Can an internet company force you to subscribe to their service to keep your email account active?

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Can an internet company force you to subscribe to their service to keep your email account active?

I’ve had this account for approximately 6 years and they want to deactivate my account unless I subscribe to their internet. They tried this about 4 years ago as well, but once I complained they let me keep it. Now they trying to deactivate me again unless I subscribe.

Asked on November 11, 2010 under General Practice, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an internet company can force you to subscribe to their service or else lose your email. After  all, they don't need to offer email at all--it's not a legal requirement to do so. Instead, as a business, if they choose to offer a service, they can put whatever terms or conditions on it they like--charge what they want, or force you buy other services from them, etc. If you are not willing to comply with their terms and conditions, you can go elsewhere for email, but don't have a right to force them to provide you their email. If the trouble of changing your email address is worth more than the cost of subscription, you should subscribe; otherwise, you might try any of  the many free web-based emails out there. For whatever it's worth, I've used gmail (from Google) for around 7 or 8 years for both work and personal email and am a fervant supporter--it's a great free service.


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