Eircom.net email customers are disgruntled with news that they will be charged €5.99 for the email service.
Many people who had their first internet broadband with Eir (formerly Eircom) have an eircom.net email address.
Customers received an email in recent days saying: "At eir we are always looking to improve the service we provide to our customers.
"To be able to provide an improved eircom.net email service eir will be introducing a charge of €5.99 per month."
They were told that from March 31, they will be redirected to a payment page when they log into their email account.
Customers will have 60 days from that date to sign up to the new service, after which the email address, account and its contents will be permanently deleted.
Eir says the charge will be used to invest in the maintenance and improvement of the service.
The company is advising customers who choose not to avail of the paid service that they will have to download all saved data within their eircom.net email account.
However, there are other things of which people discontinuing their accounts should be aware. A lot of people use their email address to receive or log in to a range of social media, online subscriptions, mailing lists, accounts and other apps. All of these will need to be changed if customers are not signing up for the paid Eir service.
While there are numerous free email services available, paid services of the type that Eir is proposing are not unprecedented. Top UK providers such as BT charge approximated €8 per month. The benefit over free services is supposed to be a more secure account without targeted advertising of the type that comes with Google and Apple accounts.
However, for most everyday users, the advertising is not seen as an inconvenience, but rather part of the online experience to which regular users are accustomed.
Anyone looking for more information on the changes affecting eircom.net users is advised to visit www.eir.ie/support/webmail/