Warning: Microsoft Email Policy Change May Affect You

Do you remember the Yahoo! announcement about their policy change on email address recycling and the implementation of that process? Guess what… other ISPs are following in their footsteps.

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Microsoft recently announced to the public that they may delete an account held under their branded services like Outlook, Hotmail or Windows Live if no login activity is registered within 270 days.

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Here’s their policy statement:

“The Microsoft branded services require that you sign in to your Microsoft account periodically, at a minimum of every 270 days, to keep the Microsoft branded services portion of the services active, unless provided otherwise in an offer for a paid portion of the services. If you fail to sign in during this period, we may cancel your access to the Microsoft branded services. If the Microsoft branded services are cancelled due to your failure to sign in, your data may be permanently deleted from our servers.”

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Microsoft’s current Terms of Service do not clearly state whether closed accounts will be recycled or not, but confirmed this plan to Webworld and PCWorld saying: “The email account is automatically queued for deletion from our servers. Then, after a total of 360 days, the email account name is made available again.”

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Make sure you don’t send email to inactive or recycled addresses. Follow the GetResponse advanced segmentation guide on how to set up filters to isolate particular subscribers.

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No further information has been published about whether other ISPs will follow these steps. However, Google says they will not recycle usernames even if they have been deleted for years.

Feel free to leave your comments and share thoughts on those changes in Yahoo! and Microsoft policies.