Vodafone is withdrawing its free legacy Demon email service and is giving customers the choice of either moving their addresses to another, paid-for service or losing them altogether.
The operator has struck a deal with NamesCo that allows customers to transfer their accounts for £30 per year. Previously the legacy Demon service allowed an unlimited number of email accounts per domain.
One customer got in touch to complain of the costs. He said: "Vodafone should accept ongoing responsibility for the Demon domain names that underpin those identities."
Demon Internet was one of the UK's earliest ISPs, offering dial-up internet access services from 1992. Its name was derived from its parent company's name, Demon Systems Ltd, though many of its dialup access numbers ended with 666 as a joke.
The biz was later bought by Scottish Telecom before becoming part of Cable & Wireless, which was then acquired by Vodafone in 2012.
A Vodafone spokeswoman said: “We are sorry that those business customers who have been using the Demon broadband are having to change their email addresses and can only apologise for the inconvenience."
She said the move was part of the company's £2bn investment in its network and services intended to address issues around customer experience.
"As part of our multi-billion pound investment in our network and services over the last few years to ensure that customers have access to cutting edge products and services, we have been replacing many of our legacy systems and reviewing the products and services delivered over them: as part of this review we will no longer be offering free email accounts with our broadband products."
She said to help customers, the company has highlighted a number of routes unhappy customers might follow, such as those who wish to keep their email addresses using the names.co.uk service.
Last month sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system. ®