How to keep your Verizon email account from being killed off

Verizon's AOL Mail will pick up slack for those who wish to retain verizon.net addresses

What to do about Verizon killing off its email service
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If you're a Verizon customer who uses the carrier's email service, you very well might have an imminent decision to make about your Verizon.net address or risk losing access to your account and associated data.

Verizon has been notifying customers on a rolling basis in recent months that it plans to shutter its email service so that the company can focus on higher priorities. The Verizon.net email domain can be traced back to 2000, when Verizon formed, and the company stopped issuing new Verizon.net email addresses in late 2015.

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While attempting to reconfigure my wireless plan today to avoid a possible data overage charge, I noticed on my main Verizon Wireless account page that I had received a series of increasingly urgent messages from the service provider in recent weeks —"Act now or lose email access" was the latest. I actually never use my Verizon email, so hadn't been checking messages and really don't care if mine dies off. Verizon is giving me a cut-off date of April 19.

However, plenty of others do rely on their Verizon.net email accounts and have had them for ages. Verizon controls 4.5 Verizon.net email accounts, and figures about 2.3 million of them are active — as in, they have been used in the past 30 days. I personally spotted nearly a dozen messages from contacts using Verizon.net addresses in my inbox over the past couple of weeks.

If you're an active user, or not, here are your options:

VERIZON.NET MAIL OPTION 1

You can actually keep your Verizon.net address, though it would be handled from now on via AOL Mail (just one of many things Verizon got via its $4.4B AOL buyout). You'd get to retail your email, contacts and calendar/s automatically. Just for kicks, I opened an AOL Mail account, but not with my old Verizon address.

VERIZON.NET MAIL OPTION 2

Use any other email provider, such as Outlook.com or Gmail. You'd need to manually move your messages, contacts and calendar/s. And no, you can't head over to mcimail.com — it died off about 15 years ago.

VERIZON.NET MAIL OPTION 3

Do nothing.

FAREWELL VERIZON.NET

I've chosen to do nothing and I imagine many others will do the same. Some, like my colleague Mark Gibbs, have long complained about the shortcomings of Verizon email, and now Verizon itself acknowledges its heart isn't into it: "We have decided to close down our email business. Over the years we’ve realized that there are more capable email platforms out there. As a result, we’ve made a decision to get out of the email business, which will allow us to focus our energies in providing you with the best in Internet and TV experiences."

A Verizon spokesman adds: "Migration is going well – I don’t have any stats to share – but customers seem to appreciate that they have several choices, including an option that keeps their Verizon.net email address intact..."

Once customers are notified, they are presented with a personal take-action date that is 30 days from the original notification. If you happen to miss the deadline and still want to retain your address, you can choose Option 1 and switch over to AOL.

Based on the current rate of migration it looks like Verizon will probably get through all of the customer notification waves by mid-summer. At that point, the company will assess when the platform might be entirely wound down.

Verizon is emphasizing that no matter what you do regarding your Verizon.net email, it won't affect your other Verizon services. A Verizon FAQ addresses additional questions.

MORE: Four alternatives to Verizon.net email service

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