Monday, 10 December 2007

WTF - ThinkFree not so free down under!

Des Walsh alerted me to the fact that ThinkFree's partnership with Telstra's BigPond actually means something else for Aussie and Kiwi users... on his blog the sad details:

"'Only @BigPond.com and @BigPond.net.au email addresses will be accepted'. You’re not a paid-up BigPond subscriber, you don’t get to play with ThinkFree."

All I can say is, what on earth are ThinkFree they thinking? Having they heard in the states that Australia deregulated its telecommunicatins industry some time ago now. I really, really hope that this is just a case of someone making a stupid mistake... please Ismael, tell me it isn't so! I mean, what's next, Second Life on Bigpond only? ;-)

UPDATE: More here on ITWire as reported at the beginning of November:

"Existing ThinkFree users can get access, but any attempt by a non-registered user to access the ThinkFree web site from an Australian IP address automatically redirects to the BigPond Office website which only accepts registrations from customers with a BigPond email address. BigPond was non-committal on any plans to make the service available to non-BigPond users. "Wait and see", spokesman Craig Middleton said."

3 comments:

  1. Another example of why we need big powerhouses like Google to come and destroy the likes of Telstra...

    Whereis - $1000/annum for a licence for a static GIF file vs Google Maps - free, customisable, interactive

    WhitePages - still no API, hard to use on a mobile

    YellowPages - overpriced and ditto

    Now this. And there are so many more. I can't wait to see Sensis as a smoking hulk as soon as possible... I just hope the new Federal Govt doesn't extend Telstra's monopoly on the basis of some misguided broadband revolution...

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  2. I can't really comment on what Telstra is doing to direct traffic, that is solely their decision.

    What I can do is repeat comments I put up on our blog some time ago about why we decided to license our technology to Telstra:

    "I certainly can’t speak for BigPond or their plans for the future of their services. What I can tell you about ThinkFree is that we have been focused on creating the best online suite available, to the exclusion of other services that many people need - email for one. Our model is built on partnerships and integration. That is why we decided to sign the deal with Telstra. They extend ThinkFree to their millions of customers - which is a fair bit more than our current user base in Australia and New Zealand. They will be much better evangelists in that regard.

    ThinkFree is about choice, obviously you need to find solutions that fit your needs. But I am confident that the solution that BigPond offers, and their ability to integrate much needed solutions will provide significant value."

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  3. Sad to read Jonathan's spin. BigPond aren't offering "solutions" here. They are providing to their subscribers only a service which is advertised by ThinkFree as "free". As I said in my post, it's not. I'm finding myself strangely attracted to geoff's advocacy for Google to crush Telstra.

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