GCI unplugs prior plans to end email service

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GCI has put the brakes on its previously announced plans to phase out customers’ email accounts. However, to keep those accounts, email users will have to pay a monthly fee. GCI has about 40,000 email users in Alaska, and announced last summer that other providers offer the service and many offer it for free; the company has been encouraging people to get other accounts with other companies.

Must Read Alaska newsletter subscribers with GCI accounts received a notice from MRAK reminding them to activate new accounts before GCI pulled the plug, as it said it would do midyear. That advice still applies to those who don’t want to pay a fee for email with the GCI service.

The news of the reversal was released on the company’s website in a statement, quoted verbatim below:

What is the latest update regarding gci.net emails?

We have received a lot of feedback letting us know just how much our customers want to keep their gci.net email addresses. We value your feedback and have decided not to take any action that would discontinue the use of GCI-hosted email accounts. 

Do I still need to pay the $4.99 fee?

Yes, you still need to pay this fee to continue using your email.

When will you decide about the future of gci.net email services?

If there are any changes to the future of gci.net emails, we will inform you in advance.

What if I have already disconnected my email?

Unfortunately, once you’ve disconnected your gci.net email address, you won’t be able to reactivate it.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Amazing ‼️ They get a $40 Million state matching amount for Broadband yesterday and low and behold… They can revive a failing part of their business today….

    Reminds me of the Alaska Public School System….

  2. If you are going to pay for email service I highly recommend protonmail.

    Encrypted. Offshore. Highly customizable to your needs.

    I can not imagine using some crappy service like GCI where you get none of that. And for the same price.

  3. It’s a trap. The 5 dollar a month charge will head north and not stop. It will go up $2 or $3 per month each year. If you have 4 email addresses in your account and the price goes to $15 per month per address, that’s $720 per year. Switch to gmail.

    • Switch to Gmail and be constantly data raped by Alphabet (google)?

      Might as well undress or make love in the street. Same difference.

      Hard pass.

  4. Decades with the same email address and GCI wouldn’t even let me keep it for a fee. Then they backtrack after I spend a full day trying to rewire everywhere in the world where my email address resides.

    Well screw them. I’m not now going to keep it. Farewell simple ak.net, and Hello something far longer and more complicated.

  5. Seems to be a failing enterprise struggling for survival. Too bad! I have been a loyal customer for decades. Will be switching.

  6. Protonmail, gmail, any mail server would be a better choice. I hadn’t used gci mail for several years yet they mined legacy records to bill for a service they hadn’t provided me in a decade.

    I called their joke of a customer service dept in the Philippines and after an hour of being transferred around the CSR asked a question of her supervisor while the line was live. I heard him mumble something in the background and then the phone line mysteriously went dead. Sure, buddy.

  7. GCI’s customer service is abysmal. You have to wait on the phone for a long time, or you have to wait days for an email response. I never used my GCI email and was happy to dispose of it.

    And don’t get me started on their glitchy Yukon TV app.

    • Great! My Gmail service works fine in Outlook. Now – what to do with Yukon TV? I have worked with it, but it is certainly glitchy. I miss the old cable box with TIVO. It was very reliable. Ho hum. Times have definitely changed. I haven’t. I tried the customer service Hibber Dibber Dooo mentioned and had a similar experience. I hope to find a better carrier before my internet goes down. Ha!

  8. GCI is a waste of money and they are trying fleece Alaska residents every chance they can. I had the highest service available and it still buffered. I switched to MTA and low & behold, a 100% better and almost half the price.

  9. After receiving their letter, we called last October to cancel our email and stopped getting billed for the service as indicated by our November statement. But, we still get GCI emails and are still able to utilize it. I’m more than a bit wary, after reading this article, that the $5.00 per email account charge may start up again. I suggest all who’ve cancelled their email service with them check their statements just in case.

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