Customer Service – Yahoo Style

I’ve recently run into problems with my yahoo account. I’ve owned this particular account since 1997 and have diligently paid yahoo $20 a year for the additional mail features (pop access, more storage, etc) and have always had a good luck with it…until recently.

Last week I tried logging into my account to check up on things in my yahoo account. I went to mail.yahoo.com to login and quickly found that I couldn’t log in with my regular username and password. My yahoo email was still forwarded so the account was still active so I started thinking that I’d changed my password so I did the ‘forgot your password?” option to try and recover it.

This option is actually an interesting way to allow users to reset their own password. Their system allows you to enter your username, birthday, zip code, country and enter the text from their captcha system. I followed their sign-in help and did filled out the form but kept getting told that my info was wrong. I knew it couldn’t be wrong…but it wouldn’t let me in.

So…I started looking around for a ‘Contact us’ page that would let me call or email yahoo to ask for help. Never did find a contact # (shame on you yahoo…especially for a customer like me who has paid for your yahoo mail plus account). I found a ‘contact us’ form page and filled it out to ask yahoo support what was going on.

24 hours later I received a canned response from them saying ‘you must enter your username, birthday, zip code, country and enter the text from their captcha system and you’ll get your password. I responded and said that I tried that and asked for more help.
24 hours later I received yet another canned response asking for the the same info along with the answer to my security question. I provided this info and waited.
24 hours later I received a third canned response telling me that my answer to my security question was wrong (what???) and that the only way they would help was if I could give them the right answer. Now…the security question was one that was absolutely impossible for me to get wrong but somehow it was wrong.
This third attempt really got under my skin…72 hours after contacting yahoo I was no closer to getting my question answered. I decided to try the ‘forget your password?” option again and saw an option I hadn’t noticed before (and hadn’t been told about by yahoo). This 2nd option allows you to enter a credit card that you’ve used with yahoo…since I’ve purchased the mail plus account I knew I could get in this way.

So….I entered my credit card and was finally allowed to enter a new password and had access to my account. After getting into the account, I noticed that somehow all of my info had been changed. For example, my name was no longer ‘Eric Brown’ but ‘Ericca Banfieldd.’ The address was barely changed (it was off by one number) but the city/state/zip showed me as being in Arizona. I mentioned this to yahoo in another email and waited…

24 hours later (that’s 96 hours after first contact), I received their response. They told me ‘our records indicate you changed your address…but unless you provide the right answer to your security question, we can’t let you in.’ I responded and told them that I was able to get into the account using the credit card info and no longer needed their help.

24 hours later (120 hours after first contact) I got a response from yahoo saying ‘thanks for contacting yahoo…we are glad that we could be of assistance.’ Wow…glad they helped me!

Let’s recap:

  • Any question to yahoo support takes 24 hours to get a response.
  • Any question to yahoo support is responded to with canned responses with absolutely no attempt to solve your problem.
  • If you ever have this happen to you, you will be very frustrated.
  • Don’t use yahoo email for any type of critical email…unless you are OK with losing email access for at least 24 hours.

Apparently, I’m not the only one having problems with yahoo service. A quick search on any search engine will find many other examples of this same type of response. I wonder if anyone at yahoo corporate ever thinks about customer service and how this type of poor service affects peoples opinions of using yahoo for other services (web hosting, advertising, etc).

I’ve been a user/fan of yahoo since 1997 but no longer. Sorry yahoo.

[tags] customer service, yahoo, bad support [/tags]

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