Thursday, January 12, 2006

Rant: Yahoo Ate my Email!

Now, I'm an understanding and patient guy. And I've been a Yahoo email fan for years. Check the profile (data_devil) and you'll see that I've had my email address for nearly eight years. I don't know of any of my friends who have managed to keep a Yahoo address alive that long, before it became deluged with spam and totally unuseable.

I was there when Yahoo barely gave 4mb of storage, not the amazingly large numbers you get now. I was there when Yahoo bought up Egroups and merged them into the Yahoo network. I've always reccomended Yahoo email to friends who were new to the 'net and needed someplace to check their email.

I'm having a really hard time doing that anymore.

My Yahoo account is screwed up somehow. On my computer at home, the Yahoo screen locks up right after it puts the logo in the top left. Sometimes a Refresh will get it going, other times I just have to close the browser and start over. It happens on the main Inbox screen and at every email. It happens in IE and Firefox, but not on other people's computers. I've checked over everything I can think of in my settings and can't figure out what's locking it up.

...and if that were the only problem, then I wouldn't be so upset. After all, that's a problem with my computer, not Yahoo. I've probably got Yahoo's banner ad generator in my anti-popup or anti-spam program or something, and just haven't figured out how to fix it yet.

But that's not the only problem.

My Yahoo service has been getting increasingly bad over the last few months. Back around Halloween, it was "hey, how come you didn't answer my email?"

"What email?"

The one that arrives after three days of sitting on some dusty streetcorner out on the Information Superhighway, trying to hitch a free ride on a digital turnip truck instead of zipping around in electronic Corvettes like most other emails do. This was happening once or twice a week back then.

Then my outgoing emails started disappearing, too. The mass email with pictures of my new daughter never made it to nearly every recipient. Again, if I was forwarding jokes and chain letters, and the Internet's anti-spam functions killed them, I wouldn't be so upset, but when my father complains that I still haven't shared pictures of the new baby when I know I sent the email...I've got friends who think I'm not talking to them anymore, when the real reason is, either I, or they, haven't been able to get through.

Then the rejections start trickling in. "I'm sorry, I've held onto this email for four days now, and the person on the other end just hasn't gotten it, sorry for any inconvenience." Well, thanks for letting me know that the email was never going to arrive...three and a half days after I talked to them in person about the same topic.

This week, it's reached the absolute worst yet. Five emails I've sent, and at least a dozen emails addressed to me, have never arrived, and this is just to and from ONE person, and just TODAY. There's no telling how many other emails I don't know about have not arrived and how many total of my own emails have just never made it over the wall that Yahoo has apparently built to imprison my emails.

Who do you complain to when a free service is screwing up? It's not like you can go to Yahoo and withhold your payment until they get their act together. What, am I going to write them an email refusing to look at any of their ads until they fix my email issues?

...with my luck, that email wouldn't arrive either...

So I'm doing the only thing I can do, really. Venting.

"Why do you hang onto free email when you could just go through your ISP?" Easy. ISP's change. Maybe a competitor will offer me a better deal, or maybe I'll move out of state. I'd rather have a permanent address, one that isn't tied to my current ISP, than be forced to send out a mass of "oh, by the way, update your address books..." emails.

Enough...I give. I've championed and fought and tried to hang on, but I can't accept the level of service that Yahoo is now offering me. Just this morning, three emails in one hour ended up in a digital ditch, even though two emails before them and three emails after them, from the same sender, all arrived just fine.

So, it's time to abandon Yahoo, once and for all. It's been fun, but from now on, all of my important emails are going to route through Gmail instead.

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