|reply to RobinK |
As "550v" mentioned above, go the GMail route, and don't let the 'old beloved email addy' be a deterrent to leaving Bell. I have switched emails 2 or 3 times in 13 years with very little disruption. Now, finally, I ONLY use the generic email services (GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Mail.com), and don't even have an email from my ISP.
The call to Bell retentions is worth a try too. Actually, unless they are in a 'package deal', they might just be able to say they have long since 'paid' for the bell modem, and no longer will pay for the modem rental. I've heard this does work.
Basically, here's how I did my changes, or would do them again...
Get a Gmail account, and get things set up for POP3 access for your parents; I'm guessing they are using a traditional email client, like Thunderbird (I wish I still was; changing back soon!).
Then, while both emails are operational, (forwarding your old sympatico email to the new one, if you wish), send an email out to everyone, from the old address, asking folks to use the new email address. Recipients will hopefully recognize the name and old email address of the sender, and accept it and read it. Display the new email address 'prominently' in the body of the email, ensuring it is 'clickable', for easy addition to the address book by the recipients.
Then, maybe 15 days later, send out a second set of emails from your new email address, saying "We have now switched; please use THIS new email from now on." The advantage to the second email FROM the new address, is that many email clients will give the recipient the option to 'Add Sender to Contact List'. Again, I would put the new email address in the body of the email as a clickable (or right-clickable) link.
Of course, this is a good opportunity to 'purge' the old address book of old inactive contacts (print off a copy of your old address book, and SAVE an electronic copy too, in csv format?). You can do more notifying, or you can do less. You can speed up or slow down the process. You can decide whether to ask the recipients to 'reply' or 'confirm' the email change, or not.
I usually sent the notifications out in groups of 20 recipients. I would also BCC each email to my new email address, as a 'record', and to be sure it actually gets sent out (SOME anti-spam filters MIGHT flag these multi-recipient emails being sent within a short time period as spam, or 'email abuse', like teksavvy's Ironport!).
Harder than friends and family, are the business, banking, and shopping emails. For many of these, you will have to log in to your accounts and put the changes through one by one. (you could set up a separate Gmail account for shopping, banking, etc.?)
edit: forgot to mention the updates to any/all 'social sites' they might be involved in... for me, this involved a grand total of ONE messenger service!
Keep both operational for a while (35 days?), to catch the 'stragglers', arrange your service with a new IISP, and give Bell their 30-days notice. That time for Bell simply avoids the inevitable arguments and fees.
And... If I may suggest an IISP, and your parents are in Ontario, I would suggest they consider switching to Start.ca ... $0 Installation on 6/1 DSL, Free Dry Loop on higher DSL FTTN plans, cable internet also, and excellent customer service, IMHO.
The main thing is to prompt more users to get away from Bell and Rogers, and onto SOME IISP.