extortion: forced payment to send to HotMail

I just stumbled on to this new manifestation of Microsoft’s efforts to profit from the Internet… and this time it feels rather like extortion.

Here’s my tale: We live on a small, remote island where overseas phone rates are prohibitively expensive, so we rely on email to stay in touch with the world. Recently we’ve learned that many of our emails never arrived at their destination, and we’d received no “delivery error” notifications. In the course of investigating the issue I realized that the worst problems occurred when we sent to HotMail addresses, so I investigated further.

Guess what HotMail is now “recommending”: They now offer a new service to senders who’re having trouble getting through to HotMail addresses. Senders can join a service that’ll add your return address to an Allowed Senders List and guarantee that your email will get through to your hotmail friends.

Here’s the best part: it’s a subscription service! That’s right. You’ll have to pay a monthly fee to be 100% able to email to HotMail (and MSN) accounts!

So much for “free email”, sound like “extortion” to you too?

I’ve now sent a message to all my HotMail contacts urging them to try Gmail or ?? I Wonder if they’ll even get that email.

check it out at Home - Sender Score Certified™

PS. Happy Holidays to all!

By the way, I’ve tried sending to those HotMail addresses using my own Postfix server, an SMTP server hosted by an ISP in Arizona, an SMTP server hosted by an ISP in Texas, and an SMTP server hosted by an ISP here in the Bahamas. Same outcome, so it’s not that the originating server is blacklisted. I’ve also checked several blacklists and verified that none of those servers or our own fixed IP address is not listed either.