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On-line purchasing using a 'free' email address
This is going to cause problems for LOTS of people...

 9:58 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I recently purchased some software on-line, and completed the usual form with email and credit card details etc. to complete my purchase.

Next to the 'email' field was a notice saying they would refuse to process an order if a 'free' email address was entered, e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, Lycos et al.

As I use the free Tiscali web mail, they refused to process my order. I then had to give them my pop3 email address which I tend to give out sparingly to avoid spam.

There must be millions of people who use free email addresses who are now being discriminated against! What if I didn't HAVE a pop3 address?



 11:08 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

_most_ people have a non-free email account from their ISP, and if not, they likely have one from work. Also, there are many free email services which are not on the lists checked (they normally only check a dozen well known services) - so you can sign up for one of those instead.


 3:21 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

_most_ people have a non-free email account from their ISP

Our main ISP is Yahoo.....

Lucky for us we also have domain email names we can use.

But, yeah, we are always a bit suspicious of free ones, since it is so easy to get a "real" one.


 6:46 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

There must be millions of people who use free email addresses who are now being discriminated against!

It's not discrimination, it's protection, and for the very same reasons you didn't want to use your "real" email address. Where do you think most of the spam comes from? And all the scammers, thieves, hackers - do you think they'll use an email address that can be traced to a real computer?

Many message boards and other services also won't acceppt anything @yahoo.com, hotmail.com, etc., for the very same reasons.


 8:24 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

That disturbs me, because I know plenty of people who use their free account simply because they can keep the same address when switching ISPs from time to time. I would not want to use my work address for personal web activities, and I never use the email account that comes with my home DSL service. It's too much hassle to update all my friends and family with new email addresses, and I prefer to have most of my personal email sent to one account.


 9:45 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Look at it this way... How hard is it to sign up for credit without a permanent address? What about a cell phone? Or even a post office box? If you need the product, and you want to use their SERVICE, then give a permanent email address.

A private service is a privilege, and discrimination based on such things is totally up to the company. Discrimination can be a good thing. I discriminate against spammers, ad farms, spyware creators, virus writers, etc. And I do so openly. Therefor my discriminations would necessitate the use of disallowing ‘free’ emails for my user's accounts, would it not? Furthermore if I were to do such, I would be charged with discriminating against you, the innocent user? I suggest thinking, before you question targets, or motives here.

-- Zak


 11:21 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

For many ecommerce ventures, disallowing the use of free email accounts would amount to a form of corporate suicide.

At *least* half of my customers use AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and other free email services. I'd have to be really convinced that fraud would drop as a result of the change. Furthermore, fraud would have to drop MUCH more than sales would drop. Since most ecommerce ventures with sane anti-fraud measures already in place suffer only minimal losses from fraud, pretty much any drop in sales would negate the positives.


 2:13 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Was the software you purchased downloadable instantly? I would think a lot of fraud with stolen credit cards occur using free e-mail services for downloadable software. While a minor inconvenience, forcing the buyer to enter an ISP trackable e-mail seems like a good way to stop fraud.

Personally, I sell tangible products. I have anti-fraud measures in place, but limiting specific domain names is not one of them.


 7:19 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

85% of my customers use public email addresses. I will go out of business very quickly if I deny transactions from hotmail, yahoo and gmail.

I understand it is a matter of online security. But enforcing such security will create a huge barrier, and ALOT of trouble, for your potential buyer. Most of us know that conversion rate can be greatly affected by simple things such as where you place your add to cart button, what color it is, how clear it is...etc. Keep in mind that most who buy on the net can live WITHOUT your product/service. If you put a slight barrier between them and your transaction, they will very likely and happily purchase from your competitors who make the transaction a little easier.


 7:37 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"There must be millions of people who use free email addresses who are now being discriminated against!"
Oh how awful! Shock! Horror! Surely this is not permitted under the Human Crooks, Scallywags and Trouble-Makers Rights Act"


 8:06 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

At *least* half of my customers use AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and other free email services.

AOL and MSN are *NOT* free email services.


 6:13 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

We don't block them or turn down the orders, but we do take a closer look at them.

However, I think anyone that rejects them just because they come from a free mail service is stoopid. If I came across a site that said what the original poster's said, I would move on, even though we have "not free" email addresses.

A lot of people simply do not want to give out their "real" address to companies.

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