I am bitterly disappointed with your decision to close down your email service.
When one creates an email address, over time, it becomes a fairly critical communications connection for so many reasons, including: Social interaction, business management including tax handing, networking, bank account management, entertainment, education, travel logistics and so on. The list is endless.
In making the highly unusual decision to shut down the email service, you are creating a logistical nightmare for me, and thousands (if not tens of thousands) of others. I created my ihug email account in the late 90s, and have used that email ever since. I have used my ihug email as a primary communication method for hundreds of sites/businesses over the years, and my network of friends and associates use that email to contact me on a regular basis.
Yes, I know you are going to set up email forwarding, but that is only a tiny consolation for 2 reasons:
1) You have said that "As long as you remain a customer of vodafone your email will be forwarded". I have heard conflicting accounts of this since your original statement. You can rest assured that I will never use Vodafone again, and promising email forwarding only if I am a client seems highly unethical to me.
2) you have also stated and I quote: “The email forwarding will not cost you anything and there is not a time limit on it currently either.” Currently you say? So when will there be a time limit on it? This is highly concerning. It will take me years to track down all the connections to my ihug email address, and the only length of time that I would accept for you to forward my emails (for FREE, and without me remaining a customer of Vodafone) is for the rest of my life.
So, on to a question: Why did you not sell (or even give) the ihug domain to another group who would be able to administer it? Despite what you say with regard to the technical difficulties with email, I have almost never had problems. In fact I hear that a close competitor of yours has had major email problems over the years – compared to those you mention.
Anyway, you can rest assured that I, and many will remember this for a long time. With that in mind, I don’t believe it’s too late for Vodafone to find another solution.