Gandi nixes free lifetime email with domain registrations

Company will start charging for email beyond the first year of registration.

Blue background with the words "Free Email" with "Free" crossed out and an icon representing email

Total Web Solutions acquired domain registrar Gandi this month to form a new entity called Your.Online. Its first order of business: generating more revenue by eliminating free email accounts.

Previously, Gandi offered two free email boxes with each domain registration for the life of the registration.

On March 7, the company emailed customers and informed them that free mailboxes would only be available for the first year of registration. After that, customers in the UK would have to pay a whopping £36 per year for each standard mailbox. (Pricing is likely commensurate in different locations and currencies.)

The original plan was to require payment beginning April 6. Customers who wanted to move their email to another provider would have a two-month migration window before the mailbox was deleted.

When customer Eddie Coldrick complained to Gandi, the company told him he was out of luck. A support rep wrote:

Just to clarify. You’ve only paid for the registration of a domain name. The mailboxes were offered with the domain name and were not part of its price. It’s 2 different products.

Coldrick pointed out that the services contract stated that he’d get the free email accounts for the life of the registrations, which he registered for more than one year at a time.

The support rep noted that Gandi’s General Terms and Conditions of Service states, “Gandi reserves the right to withdraw or cease providing a Service at any time for any reason whatsoever. (…) In the event a Service is withdrawn from the sale, We shall make Our best effort to notify You six (6) months before the withdrawal date (…).”

Perhaps based on this six-month notice period, Gandi has now extended the end of the free email service until November 30, 2023. But this will be little comfort for customers who registered their domains for extended terms because of the free email offer.

I contacted Gandi on March 14 to inquire about the change but did not hear back.

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