Dear Apple, ( email)

in Mac Software edited January 2014
I have been a faithful Macintosh user since I bought my first Mac, a LC III, in about 1990 or so. Since then I've gone through countless other models, and am currently using a PowerBook G4.

I have followed all of Apple's rules, in the interest of supporting my platform of choice. I adopted OS X as my primary OS, and have written emails to developers asking them to speed up OS X support.

Now I wonder if my patronage is being taken for granted.

When I bought my Powerbook, I was guaranteed "free email, for life". Having cancelled my AOL account, I figured "Great, finally, a spam-free POP email account that I can DEPEND on!" I frequently change my ISP, so this account was exactly what I was looking for.

I sent my new email address to my clients, my family, my friends. I sent it to people whose email address I have on record, as well as to those I don't.

I get email on my email address daily, and it has been indispensable tool.

Now Apple has redefined "for life". I guess it means "for the life of our profit ledger" or "for the life of our whim".

I'm currently struggling as a freelance designer and cannot afford the horrendously expensive $99 a year Apple wants to charge for this "free" email account (I don't need the other .mac services).

It looks like I'll have to take my business elsewhere, unless Apple can explain why certain marketing promises were broken.

Best regards,



  • Reply 1 of 58
    jambojambo Posts: 3,036member
    [quote]Originally posted by tonton:


    When I bought my Powerbook, I was guaranteed "free email, for life".</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Where? Do you have a scan of the document that said this? Or a screenie of the web site?

    I remember Apple saying that you would have a e-mail for life but I didn't hear Steve say it would be "free for life".

    I'm sure if you read the Terms and Conditions when you joined iTools you would understand that Apple is quite at liberty to do this. Apple is Apple Computer Inc, not a charity.

    J :cool: (A .Mac user and proud of it)
  • Reply 2 of 58
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    You paid them nothing for providing the e-mail address. If you want a free POP or IMAP e-mail address, I suggest looking at <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>; .

    The more I think about it, the more I think $99 is reasonable for .Mac's current services, but I do agree Apple needs to provide a cheaper membership level or with perhaps only e-mail, and one with e-mail and a small iDisk.

    None of these services would be free. Perhaps Apple was naive in offering you free services for life, but you should have expected its demise from the very beginning. Free things don't last because they are abused if unchecked...and it's very hard to police subscribers of services like these.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Eugene, I agree, a multi-tiered approach would sell more .mac subscriptions. Perhaps a scaleable price depending on iDisk size and/or number of e-mail accounts? Virex is something no one wants or needs, in my opinion.

    They are making a dumb move however by canceling free e-mail. Free e-mail isn't so hard to provide, is it? Plus, considering it's at, it's free advertising. I just barely signed up for iTools before the keynote and was disappointed, but now I realize paying for .mac and Jaguar are reasonable. However, free e-mail is a good promotion tool. Even though I think this MWNY was great, Apple is getting as much bad press as it is good press from this MWNY!
  • Reply 4 of 58
    pesipesi Posts: 424member
    i love how everybody in their whiny letters to apple descibes how iTools has been "indispensible", how they rely on their previously free e-mail account.

    well, if it is truly "indispensible", then you should be willing to pay for it.

    and hey, you're a current user. it's only $49, not $99. and if you can't swing that working as a freelance designer, then you're not much of one.

    word to the wise, folks: never rely on a "free" service. if you do, then you're just plain stupid.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Aquatik, I used to run a computer lab that provided free e-mail, webpages, shell accounts, 250 pages of printing a semester, etc...We were budgeted $30000 a year from the university to maintain the lab. With only a few hundred active users, we still used up all that money.

    Hotmail and Yahoo get away with free webmail because it's inconvenient. I always hated webmail only accounts. I don't use any of the ones I signed up for.

    When you compare .Mac to Yahoo Geocities, .Mac actually looks quite good. For 25 MB and 5 GB monthly transfers, Geocities costs you $60 a year. For a single POP e-mail address, Yahoo charges $30/year.

    These services obviously cost money to maintain. I'm not even sure if Apple could safely offer POP/IMAP accounts for ≤$20.

    Apple will eventually offer e-mail only accounts. It's a no brainer. They just won't be free. I don't expect them to be under $25/year either. Add on a 20 MB iDisk and you will probably be paying $50/year after Apple fleshes out .Mac to include some more perks.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    $50 for .Mac is fair. $100 isn´t and I can´t wait to see what Apple will be doing the next 360 days to make it fair.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Judging by several posts around here and at Ars, .Mac sounds like it's priced in the middle of the field for e-mail anywhere, storage and features. Not the cheapest, not a complete rip-off either. $100 might be a bit high, but it's close to being reasonable with some improvement to the services. Both Backup and Anti-Virus are kind of weak at this point, but I've already sent constructive comments to Apple about what would make them better (Backup: compression, other file type searches; Virex: hot folders, scheduled scans, auto-definition updates).
  • Reply 8 of 58
    Response from Apple:

    Mr. Everybody,

    Thank you for your letter, however we have decided no, you must pay. Thank you for your patronage.

    Sincerly, SJ & Friends.

    PS, Please buy Jaguar also.

    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 9 of 58
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,307member
    I don't know what to say. Free email is only free to you...Apple's paying for this. Personally I think that if it's important to you pay the $50 and check it out for a year. That gives you time. Howerver, for the greater good of the Platform I understand Apples position. If someone wants to cancel future Mac purchases that is their decision but I actually applaud Apple for their changes. Perhaps some pretty neat services are coming down the pipe and I don't mind seeing how they can change my computing experience.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    $99 a year isn't horribly expensive, but it is for an e-mail address advertising Apple. iTools was a fine service, but nothing I can't live without. If I'm going to pay for an e-mail address, it will be for my own domain and not

    After all iTools was supposed to be a FREE benefit of owning an Apple product.

  • Reply 11 of 58
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,307member
    [quote] After all iTools was supposed to be a FREE benefit of owning an Apple product. <hr></blockquote>

    It was free although not indefinitely.
  • Reply 12 of 58
  • Reply 13 of 58
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    BTW, iTools is now defunct. Apple broke no promises regarding the length of time your account would be free. As long as iTools was around, so was the free service. No one complained when iReview went under.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    [quote]BTW, iTools is now defunct.<hr></blockquote>

    Wow, that's clever.

    Someone goes out today, buys OSX and can't get iTools even though it says it's free. Odd, isn't it?

    But this is Apple, so it's perfectly acceptable.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    stroszekstroszek Posts: 801member
    [quote]Originally posted by torifile:

    <strong>BTW, iTools is now defunct. Apple broke no promises regarding the length of time your account would be free. As long as iTools was around, so was the free service. No one complained when iReview went under. </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Amen. If you use a service you should pay for it, IMO. But then again the internet has unfortunately spawned a culture of people who exect everything to be free. Software, OSs, email, backup, webspace, everything. And the world doesn't work like that. No, I probably won't pay for .Mac because I don't need the email, virex, iDisk, or homepage. The backup is a nice idea, but I don't use OS X, so that's out too. (iCards are the only thing I'll miss, but it isn't worth $50 for the first year and $100/year after that. ) If you don't want it, don't buy it. Go elsewhere. Just my 2 cents.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Well, all I can say is, it should scale. Users choose the number of mail accounts, size of them, size of iDisk, whether or NOT to have Virex, etc. Then price is calculated. That would be cool, no? I'm thinking getting the "old iTools" back shouldn't cost more than $25 a year. I'd buy that. There are no OS X virii for starters, second what could they do in UNIX, third, what if I already have it? Fourth, I certainly don't need 100 megs, and some people may need more. Really all I want is my back. e-mail only .Mac could be less than $25, right?
  • Reply 17 of 58
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:


    Wow, that's clever.

    Someone goes out today, buys OSX and can't get iTools even though it says it's free. Odd, isn't it?

    But this is Apple, so it's perfectly acceptable.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Are you disputing the facts or are you just stating that we're more forgiving because it's Apple? Either way, you've not really made a point.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    Yeah technically Apple broke no promisses, they are just being weasels by dropping a service that was intended to be a benifit associated with buying a new Mac and I know plenty of people who bought Macs over PCs after seeing iTools and all the extras they get when buying a Mac.

    iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, ect. are all advertised as advantages of buying a mac, but what if Apple were to suddenly start charging for those too? The development costs of these are pretty high, why shouldn't Apple make money off them too? Well because these apps are what help attract people to the Mac platform just like iTools did.

    How soon before we see Apple charging for all of the "free" iApps? In a way we kind of are right now by having to pay full price for Jaguar. The cost of many of the new apps they have developed (iChat, Shelock III, ect.) are being factored into the cost of the upgrade so not only are these apps not really free anymore, we are being forced into buying them if we want Jaguar.

    As a shareholder I want Apple to make as much money as possible, and the extra revenue Apple gets off .mac and Jaguar will probably make me more money off an increase in share price than how much money I would have to spend on these, but still I think Apple's pricing is totally unfair so I have to say something.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    stroszekstroszek Posts: 801member
    [quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:

    <strong>Well, all I can say is, it should scale.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    That's true, I was going to address this in my post, but I got distracted. I am currently using the webmail so that I can pop my email while I am on vacation. But I don't go on vacation that often, so I don't use the webmail that often, and therefore I don't need it enough to justify $50 for it. And that's fine with me. There are a lot of things I can't justify spending money on right now.

    If I didn't already have another email address and I had been using the one regularly, then it would be important enough to me to pay for, but now it's not. That's not to say, however, that I wouldn't reconsider if they offered a mail only version for cheaper. Who knows.

    [ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: Stroszek ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 58
    pesipesi Posts: 424member
    i would imagine the iApps would continue to be "free", even though they aren't even "free" right now. apple does charge for upgrades of iMovie and iDVD.

    still, i would imagine it would be easiest for apple to continue to have these be free, or included in the cost of OS upgrades.


    because apple really can't make you pay for them. if you really wan them, get them from a friend or pirate them in some other fashion. apple really can't stop that.

    one thing you can't pirate though, is a service. and that's what .mac is... a service. and THAT is the reason behind it.
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