An Open Letter on Free Account Limits

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RollerNetSupport
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An Open Letter on Free Account Limits

Post by RollerNetSupport » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:29 pm

Several weeks ago, we sent notice that we would begin enforcing the limits on our free accounts. On December 9, we turned on the limiter, and started disabling accounts that exceeded the posted limits. For some of our users, this seems to have come as quite a shock, drawing claims that we're doing something illegal, or that our pricing is outrageously high, or we need to accommodate people and help them move to other services, so I'd like to take a moment to talk about some things.


First: the notice. Whenever we send an announcement that warrants an email - and we do try to keep our email volume to a minimum - it's placed in four places: the homepage on the main website, the announcements section of the forums, an announcement link at the top of the Account Control Center main menu, and by email to accounts. Everyone who signed up from an account was given the choice of whether or not they wanted to be contacted by us. When we sent this announcement, we respected the privacy options of our users, and did not email accounts that indicated they did not want to get email from us.

The announcement is available here: http://forums.rollernet.us/viewtopic.php?t=415


Second: free accounts have ALWAYS been limited. They have NEVER been listed as an unlimited free-for-all, not even under the old donation system. The limits are clearly stated in several places. The difference is that we were not being strict about enforcing these limits for our free users. For many years, we have tried our best to encourage our free account users to upgrade their accounts without resorting to hard limits.

We are not Google; we don't have a massive amount of ad-based revenue to give free service away. Due to the nature of our services, there is no way to insert ads into emails. Furthermore, we believe advertising in email is an invasion of your privacy. We will never be ad-supported, and we will never sell our databases. Free accounts cost us money; they're a loss leader. That leaves us with only one source: paid accounts.


Third: there are no hard limits on any of our paid levels. Not in data usage, not on hosted mail boxes, not in number of messages, number of configuration options, number of domains - nothing. No quotas, no limits. Period. There is a recommended usage guideline, which if you run over continuously we'll ask you to upgrade to the next level, but we won't shut you off. If you run over by a gigabyte on your Personal account one day because of a mail flood or just an abnormally busy day, that's fine. Only free accounts that have hard restrictions.


Fourth: price. At $34.95/year, we do not consider that outrageously expensive for all the flexibility and freedom of use we're allowing at that price point. That's literally $2.90 per month for a Personal level account! If you can tweak the DNSBL setting and valid users table to bring your free account under the limit, or don't care about the daily quota, then by all means continue to use the free account. Otherwise, upgrade. It's really not that expensive. Should you already have service you can replace us with, we understand not wanting to pay, but with the free accounts, you're already getting more than you're paying for.


And finally: effective immediately we will be extending the deadline for free accounts to upgrade or face hard limits to Friday. At that time, we will turn the account limiter back on. This gives everyone still on a free account three options: upgrade your account, work with the limits on free accounts, or find other service that can meet your needs. The reality is that our Personal level accounts are quite cheap if you shop around, depending on the service you're looking for.


The Roller Network tries very hard to provide a fast, flexible, and reliable service while accommodating all of our account holders as best as we can. In the case of free accounts, we simply can no longer afford to treat them as fully unlimited with an honor system upgrade to one of our paid service levels.

To all of our users who have supported us through the years through donations, feedback, paid accounts, and recommending our services to others, we sincerely thank you and look forward to serving you in the future. Without you, the Roller Network would not exist today. Thank you!
Last edited by RollerNetSupport on Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Roller Network LLC

rowdy
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Post by rowdy » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:49 am

Glen/Seth,

I'm not really an active use at the moment, but still follow the mailings and just wanna thank you guys for the free service over the past years... ;)

The sun will come up for free, and all else will have to be paid, by someone. The last years it was by Roller, now it's time to pay it by ourselves...

At least, good luck in the future!

Rowdy
[url=http://rowdy.nl]Rowdy[/url].nl - Keep whispering... =)

cbrace
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good work

Post by cbrace » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:05 pm

I've been using rollernet the past year or so primarily for backup mailserver purposes, and I have to say it has been just great; I don't know of any other such service that spools mail for three weeks. I hope some of the free account users see the light and start supporting this fine outfit.

Colin

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