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Vodafone pulls the plugs on Vizzavi email service

Portal now totalled?

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Some skiploads of money later, Vodafone seems approximately back where it was prior to embarking on the Vizzavi portal adventure with France's SFR. A couple of months back Vodafone bought SFR's stake for very little money indeed, and today users of the Vizzavi email system received a message informing them that "the Vizzavi email service will be closing down on the 31st March 2003."

Vodafone UK is punting the alternative of Vodafone Mail, which is a Vodafone customer only service intended to provide "a single point of access for all your messages: voice, personal e-mail and fax."

The Register and Vodafone go back some considerable distance on this one. Before Vodafone and SFR's Big Adventure Vodafone ran its own email system at vodafone.net, which is now where you sign up for Vodafone Mail. But when they got portalitis all of the Vodafone users had to change their email addresses from, say, suffering.punters@vodafone.net to suffering.punters@vizzavi.net. Presumably once you've registered yet again your email address will be suffering.punters@vodafone.net once more.

Not that Vodafone is exactly going for the hard sell. Along with references to the company's privacy policy (which we recall as being one of the world's more bracing such efforts) the Ts & Cs assure you: "If you successfully register for this Service, your existing voicemail messages, greetings and security codes will be lost." That's nice, isn't it?

It's not entirely clear to us what will remain of the Vizzavi brand, which was previously central to the whole enterprise. vizzavi.net now fields over to Vodafone, vizzavi.de remains apparently airborne at Vodafone-D2, while vizzavi.fr is still chugging along under the SFR banner, showing no apparent sign of having been sold into Vodafone slavery. We think maybe Vodafone should ask for its money back. ®

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