscription service and had advised everybody and given them 18 months to change.

Well, we did receive this advice and when I questioned why their web was still offering a free service the man said he could not comment as he was only a help line engineer. Then when I asked if the service could be reactivated he said that he would need personal details etc. to set up an account for the monthly direct debit. That started some alarm bells ringing and I postponed a decision and then tried to send a ‘contact us ‘ message to gonuts using the gmail service but the url was not available.

My main query is do gonuts know that their service appears to have been high jacked and if you can offer any advice on how to contact them to see if we can legally reactivate out account with them.  David

A. Hi david, i have contacted GoNuts4Free and they have confirmed that they have informed all their customers that they have indeed stopped their free service for any users that are no longer using their dial up service, they found that “approx 85% of the free email accounts were actually either not being used, registered for spamming, sending fraud emails, and other related concerns”.  GoNuts4Free are a commercial organisation and they provided a free email service because they were generating revenue from the dial up service that they provided, it was a great service, however nowadays most people don’t use dial up and therefore its unreasonable to expect GoNuts4Free to continue to provide a free email service when they commercially get nothing out of it.

They have given their users what most people would consider a very generous amount of time to either sign up for their paid for service, continue to use the free service via dial up or to find an alternative email service – the instructions for this change were sent out to their users in January 2010.  The “paid for” service is just 6€ per month and by signing up for this users can keep their current email address and continue to use the service via their broadband connection.  I think that in your case something that has clearly not helped is that the contact page on the GoNuts4Free website did not work, in fact it was generating a server error which would have got anyone worried; since contacting GoNuts4Free and making them aware of the bug they have fixed the problem.

In summary, I can assure you that GoNuts4Free have not had their service high jacked, they are simply changing to a “paid for” service for those users that want to use their email accounts with broadband – if you want to continue to use the service you should sign up for the monthly direct debit and they will re-activate your account.  Alternately you could change your email address and use one of the other free email services like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo to name just 3.