AventureMail out of beta

I briefly blogged about it over 3 months ago, about how AventureMail.com once offered a generous 2Gb email account for free. However, shortly after it broke the news, AventureMail suspended its registration process so that no more account can be created. I did get my 2Gb email account from them, however I have not been actively using it because (1) I found the interface is a bit bloated (2) it is dead slow (they probably over-subscribed) (3) Gmail is just so much better.

However, today I have received a notification email from AventureMail, saying that they have again reactivated the service to allow registration - but with a catch. It says,

Dear User,

AventureMail.com Version 2 is now live! All previous accounts/email etc has been removed to make way to the final release of AventureMail. After several months of intense beta testing to resolve issues such as the massive influx of virus email and spam, we have been able to make a drastic amount of changes...

Basically AventureMail is now opening its business again with improved spam and virus detection. What then is the catch? They have introduced a $2 once off registration fee to combat against service abuse. My guess would be that previously they have received too many abuses regarding to their 2Gb account, so they now only want legitimate users who are serious about getting an email address from them.

Once off USD$2 for a 2Gb email account with improved spam and virus detection - it is actually quite a good deal, provided that they don't oversubscribe themselves again which produces crappy responses. However, I do have an issue with the way they dealt with existing beta testing customers.

First of all, when I first signed up, I never knew that it was a beta testing program. I always thought that they were an Internet company offering big free email accounts, instead of someone looking for beta testers. Secondly, why delete accounts of existing users, especially when there might be legitimate users who depend on this mail service everyday (I doubt due to previous experiences with their speed and responsiveness)? With a track record like this, how can you know that they will not suddenly terminate your account, and ask you to sign up again (with a fee), when they have finally released the new version of AventureMail? For this reason alone, I would not sign up to it, even though it is cheap.

And I cannot imagine if Google does that to all its Gmail users, when Gmail has finally got out of beta (if ever)...