The short question: Are gte.net (or other non-verizon.net) email accounts in jeopardy or at risk of being lost during the Verizon/AOL/Frontier transition and if so, how do people keep their gte.net (or other non-verizon.net) accounts through the Verizon/AOL/Frontier transition?
The long question: Keep reading ...
Apparently there is something interesting happening between Verizon, AOL, and Frontier for dial-up customers in the states of California, Florida, and Texas.
We're a small group of techs and we've been assisting technically challenged folks here in the Southern California region with their GTE (gte.net) email accounts. The accounts in question have been in constant use for 10 to 20 years or longer.
Now, these folks keep receiving somewhat ominous emails stating they'll lose access to their Verizon email accounts if they don't activate them within AOL mail either soon or by TODAY (March 25, 2016).
(For those unfamiliar, GTE was a company that, through mergers, eventually became Verizon. Verizon has continued to support gte.net accounts to this day. For the purposes of this discussion, we're only talking about gte.net email accounts, but other non-verizon.net email accounts may be affected as well.)
To reiterate: The ONLY accounts most of these people have ever known and used are their gte.net accounts. They've never had, never used, or sometimes never even known of any verizon.net email account. They just knew they had to keep paying their Verizon dial-up bill to keep their Internet account, which includes their gte.net email account.
In the process of helping them, we've done the following:
- Checked the Residential FAQs at the meetfrontier site, but they only mention verizon.net email addresses
- Checked the "Verizon Move to AOL Mail - FAQs", and it lists gte.net, but it says "In order to send email from other domains, such as those above [which includes gte.net], you will need to connect directly to those providers to send email from their domains." - but WHICH provider is that?
- Checked the Verizon forums for any other clues, and see someone else has questioned the status of their gte.net account and the process of keeping it
So there are a lot of reference sites we've been directed toward, but, they're not of any help.
Again, while most of these people we're helping may not be technically savvy, they knew they had an email address (at gte.net) and they knew enough to use it to sign up for their banking, utility services, and online shopping needs. So that's what they did. Now their login credentials are tied to an account they currently believe is in jeopardy of being lost.
What they are confused about is that they don't know why they keep receiving emails for an email address (verizon.net) they don't want or don't even recognize.
To be honest, we've looked at several of the emails these people received and we've got to say, the content certainly seems to lean toward intimidating. "Access to your email will be restricted" says one. "You will lose access to your email account" says another. Not exactly a friendly how-do-you-do for [very] longtime paying customers. Remember, some of the people receiving these emails have been GTE/Verizon customers for decades, they remember Netscape Navigator somewhat fondly, and they don't know what "a webmail" is.
We are hesitant to perform any actions with these people's accounts since they obviously don't want to lose access, but they (and we) don't know what to do exactly.
So, I think what we're asking for here is some official website, statement, reference, ANYTHING regarding the status of gte.net email accounts and how they should be handled so these people can go on with their lives.
If someone from Verizon reads this and is able to do so, please post any helpful/positive guidance as a response to this post so you can possibly help any others that may be in this situation. (We're already instructing most of the people we're dealing with that they may need to seek help directly from Verizon.)
If anyone (ANYONE!) else reading this has a gte.net email account and has successfully (or unsuccessfully) activated their "gte.net" account within AOL, or if you have any (ANY!) potentially helpful advice regarding all this gte.net confusion, please, for the sake of your fellow Netizens, let us know!
Thank you for your time!