Clarification on UK2 Domains and E-mail

April 5th, 2007 by

Hi everyone,

Today we sent out an information e-mail to all UK2 Domain Name customers, but it seems to have caused a bit of confusion so I wanted to help explain what’s going on.

There have been a few changes made to the e-mail service that comes with UK2 Domain Names, which are as follows:

A) Every UK2 Domain Name now comes with a FREE POP3 E-mail Account – this means you can create an e-mail address such as yourname@yourdomain and it can be used either with our webmail service or with an e-mail client like Microsoft Outlook

B) We’ve created POP3 upgrade options, so if you need more than the 1 FREE account you can upgrade and get an extra 5 accounts for £0.99 per month or get an extra 100 accounts for £1.99 per month

These are on top of the existing e-mail services which we already offered, which are:

C) 5 FREE E-mail Forwarding addresses – which means you can set up five e-mail addresses such as a@yourdomain, b@yourdomain, c@yourdomain, d@yourdomain and e@yourdomain which will forward either to your POP3 account or to another e-mail address

D) The option to upgrade to 500 E-mail Forwarding addresses for £1.42 per month

All of these options are available to everyone right now.

However, there is one final change which is causing the most confusion. We are going to start charging for an e-mail service called Catch All Forwarding.

Catch All Forwarding has been supplied as a feature of a UK2 Domain for many years and can be useful to some customers, but generally it is not used. The problem is that the feature is now being abused by e-mail spammers, so we are trying to be a responsible company and put a stop to the ever increasing amount of spam that hits the UK2 network and one of the actions we can take is to withdraw Catch All Forwarding as a free service.

This will not affect the vast majority of our customers. However, because it is a feature on every UK2 Domain (whether it is being used or not) we need to advise you what to do if a) you want to keep using it at the cost of £4.99 per month or b) you want to turn it off.

Unfortunately we cannot turn this feature off automatically as we need you, our customers, to tell us whether you need it or not.

Here are some FAQ’s which might be of assistance:

What is Catch All Forwarding?

When you create e-mails associated with your domain name you normally create a handful e.g. nameA@yourdomain, nameB@yourdomain, nameC@yourdomain and so on. Or if you are a business you might have sales@yourdomain, support@yourdomain etc. If someone decides to send an e-mail to an addresss which hasn’t been created, what Catch All Forwarding does is to send that to another, valid e-mail address.

Unfortunately here is where the spam problem lies, as generally e-mails sent to invalid addesses are generated by spammers. That is also why most of our customers are unaffected by Catch All Forwarding, as they don’t need or want these e-mails.

What is the new cost for Catch All Forwarding?

The new price for Catch All Forwarding is £4.99 per month and since Monday evening has become a chargeable upgrade option for new Domain sign ups. However, existing customers are being given a month of service for free, to decide what to do and how to manage their e-mail. On Saturday 12th May 2007 the charging becomes applicable for existing customers.

If you would like to keep Catch All Forwarding

If you’re happy to continue using Catch All Forwarding as a paid for service, you don’t need to do anything and our auto renewal system will start to bill you £4.99 per month for Catch All Forwarding. The first payment will be requested 7 days before the renewal date which is Saturday 5th May 2007.

If you would like to remove Catch All Forwarding

If during your free month of service you would like to cancel Catch All Forwarding and remove it from your Domain Name, you will need to follow these simple steps:

– Go to http://www.uk2.net/login and log into your account

– Click on “Renewal Calendar”

– Choose the “View by Domain” option

– Select the Domain Name for which you want to disable Catch All Forwarding

– To disable Catch All Forwarding make sure the tick box in the “Renew” column is blank, which means on Saturday 12th May 2007 the service will expire and you will not be charged

– Don’t forget to click “Update auto-renew settings” to confirm the change

This process needs to be carried out for all UK2 Domains. However, if you have multiple UK2 Domain Names and you need assistance with switching off Catch All Forwarding in bulk, please let us know.

I hope that helps. Can I just reiterate though that the majority of our customers are unaffected by this, but we do need you to tell us whether you want the service or not.

Kind regards

Nicola

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8 Comments

Ditlev
# 5th April, 2007

Just a short follow up: “Catch all spam” is behind around 91-95% of all mail being sent to us.

Honestly, I would prefer to take the option of catch-all totally away, but since this service has been at UK2 for quite some years, and we would have some clients is using it, I would rather continue it at a price that reflects the cost of maintaining it.

All domains still comes with 5 forwarders for free. Furthermore we have given ALL of you a free POP/SMTP account; this is something that the vast majority of other hosts charge good money for.

You will find that most web-hosts refrain from offering catch-all, some charge for it, and a few still offers it for free. For UK2 the catch-all is occupying so many resources in our mail system that giving it away for free it not an option.

We had two options regarding the implementation of the new price model:

1) Either we let catch-all expire for those clients not paying for it when the free month we have given you is up. Result would be that if you were away from your computer for a few weeks, or if you have very aggressive spam filters (which is very likely if you actively use catch-all) or for some other reason did not read the mails we send out about this change, then you would suddenly start loosing mails, as mails sent to your catch-all mail would bounce. This could be very important mail, and UK2 would surely be accused for any losses related to our clients not receiving their mails. Some clients depend on the mail as a daily tool, and losses to not getting it could be significant.

Or

2) We can auto renew catch-all and ensure that no mails are lost.
Before doing that we send out 2 mails dedicated to this, we mention it in our regular newsletter. We post notices on this blog, on the login on mail.uk2.net and on the main page of the control panel.
What if we auto renew someone who actually does not want the product? Or if someone has missed all the notices/mails/posts about this?
We would naturally issue a full refund!

I hope you see where we are coming from here. Basically:

a) Everyone still get 5 forwarders for free
b) We have given everyone a free pop/SMTP account for free
c) If you do not want to have catch-all, simply turn it off, it’s a 2-3 click process
d) If you wish to keep catch-all, you do not need to do anything.
e) You have a full month to think about it: The first payment will be requested 7 days before the renewal date which is Saturday 5th May 2007, NO CHANGES HAS BEEN MADE YET – your catch-all is fully functional until 5th of May.
f) All new domains will have catch-all disabled as default

Best,
Ditlev

Stephanie
# 6th April, 2007

Thanks for making this clearer. I find catch-all forwarding an awful nuisance and am glad it is going. About 90% of my UK2.net email is spam, and I am ashamed at the amount being sent out in various combinations of my name.

As long as my pop email continues to work with my chosen @headington.org.uk email name, I will be very happy.

Andrew Beverley
# 6th April, 2007

How about a third option:

Only automatically charge those who actually use it. It is stated that ‘generally it is not used’ so why automatically charge every single one of your customers? I have several domains with uk2, none of which even have the DNS hosted at uk2, let alone email. Why on earth would I want a catch-all facility at a cost which is several times that of the domain itself, when I don’t even use DNS or email facilities?

The worrying thing is that I have bought domains for other people using their email address. I will have to contact each of these people to ensure that *my* credit card is not charged for someone else’s catch-all facility that they won’t use!

William Hipperson
# 6th April, 2007

A perfect explanation – thank you.

Andy
# 7th April, 2007

FWIW I think your approach to the problem is the correct one. Spam is a PITA and this approach will help.

W J Baulf
# 7th April, 2007

Thanks for explanation.
I was confused, but now I THINK that I understand!!

Ap0kalipSe
# 10th April, 2007

Good move, catch-all can be useful but the problems far far outweigh all the benefits. It’s one of the first things I stopped doing when I started managing the mailservers here.

Ditlev
# 10th April, 2007

@ Andrew Beverley:
Good point, we have just done that.
Those who are not using catch-all has now been turned off, and will not be renewed.

Furthermore we will bring a special offer with much lower price for all current clients.

best,
Ditlev