What to do when Verizon won't close your email account

A year ago I wrote about Verizon's awful email service and apparently it's not got any better

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Way back, in the mists of time, when we were all much younger and  the world was a brighter, happier place — almost a year ago — I published a piece on Verizon’s impressively terrible e-mail service: Why Verizon's email service sucks and what to do about it. But wait! There’s more making it even suckier! Reader “D C”, commenting on the post a few days after publishing, noted that:

Verizon also blocks POP access from outside the US.  So while I'm traveling, I'm not able to get my personal email.  They disclose this nowhere on their site, nor do most of their support people seem to understand this policy.  Pretty absurd.

Not surprisingly, Verizon has never commented on the original piece nor, as far as I am aware, have they made any substantial changes to their email service, a fact that is backed up by "Paul", another reader, whose recent email to me (not sent from a Verizon account) also commented on the post:

I realized this several years ago and I am delighted using gmail. I set up an auto-response to my Verizon email (I actually don't disclose my new email, but say please get in touch through another means), but for several years I've gone back and filtered through the unbelievable amount of spam still coming into my Verizon email account in search of a few random accounts I set up many years ago that most likely won't care (or read) that I've moved on.

Part of the reason I do this is because Verizon WON'T LET ME CLOSE the email account, claiming it is tied to my overall account for cable TV (I *love* FIOS) and home phone (I know, I'm a dinosaur).

I know you don't run a self-help column, but please tell me that either (1) I can insist that Verizon terminate my account or (2) I just get comfortable NEVER checking it again.  

Thanks for contributing positively to life on this planet!

My advice was:

1. If Verizon won't close the account then you can try insisting but they're like a force of nature; complain all you want but you are, essentially, powerless in the face of a vast, unseeing, indomitable behemoth that doesn't care about you and your puny, human needs at all.

2. If you'd be comfortable with Verizon closing your account then you are saying, in effect, that you don't care about anything that might be sent to that account. Therefore you can just leave it for Verizon to deal with. It'll just sit there, gathering spam and costing them money (though, in reality, not really so much that it's worth them doing anything about it). If you really can't stand the idea of possibly missing something, try forwarding *all* email to your Gmail account and let Google remove the spam; this is an aspect of Gmail that is perhaps the best of its kind in the market.

It’s pretty weird that Verizon won’t allow you to nominate a non-Verizon email address for your Verizon account. I can’t imagine a security issue or customer service concern that would justify this policy and running a mail service for hundreds of thousands of what are effectively zombie email accounts has to be expensive. Once again, this raises the big question: Why doesn’t Verizon want to have happier customers? 

I suspect we will never know the answers to these kinds of questions but I’m always happy to provide help or, failing that, a shoulder to cry on. If you’re wrestling with Verizon or any other vast, unseeing, indomitable behemoth that doesn't care about you and your puny, human needs and wants, connect with me or comment below then follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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