According to a survey carried by Brandquiver Internet Research on paid e-mail, about 66 per cent of netizens feel that paid e-mail service is unfair and likened it to cheating, while about 34 per cent per cent acknowledged that the free ride had to stop.
About 82 per cent of the respondents are ready to switch over to cheaper option, while 10 per cent said they would continue, regardless of the fee. The remaining eight per cent said they would discontinue their subscription to these erstwhile free e-mail services altogether.
About 42 per cent of the respondents had a fair idea of the likely tariffs, while the rest made guesses, ranging from around Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per annum.
The survey — conducted to gauge the netizens’ reactions to the announcements that usa.net and 123india.com are going into pay mode — covered about 314 netizens from the key metros.
The majority of the respondents were from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore (about 20-24% each). All participants had at least one free e-mail connection. About 61 per cent also had an Internet connection at home.
Within a fortnight of the announcement, about 91 per cent were aware that these free services were going into paid mode, while 68 per cent knew that usa.net was going paid, and 46 per cent knew that 123india was going paid.
But quite a few (over 20 per cent) were sure that hotmail.com and yahoo.com were also likely to follow. Further, rediff.com, sify.com and indya.com were mentioned by over 10 per cent each as the sites, which would go pay in the future.
Most respondents were very satisfied with the current free e-mail services, while the scores for paid Internet services compared rather dismally.
About 73 per cent of netizens expected the service-quality to remain the same in the pay regime, but 29 per cent expected a great improvement in service if they had to pay for it. They also expected that there would be less spamming, faster downloads, less advertises and more e-mail space.
Profile-wise, the respondents reflect the Indian netizen (Age: 8% were less than 20 years, 34% were between 20-25 years, 23% between 26-29 years, and 36% were above 30 years). About 81 per cent were working professionals, 15 per cent were students and the balance 4 per cent comprised homemakers, with few retired people as well.