05. February 2006 · Comments Off on Urban Legend Comes to Life · Categories: Stupidity, Technology

From the, “Gosh, what a bad idea.” bin come this little tidbit.

AOL and Yahoo put price on e-mail
By Saul Hansell The New York Times

Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers.

America Online and Yahoo, two of the world’s largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from a quarter of a cent to 1 cent each to have them delivered. The Internet companies say this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges of users of their services.

The two companies also stand to earn millions of dollars a year from the system if it is widely adopted.

AOL and Yahoo will still accept e-mail from senders who have not paid, but the paid messages will be given special treatment. On AOL, for example, they will go straight to users’ main mailboxes and will not have to pass the gauntlet of spam filters that could divert them to a special bulk e-mail box or strip them of images and Web links.

Yahoo and AOL say the new system is a way to restore some order to e-mail, which, because of spam and online scams, has become an increasingly unreliable mode of communication even as it has become more important in people’s lives.

So the two of the leaders in internet service are basically telling us that they can’t provide reliable spam-and-scam-free service unless they charge even MORE for it. I realize I’m not a marketing genius, but I’m thinking that’s a BAD thing.

Call me weird.

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