back to article Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

Vodafone is withdrawing its free legacy Demon email service and is giving customers the choice of either moving their addresses to another, paid-for service or losing them altogether. The operator has struck a deal with NamesCo that allows customers to transfer their accounts for £30 per year. Previously the legacy Demon …

  1. dajames Silver badge

    Demon Internet was one of the UK's earliest ISPs, offering dial-up internet access services from 1992. Its name was derived from the fact that many of its dialup access numbers ended with 666.

    Ah, yes. I remember that.

    Surely the name came first, though, and the "666" numbers were deliberately selected (partly humorously, and partly to be memorable).

    1. tony72

      Ah, the memories. Demon was my first ISP, before there were any local POPs in Aberdeen, so I was paying long distance to dial down south to connect with my 14.4k Supra modem and my Amiga 1200. Next time you're complaining about your data charges, figure out what I was paying per MB back then!

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        > Ah, the memories. Demon was my first ISP,

        Likewise. I chose them for several reasons - not the least of which was because they had full FAQs on how to set up sendmail/qmail to use them as a smarthost and how to configure linux ppp and dial-on-demand. Ah - the blazing speed of my Zoom 14.4K modem..

        I stayed with them into the DSL era but eventually ditched them after they got borged by Thus and I could no longer speak to anything that knew what they were doing when I spoke to their helldesk. It didn't help that I got the phone put down on me by one of the support staff who claimed I'd insulted him when I suggested that he wasn't actually listening to what I was saying..

        Went to IDNet fairly shortly after that. And have now moved on to Zen..

      2. cpjames2000

        I have also had my demon address since 1993. I was at uni and wanted to keep in touch with my girlfriend after we left Uni and got jobs, no longer having access to our university mailboxes on JANET,

        I was connecting from my Amiga B2000 using a US Robotics 33.6 modem.. The excited minutes I used to spend waiting for the SMTP client (forget the name of it) to download messages!

        At Uni we just used VT220 green screens connected to the university VAX cluster.. connecting with a command line based Unix client.. ah memory lane .. those were the early internet days .. when Mosaic was the only web browser and there were only a handful of sites anyway .. it was all email, usenet groups and FTP..


    2. Lotaresco

      The number of the beast

      "Surely the name came first, though, and the "666" numbers were deliberately selected (partly humorously, and partly to be memorable)"

      Cliff Stanford joked about it when he was asked if the name would upset the religious nutters concerned citizens, saying he had wondered about getting "666" as part of the dialup numbers. Later it happened.

      Yes the name came first because it was from an earlier company Demon Systems.

  2. Individual #6/42

    Sending an email

    To all 11 people on my contacts who use a demon email address, asking them to let me know their new ones. It's not just the customers who are affected.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Vodafone should accept ongoing responsibility for the Demon domain names"

    And I'm sure Vodaphone will - up to the amount those business users are paying for the service.

    Hey guys, even when you pay you are subscribing to a service whose T&Cs specifically state that the suppler can change the conditions at any time. Don't act all surprised when the supplier of a service you don't even pay for is changing its conditions.

    Of course, if you had an actual contract, this would not happen.

    1. psychonaut

      Re: "Vodafone should accept ongoing responsibility for the Demon domain names"

      yes exactly. you get what you pay for. you are paying how much? whats that? , fuck all? well, thats what you get then.

  4. Alister

    "As part of our multi-billion pound investment in our network and services over the last few years to ensure that customers have access to cutting edge products and services, we have been replacing many of our legacy systems and reviewing the products and services delivered over them: as part of this review we will no longer be offering free email accounts with our broadband products."

    It's a shame that part of the "multi-billion pound investment" couldn't be spent on maintaining a doman and an email server. They don't have to offer free email to new customers, but would it really hurt them to support their existing ones?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      I think it would hurt them

      Early on, they were using FOSS. They would deliver to your server which you could configure to convert email addresses to user accounts as you chose. Some turd brained halfwit replaced it a Microsoft disaster. You then had to fart around with their steadily deteriorating web site to administer addresses. I assume this was because their Microsoft license depended on the number of unique addresses (on the assumption that this is somehow related to the number of users). Switching back to avoid the growing licensing fees would require hiring someone competent, which I assume is beyond the ability of the current PHB.

      The free demon website became a free NamesCo website and a year later they said it was only free for the previous year.

      To some extent, this is a good thing. Domain names are cheap, and ADSL is sufficient for a modest website and email server. I no longer have to tolerate whatever PHB was in charge of these services. (And I hope he is now working out his notice because he has made himself redundant)

      I assume the next thing to go is the free technical support number, followed by service interruptions to increase revenue from the new premium rate number.

      Anyone know an ISP that: puts their terms and conditions front and centre where you can read them, gets their revenue from providing a good service and not a premium rate complaints number and has a termination policy that does not involve finding the secret procedure to arrange a face to face meeting with Mr Inaccessible 36 months in advance?

      1. Richard Simpson

        Re: I think it would hurt them

        Well, to answer your final question, I have always been happy with the service I have got from Andrews and Arnold. Not the cheapest UK ISP by a long way, but as others have said, you get what you pay for.

        True story example:

        A couple of years ago I was looking at the 1 minute resolution usage and latency graphs you get on their support site and noticed almost continuous traffic right through the night. I couldn't find anything in my network causing it so I phoned them up. The conversation went a bit like this:

        "Hmm, let me check you line" tap, tap, tap. "Ah, yes, looks like your router is being used for a DNS amplification attack. There is a page on our Wiki explaining how to change your router setting to prevent that and meanwhile I'll change your static IP and update your domain DNS records to reflect that."

        The key point is that (a) they diagnosed the problem rather than asking what version of Windows I was using and telling me to re-boot my computer and (b) they took it for granted that I would know what a DNS amplification attack was. On the few occasions I have phoned their support line it has always been answered by someone who knows a lot more about networking than I do.

  5. LDS Silver badge

    In Italy they're dropping the free service to know your remaining credit.

    Now if you're on a prepaid SIM you have to pay the SMS to know how much credit is left. Poor lads, they had to reduce the roaming fees... thus looking for other cash cows.

  6. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Just goes to show....

    .... NEVER use (or continue to use) the email address given to you by your internet provider. I tell people this time and time again. Broadband companies are under no obligation to actually continue the service, the certainly don't give it top priority anyway. You're far better off with a address. Google isn't going anywhere soon, and it's one of their flagship products: it's in their interest to keep it going. I have customers with addresses at,, etc and the services are always going wrong. Far better to use something that's likely to keep working, or get your own domain name if you're up to the technical challenge.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: Just goes to show....


      I do wonder, however, how long my email address will last. My bro still uses an NTLworld address!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just goes to show....

        I had an address. I had been with Orange since near the beginning when they first ventured outside London.

        I decided to ditch working for a while and go travelling, I put all my importantish copies of documents, copies of visas etc into e-mails (not the best way but this was before the days of accessible cloud storage).

        I then changed my phone plan from pay monthly to Pay As You Go, keeping the same number etc, but I would no longer need a monthly plan as I would be swapping out SIMs etc and no calling using it.

        That swap, unbeknown to me deleted my e-mail account and I could no longer access it. It had all my contacts within it to e-mail people while travelling. Not only that the account was actually zombied, so I couldn't access it but also I couldn't set it back up using that same e-mail address as it was saying it was taken. Therefore everyone who had my e-mail address (I'd been using it quite a few years) couldn't e-mail me (or perhaps they could but didn't realise it was going into a black hole).

        A number of errors on my behalf, in hindsight, but also Orange were completely unhelpful about wanting to try to resolve it. Switched to Gmail and apart from having my personal data at risk, I've never had an issue with it.

        1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

          Re: Just goes to show....

          It wasn't an error on your behalf. It was Orange's systems that were designed by someone would didn't give a toss. This has happened with several of our customers using BT. And AOL. And of course Orange.

      3. Anna Logg

        Re: Just goes to show....

        I'm still using a circa 1999 Freeserve email address for some of my personal email; I thought it had finally POPped its cloggs a year ago when there was a two week outage, but no,much to my surprise it came back to life. I'm gradually shifting everything over to a GMail account as surely the Freeserve account will die at some point, I stopped using them as my ISP over a decade ago.

      4. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Just goes to show....

        Bless.... my parents still have working email addresses (Freeserve for those born after the mid 90's)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just goes to show....

      You're far better off with a address

      Out of the frying pan, into the fire: do not use a provider email address either, because it means you're forever wedded to the conditions they impose on you, whatever they may be. All these extensions like,,, - avoid, avoid, avoid. In the latter case you are harming the privacy of your correspondents without their permission, but I'm certain that happens with anything hosted by Microsoft too.

      Get your own domain, and then host it somewhere sensible (i.e. NEVER involve outfits such as GoDaddy - go to EasyDNS as they have at least sane policies and decent management). If the service provider starts to act up, move. If the domain name provider starts to go funny, move. This way you have the choice and there is enough competition to ensure some providers keep it decent. You'll find that quite a few of those domain name companies can actually provide you with email services there and then, but it'll cost you a little.

      Just in case are attracted by the "it's free" deception of the likes of Google and Microsoft, I'd recommend pouring yourself a large mug of your favourite beverage and really, really READ the terms you are about to agree to. They are deliberately made long and boring - divide it up in a couple of sessions if need be, but read it all. You will discover that "free" has a fairly Faustian price. You may find paying for it better value, also because that is at least a contract you can terminate..

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Just goes to show....

        Hotmail has gone pretty bad as well, recently turned off POP access by default and renamed it all outlook.

        Turned a good free system into a POS.

        I own a domain based on my name, rent web space and use that.

        1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

          Re: Just goes to show....

          Of course hotmail has gone bad, it's run by microsoft.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Just goes to show....

            They bougth Hotmail and messed it up

      2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: Just goes to show....

        Bollocks to the conditions. You're not violating anyone's privacy by sending them email from your gmail account. What privacy am I supposed to care about? As long as crooks can't get hold of info that I don't store in gmail anyway, what's the big deal? I'm not a paranoid conspiracy theorist so I really don't care.

        If I want good privacy I'll run my own server. Actually I do anyway. But not because of privacy concerns.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just goes to show....

          Bollocks to the conditions. You're not violating anyone's privacy by sending them email from your gmail account

          Actually, you do, in at least 2 ways:

          - meta data: you have disclosed an established relationship between you and someone else to a 3rd party (now imagine you're a divorce lawyer and the other party sees this - they won't need the content)..

          - content: Google scans it all, so they know what you have been talking about

          It gets worse when you RECEIVE email, though, because at that point you're handing it off to a (very much) untrusted 3rd party before you even see it yourself.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Just goes to show....

      "or get your own domain name if you're up to the technical challenge."

      I think the main technical challenges involved are to know it's possible and to know who are the major bar stewards to avoid. You don't have to run your own server.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Just goes to show....

        Agreed - if you get a domain and email package from someone like for instance 1&1, you get webmail included, with a nicer-looking interface than Gmail in my opinion, and no special techie knowledge needed. Plus all the configuration help you need to set up PC or mobile email clients.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just goes to show....

          > from someone like for instance 1&1

          *Hysterical laughter*

    5. simon_c

      Re: Just goes to show....

      You're actually far better off buying your domain name, and paying a few quid a year to host the DNS and email.

    6. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Just goes to show....

      "Google isn't going anywhere soon, and it's one of their flagship products: it's in their interest to keep it going."

      Only slightly marred by Google's habit of killing off services when they become "boring". You might think GMail is flagship. I'm surprised they haven't yet tried to roll it into G+...

    7. Dave Bell

      Re: Just goes to show....

      I went onto Gmail while I was still a Demon customer, and set up my own domain name, which has an echo of my Demon domain name. The domain name is still running, and it forwards to the address. no problems. When broadband came to the district, the choice of sources was limited, BT wasn't quite so open to competing ISPs as it is now. I kept up my personal domain because it was cheap, and I was never quite sure the ISP would continue. I am on my third different broadband provider.

      Demon was a slightly geeky provider. It surprises me that the customers still using the name have apparently never done something as simple as get their own domain name. And we don't know how many of the residue addresses are just there to catch ancient references. (You see it with Linux, advice on problems that was written a decade ago and invokes software sources that don't exist any more)

      I can't really say that I am sad that Demon is vanishing, but I know people who worked there in the early days, and sang scurrilous songs about elves and veterinarians with them. In it's way, it is as significant as the last flight of an RAF Harrier, the end of an age, for reasons which may have nothing to do with the viability of the machines.

  7. steamnut

    Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

    I was with demon since the dial-up days and they were the best ISP for sure for many years. I recommended them to SME's and, at one time had control of eight Demon accounts. Then it was part of Thus and eventually Vodafone. The support was moved to you-know-where and, for me, the writing was on the wall.

    Apart from the email issues their service offerings have been strange recently. My rural ADSL was an 8Mbps package. As I only ever managed 4Mbps on a good day this was good for me. Then, I was offered FTTC. Demon did not have any plans to offer FTTC connections but I could move to Vodafone they said. A quick review of service providers and I moved to Zen. Now, even is rural North Wales, I get 15Mbps and no caps. I'm a happy bunny.

    There was no attempt to keep me after 20 years at all. I think that Demon will be totally merged into Vodafone any time soon - this is the first step in my view.

    Demon was a very good ISP; the service was reliable and their support guys knew their stuff. I fear that Vodafone support will never match it ("your call is important...). So far, what little support I have needed from Zen has been good - phew!

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

      I have 2 demon customers left.

      One was full business, and so the only reason we haven't moved to another ISP after their domain was outsourced to namesco was because the cab is due to be upgraded in a few months, and so we'll leave as soon as FTTC is an option.

      The other was using a subdomain, and the only reason they stayed with Demon was due to the email. Now that's moved to another provider, the line will follow asap.

      Both will probably go to Zen too.

    2. Dr Who

      Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

      Zen. I use them for home and work broadband and landline. Cannot rate them highly enough. You pay a bit more, but it's worth every penny..

    3. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

      I second (third? fourth?) the Zen recommendation.

      Way back when I moved house, I had to pick an ADSL provider and researched it down to two possibilities - Demon and Zen. Similar on price, and on the face of it the service offerings were equivalent. So I decided to do a test - whichever one had the better tech support would get my vote.

      I called Demon's published tech support number, and immediately encountered Press-1-for-sales-press-2-if-you-speak-Welsh automated hell. After 5 mins on hold I was put through to an Indian (I think) woman who refused to go any further until I gave an account number - which of course I didn't yet have.

      Then tried Zen. Two rings and the call was answered by a very friendly Geordie who fell about laughing when I explained how I was testing their service.

      No prizes for guessing which one I went with!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

      Very similar here, ah memories... I was on their £10 a month dialup in the 90s. It was so exciting! Various ISPs since but been with Zen for 10 years with zero problems, now with FTTC. I've never used an ISP's mail address though. Remember all those Says a lot about you

      1. Laura Kerr

        Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

        Thanks folks - I'm about to walk from Demon after 21 years, after they can't seem to work out how to reset my web password, thus preventing me from administering the five - FIVE - email addresses they so kindly gave me when I moved house and had to switch lines.

        It's so sad. Back in the day, you had two choices - Demon or the also-rans. Now they're indistinguishable from the pack. Hero to zero after a couple of corporate takeovers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

          It's so sad. Back in the day, you had two choices - Demon or the also-rans

          True, at least until Pipex started gearing up. That actually went faster down the drain than Demon after being bought by UUnet, but until then they were the next decent provider. Demon basically just kept motoring on for the people who had a technical background.

          Farewell Demon, for you gave me the first connection to the Internet in the days of gopher, archie and evil FTP recompiles so people had to spell "miscellaneous" to gain access to anonymous FTP (it was late and we were bored, sorry about that).

          That said, I can't for the life of me remember what the MS-DOS software package was they provided to connect - I recall it was actually a radio callsign.

          For the kids, this was in the days before computers had CD drives - adding a CD drive involved a sound card and lots of drivers. Ah, you don't know what a CD is. Hmm...

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

            "That said, I can't for the life of me remember what the MS-DOS software package was they provided to connect - I recall it was actually a radio callsign"

            KA9Q - the callsign of Phil Karn, who wrote the package for use on amateur radio networks.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

              Thanks for that, it's been bugging me :).

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

        Remember all those Says a lot about you

        Me too!

        (on a serious note, I see my innocuous anecdote above about Zen vs. Demon has attracted my habitual downvoter. Hi, whoever you are. Hope you're comfortable in your mom's basement. Oh, and stop doing you-know-what because you'll go blind and get hairy palms.)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IIRC Demon was an early (perhaps the first) example of crowdfunding ... the person who set it up posted on uk.telecom (I think) to say that he'd worked out if something like 100 people were prepared to pay him £10/month then that would cover the cost of him setting up a leased line and bank of modems for those people to dial into and was, at that stage, very much a case of "I want an internet connection at home and if 100 other people agree its worth £10/month then we can all do it together"

    1. Bob Dunlop

      Early easy signup

      Joined when they only covered London and Watford.

      Remember the phone call, had a brief discussion about modem/software compatibilty, then they gave me my login credentials and said it would go live in about 10 minutes. Almost as an after thought they asked me to send them a check.

    2. Tim Hines

      It was Cix rather than uk.telecom.

      1. Titus Aduxass

        It was indeed the Compulink Information eXchange.

        I still have a copy of Ameol and the (printed) manual somewhere.

      2. BanburyBill

        Yes, CIX

        Conference tenner-a-month, IIRC. Run, in those days, by the Clueful.

  9. Dwarf

    Shove it into the cloud

    Surely a company the size of Vodafone can afford to run a bit of email hosting and provide some customer service in case anyone has some problems - after all, Its not difficult to register a domain and provide some tin to run email services from.

    They could call to a company called Vodafone who apparently offer cloud and hosting services, see Vodafone Cloud

    If they can't do that to keep happy customers, then why not release the domain name to another ISP who could do this - rather than tossing customers off a cliff. Customers remember the service they get (or not as the case may be)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Shove it into the cloud

      "Customers remember the service they get"

      Customers? Remind me, what are they?</PHB mode>

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Shove it into the cloud

        Customers? Remind me, what are they?</PHB mode>

        Replaced in the corporate vocabulary these days by the term "consumers".

        The difference is that the word "customers" has connotations of people with discretion about the services they use and the companies they patronise - people who can choose to defect at any time and whose loyalty cannot be taken for granted.

        The term "consumers" on the other hand evokes passive drones who will swallow any crap - service, prices, treatment - they're given.

        And that difference has percolated into companies' attitudes.

        Or maybe I'm just waaaaay over-thinking this. It's past midnight, I have consumed (aha) most of a very fine local farmhouse ale and am feeling both disconnected and also very cynical. Not a good combination when posting to the Reg.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh well

    Been with them since 1994 - last year switched to Gradwell for my email and a new domain and now the cabinet in the streets been done I'll be offski to Zen or BT before the end of the year. Pity since the old Demon community and support used to be excellent.

    Oh and its worth pointing out that Vodafone are giving customers all of 30 days notice to switch their email before its switched off.

    1. smudge

      Re: Oh well

      Oh and its worth pointing out that Vodafone are giving customers all of 30 days notice to switch their email before its switched off. the peak holiday season, too.

      IIRC, the first batch of emails should be switched off next week. I haven't had any communication yet from Vodafone - it is believed that they are switching off emails in batches - but I have already registered my own domain elsewehere and have spent many boring hours trying to remember all my online accounts and updating the details. I'm bound to have forgotten some.

      The eye-opening thing about that exercise was how bad some sites are at handling updates. There are quite a few where I still have to use the old email address as my logon ID, even though they are now sending stuff to my new email address. There are also those who are still sending to my old email address, two weeks after being told of my new address. There is at least one where I am now completely locked out. And a few where there were no facilities for changing email address, or where the change appeared to work, but in fact failed.

      And then there is the security aspect. Some sites accepted the change with no questions asked - bad. Some sent a confirmation link in an email to the old address - top marks there. Some merely sent messages to the old address (or both addresses), saying "your email has changed - please contact us if you didn't expect it). And some - zero marks - sent emails only to the new address saying "your address has changed".

      Anyway, if you ever have to change a lot of email addresses, do it before you lose the old address. And expect a lot of variation in how well the changes are handled.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Oh well

        "The eye-opening thing about that exercise was how bad some sites are at handling updates. There are quite a few where I still have to use the old email address as my logon ID"

        Size is no impediment to such hopelessness. Hello IBM.

  11. Flywheel

    Still on Demon?

    Heh, if you hurry you may be able to bag a Compuserve address..

    1. Nano nano

      Re: Still on Demon?

      Or number, at any rate !

    2. Alien8n

      Re: Still on Demon?

      I remember Compuslave. Terms and conditions included the blood of your first born child.

      Started with Compuserve, then went to Demon. Loved Demon's DOS email and usenet client, we used to have fun editing the headers for where the posts were coming from. Then went to Screaming Internet until they got bought out by Tiscali and service went downhill from there. Been with Virgin Media since it was orginally NTL, not by choice so much but due to the fact that BT cut too many corners when cabling the village (copper plated aluminium instead of proper copper cables, so it's nigh on impossible to get speeds > 1Mb on ADSL). Haven't had too many issues with VM, and they do have a lovely 200Mb option :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's simple and cheap enough to buy your own domain name for email

    Places like let you buy a domain name for less than a tenner a year, and this includes multiple email addresses for that domain and a simple portal to invisibly redirect these mails to another email address of your choice at the back-end (e.g. gmail).

    You can then maintain a single domain contact that belongs to you, and you can change the back-end email host as often as you like without having to constantly update your senders with details of your change of address.

  13. Julian Bond

    It makes me sad

    to finally see Demon go. And I only stopped using Turnpike last year when making it work on Win10-64 looked like just too much hassle.

  14. caffeine addict

    My Force9 email addresses all still work despite them changing their name to Plusnet 16 years ago.

    Keeping Demon servers going can't be that big a hit for Vodafone...

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Demon's servers were canned by vodafone a couple of years ago.

      Punts and mail delivery (smdps iirc) were canned in favour of exchange.

      I doubt the exchange system was actually part of demon.

  15. Tromos

    Some choice!

    "...the choice of either moving their addresses to another, paid-for service or losing them altogether"

    Who was it that said "choice is good for the consumer"?

  16. adam payne

    A Vodafone spokeswoman said: “We are sorry that those business customers who have been using the Demon broadband are having to change their email addresses and can only apologise for the inconvenience."

    Oh yes please apologise for the inconvenience you are causing for very little gain.

    She said the move was part of the company's £2bn investment in its network and services intended to address issues around customer experience.

    A 2bn investment and you penny pinch like that. One thing i'm not sure on is, how this address issues around customer experience?

    1. Fatman

      RE: the company's £2bn investment

      <quote>She said the move was part of the company's £2bn investment in its network and services intended to address issues around customer experience.

      A 2bn investment and you penny pinch like that.</quote>

      <sarcasm>They have to think of the shareholders <u>think about not decreasing the executive bonus pool</u>.</sarcasm>

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    has highlighted a number of routes

    f... off or f... off. It's only business after all. Short-term cost and short-term profit.

  18. unwarranted triumphalism

    Entitlement Syndrome

    "Vodafone should accept ongoing responsibility for the Demon domain names that underpin those identities."

    Why should they?

  19. DaveB

    RIP Demon

    To think when I used Demon I was running Windows 3.1 with Trumpet Winsock which had to be loaded as a DOS TSR.

    It was also during this time, as my e-mail grew that using an e-mail address tied to my ISP was a bad idea. I created a domain and email service at so that all my e-mail is hosted in the US in San Francisco, for $7.95 a month paid quarterly. Oh! and I get US customer service.

    1. Cliff Stanford

      Re: RIP Demon

      Anyone want a address? I could set them up for a tenner a month!


  20. jms222

    I was with CIX for a while and Demon started there in a conference called tenner_a_month.

    I also did some work for Camnet also known as Cambridge Freenet. One of their people left and started Freeserve.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I'm old....

    My memory may be failing, but I am fairly sure Demon Internet arose out of the "tenner-a-month" group on CIX, that being the amount contributors had to fork out for them to purchase a 64k connection leased line.

    Used them for years, but they were bought by Scottish Telecom who then jumped the shark when they went all mystical after the marketeers ate some mushrooms and it became Let-it-be-Thus, or Thus for short.

    Also from memory, Demon was the first ISP to provide 0800 dial-up, meaning if you had a spare line, you could stay connected without bankrupting yourself to BT. That meant I found out the hard way I was accidentally running an open sendmail relay, pushing me to posfix when I realised I didn't have the brains to work out sendmail M4 macros.

  22. Steve Kerr

    Demon e-mail

    I remember joining Demon at the beginning when i had an Amiga and Compuserve (had an account iwth them for one month) didn't support them, had to to run my own mailserver on the Amiga to get my e-mails!

    Switched to ADSL when I discovered they were about to start, bought it thru whoever owned them. The support person at Demon when I had an issue (faulty equipment at the exchange) was rather surprised I already had their broadband package as it was actually being sold by them yet.

    Left them when their ADSL speeds went off a cliff and it made playing PS3 online games impossible due to network dropouts. Their attempt at keeping me was "we're going to upgrade soon"....yeah, right.

    As I've had the e-mail domain so long, when I left, I paid them to keep the e-mail, my paid for service moved to NamesCo or whoever they are a couple of years ago, not had any issues with it, so hopefully getting what I'm "paying" for rather than crying about losing a service I haven't paid for.

  23. danjackson

    Decoupling of email from broadband?

    I wonder if this means we'll be able to keep our Demon email addresses when changing broadband provider? My mum has been on Demon broadband for many years (and I use an email address associated with this) but because of this they're stuck on 8Mb. I don't really want to change email so I've paid for me and my mum to migrate to the new paid email system, but it occurs to me to wonder whether that then means she can switch to some other broadband provider?

    1. smudge

      Re: Decoupling of email from broadband?

      It's my understanding that if you take up the NamesCo offer, then you can. But note that talk amongst the few remaining customers at the newsgroup demon.service is that Vodafone may ditch the whole set-up at some time in the near future - IIRC next April is when the registration expires. Vodafone have certainly hinted at that in the past.

      Demon customer domains - eg - are all subdomains of So if that disappears, then so will all customer subdomains - websites, email and everything - regardless of who your broadband supplier is.

      I was lucky in that - where "mydomain" is my Demon subdomain name - had not been registered, so I registered it a couple of weeks ago, and have spent a lot of time since then telling everyone about the change of address, and amending all my online accounts. Of course, a change of email address is a change of email address, so simply dropping the ".demon" is not technically different from completely changing the domain name, but it seemed like a logical thing to do.

      1. danjackson

        Re: Decoupling of email from broadband?

        I've paid for a year's worth so they better not be discontinuing it in April 2017 or I shall be having words.

        I can't say I'm that surprised though, just thought I'd have more time to sort out a replacement email address. I hope we get more than 30 days' notice if (when) they decide to finally shut it all down.

        Pity they can't just sell the brand to someone who would actually give a shit about it instead of just killing it.

      2. Number6

        Re: Decoupling of email from broadband?

        I took the decision back in 2000 to acquire my own domain based on my Demon hostname (a .org at the time, although I also now have the .com and for a while had the, so I got over the pain of changing email address a long time ago. I also run my own mail server, so I get unlimited user names at the domain. The hard part now is having a static IP for outbound mail and the way a lot of ISPs block inbound port 25, but a friendly cloud VM provider provider fixes that, I have a Linux machine out there with fixed addresses and I can use it as my gateway in and out.

        I stayed with them for quite a while, having been about number 700 on their customer database based on the IP address (158.152.10.x) before switching to AAISP because I wanted to play ipv6.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Decoupling of email from broadband?

        Vodafone may ditch the whole set-up at some time in the near future

        The full meaning of the March 23, 2015 announcement concerning the transfer of operations to intY/Namesco and hence the decoupling of broadband and over-the-top services, is becoming clear:

        Especially the following statements in the FAQs:

        "I have a email address and website; will I be able to continue to use this?

        Yes, Namesco will be migrating email addresses and websites that sit under the domain. You’ll be able to continue to use these for around two more years. Services that were previously provided free will incur a small fee.


        Obviously, the next step will be the forced migration of Demon broadband customers to Vodafone broadband platform, thereby enabling the closure of the Demon service management system.

        Once this has been achieved, Vodafone will be able to transfer the domain to intY/Namesco, to enable Namesco to continue to deliver services to those customers who migrated their websites and email address to the Namesco O365 and Exchange online services.

        1. sugarmag375

          Re: Decoupling of email from broadband?

          So what's happening with Namesco now? I've been paying my fiver a month since Demon died to retain my email address and last night had an email from Namesco saying they're giving up! I've raised a service tag but they still haven't replied yet. Only 4 days notice for this too (I guess as they got the day of the week wrong)

    2. maffw

      Re: Decoupling of email from broadband?

      @danjackson - short answer, yes. This is what I am doing with my parents too, same set up as you wrt Demon on their home phone line, now moving them to Have, however, purchased own domain name to control where email goes for the future so will migrate them off over the forthcoming year and use as their email service routed from the domain. The pricing of the email service from nameco is only reduced for ex-demonites for the first year so watch out the costs if you stick with a address.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 2bn investment should just about sort out the mess that was the C&W and Demon internet infrastructure. A lot of Demon's network was 15+ years old and many of the configuration docs, passwords, account details and staff had been lost in the eternal takeovers and outsourcing. I remember there was servers and switches that nobody had a clue what they did - until they failed.

    I expect that the final mailservers have given up the ghost and the DC is being decommissioned. I would also suspect it's not going to be possible or economic to migrate this data and keep a niche service running.

    AC coz I worked in Demon\C&W wholesale (which was UK based) local IT and saw the issues first hand.

  25. Chris King

    And another "Elder God" ISP brand bites the dust...

    I was with them on dial-up from 1996 to 2000, and spent an ungodly amount using the Orange ROMP with a mobile when out-of-office - remember HSCSD ? It harks from the time when Orange still cared about cool tech (Line 2, Fax and Wildfire, anybody ?) and good customer service, so that's going back a very long time.

    Before I finally left Demon I bought a domain, with the domain name being the same as my Demon login name. For several months my e-mail signature contained a simple instruction...

    "I'm moving - so exorcise the Demon !"

    My e-mail has been ISP-independent ever since, having burned through a succession of ISP's - FreeServe, ClaraNET, NTL, Nildram and finally AAISP.

  26. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    There was a time when a legacy was considered something to take pride in.

    Not any more, it seems.

  27. Lotaresco

    The end of an era...

    <fx video="wavy lines" audio="haunting_riff.m4a">

    The end happened for me at the time of "Godfrey v Demon Internet Service". I was one of the early Demon users - around number 200 I think - after I had a tip-off from a friend that Cliff had promised a tenner-a-month deal. Shortly after losing the case Thus tried an odd thing, or rather their "crack legal team" did. They insisted that customers sign a new contract declaring that in the event of a libel case caused by something a customer said, the customers agreed to underwrite Demon's legal costs without limit.

    My answer, predictably, involved sex and travel and I left them for another ISP. It was predictable at the time that the corporate droids were going to ruin Demon. The only real surprise is that it has taken this long.

    Despite my disagreement with Thus, several of the original Demon team still keep in touch from time to time, which is nice.

  28. amacater

    Fuck off Vodafone - I've been paying Demon since 1994. I'm now a Vodafone business customer, according to you and have paid for a year's service from Dec 2015.

    I'll have my domain name then please and the static IP that goes with it - which should be worth something now. Something like 30, 000 emails or more in that time

  29. Starting

    Remember Vodacrap we know where you live

    It was clear when Vodafone took over that they had no interest in personal customers, and their dropping the 'free' (don't kid me I was paying for it) web hosting caused me considerable trouble on a website I support. After having to transfer to namesco for a couple of months while I got things sorted I wouldn't go anywhere near them again. I transferred web hosting to Mythic Beasts — a small cheap operation with only email support and FTP access, but absolutely brilliant if you can handle that. (Have several sites hosted by them. ) Now I've switched my mail to them (no extra charge) although pissed as hell with Vodafone for my wife who is abroad and won't be back before their one- month notice expires. Need to think about a new ISP now, because they'll go business only next.

    Needless to say I'll never do business with Vodacrap again.

  30. no-one in particular

    Vodaphone, a shining example of customer support

    So I had to learn about this from an El Reg article, no letter, not even an email about it from Vodaphone!

    Been with Demon since the tenner-a-month days and foolishly let myself drift into the trap of using lots of email addresses, making it a pain to move away. Oh, and the static IP has been very useful to me.

    Now trawling the above comments for good ideas about alternative ISPs, trying to figure out a decent way to take the "buy own domain, switch ISP route".

    1. no-one in particular

      Re: Vodaphone, a shining example of customer support

      <so annoyed I can't even be bothered to spell their name the way they like - wtf is a "fone'?>

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. The Boojum

    Another vote for Zen as ISP

    Excellent customer service, albeit at a bit of a price (but still worth it to avoid having to deal with bt directly).

    And a vote for own domain plus basic Web hosting. I use tsohosts. Although I'm not a demanding customer, I've always found them very helpful as well.

  33. Duffaboy

    They should use the money on their Mobile network instead

    Poor signal. quality and call drop offs, voicemails delivered days later and txt messages upto 3months later.

  34. FredBloggs61

    Off topic slightly, but how freakin maddening is it to see a van sign painted with a hotmail, aol, outlook, gmail or any free domain email address.

  35. David 132 Silver badge

    OK, your opinions please.

    This issue has now gone from abstract to personal for me - my uncle has just e-mailed me to ask for guidance, as he's had a address for donkey's years.

    I'm going to suggest to him that he gets his own domain name (e.g. and mail forwarding to whatever address he prefers (gmail, etc) - or even direct mail hosting via the domain provider...? Which would be better?

    I must point out that he's not particularly technical (though not daft by any means), so running his own mail server is out of the question. The simpler the solution, the better. I am several thousand miles away from him so can't really do much hands-on implementation.

    I've seen a number of recommendations among your comments, but let's coalesce them. Ladies and gentlemen, your suggestions please!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember an email saying that there would no longer be any free (20MB) web space for Demon users. Then a note about moving email services. It said you would be contacted if affected. As I never heard anything further I presumed it didn't affect me.

    Am I to understand that ALL Demon sub domain emails are affected in the near future?

    The article is not clear if paying the ransomfee gives you continuity of your mail address? The thought of re-registering with the sites currently using that address is daunting.

    Luckily my two year contract has finished - and I switched to monthly billing in anticipation of moving ISP after the deterioration in their support.

    1. Nigel Barker

      This is what they sent me.

      I have been paying Demon for ages for a dial up account, the agreement was if I did that I could keep the email.

      I got this with 7 days warning.

      Dear customer,

      To ensure that you benefit from the best email service possible we are upgrading the email platform on which you may have services. If you wish to continue using these services, you will need to contact us to create a billing package.

      Currently you are not being billed for any email packages so if you do not wish to retain your services, no action is required.

      What's changing?

      In April 2015 your Demon Email services were assigned to us and as such the following domain name has remained active as an Exchange Email account:

      Primary Domain:

      We will be suspending the primary domain above and any other associated domains from the Exchange Email platform on Tuesday 31st January 2017. After this time, any legacy email services associated with this platform will no longer work.

      How do I retain my email services?

      You may not have purchased a package or your package may since have lapsed, meaning we have no record for the domain above or any other domains associated with it within our systems. For this reason, if you wish to continue you will need to purchase an Office 365 product by registering at and choosing the right Office 365 package for you. This dedicated registration page enables us to set up Demon email addresses on Office 365 quickly and efficiently.

  37. Nigel Barker

    I note they're calling this "service upgrade" by a special project name :-

    Vodafone Demon Upsell Project.

    I was paying a fiver a month for having access to my email account, now I have to pay £153 per year, oh that'll be plus VAT sir!

    Like many others I started with Demon many years ago, have stayed with them for a long time, they drove me off broadband because of their appalling service, now they have sold me to someone else and I'll eventually drop Demon from my life altogether.

    Funny, I thought successful business was about keeping paying customers, not driving them away.


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