Telstra rebuked over e-mail
February 8, 2002
Telstra has been rebuked by its political master, Communications Minister Richard Alston, after the telco announced yesterday it would cut its Easymail free e-mail service.
Telstra said the service had become a significant drag on costs.
A spokesman said that many of its 70,000 customer accounts had become dormant.
Senator Alston said he was concerned that Telstra was proposing to end Easymail without any transitional arrangements for customers.
He also rejected Telstra statements that Easymail was not used by many small businesses.
"Many small businesses rely on this service to market themselves and their products in a range of publications, and withdrawal of the service with minimal notice is likely to impact adversely on the performance of these businesses," he said in a statement.
"If the service is withdrawn, then arrangements (should be) put in place that enable users to transition to alternative services in such a manner as to minimise any inconvenience."
There were also concerns among small businesses yesterday about reports that the telco would charge home-based businesses for a dual listing in the new-look White Pages.
The criticisms come after a series of price overhauls triggered by Telstra this year, with new fees and charges for mobile phones and broadband Internet connections recently introduced.
As part of a radical nationwide revamp of the White Pages directory, the two volumes, A to K and L to Z, will be split into a business section and residential section.
Homes and businesses will still receive a free listing but Telstra will make an annual charge of $126.50 (including GST) for a dual listing.
The extra charge could bring in up to $7.5 million in revenue for Telstra each year.
A spokesman for Pacific Access, the Telstra division that manufactures and distributes the directory, said only 60,000 individuals and businesses out of a total four million customers would be affected by this change.
He said the new-look White Pages had been tested in Perth, where businesses and the general public reported they found the format easier to use.
By ELI GREENBLAT. Copyright © f2.com.au 2002