One of my clients had a problem earlier today. I helped them choose a new email setup, and they went with Yahoo Business Edition Mail. It’s worked like a charm for them until today. Oh, sure, they’ve had to adjust their business processes a bit, but it was a vast improvement over their previous situation, where only allowed one person in to view his or her mailbox at a time. And it’s quite low maintenance and fairly easy to learn, as it was entirely browser based.

But today, the web client for Yahoo! was busted. New layouts, new colors, old functionality gone, intermittent changes in the GUI, the whole bit. I got on the phone with Yahoo! support, and they assured me it was simply a webmail client problem. No mail was being lost. But, as Joel explains, for most folks, the interface is the program. You try explaining the difference between SMTP and POP and mail storage and local clients to an insurance agent who just wants to send her customers an application.

One of the worst bits is that, other than getting on the phone with Yahoo! support, there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix the problem. Alright, this isn’t entirely true–I could have worked on migrating them off the web client, and perhaps off Yahoo! entirely. And, had the outage continued, I probably would have begun that process. But fixing the web client was entirely out of my hands. That’s the joy and the pain of outsourcing, right? The problems aren’t yours to fix (yay!) but you can’t fix the problems yourself (boo!). Also, chances are the outsourcing provider is never going to be more enthusiastic than you about fixing your problems, and might be significantly less.

361 thoughts on “Yahoo! mail problems

  1. IT says:

    Same problem. Can receive can read but cannot send. Keeps trying to send a few bits at a time but just seems to go on forever. Also no error message even after a few minutes. My other (non-Yahoo) mail works fine, so it cannot be my connection.

  2. H.H. says:

    The Gmail service is fantastic. A whole GB of storage space!! And searching for a particular word in the mail! Well, more than that, i like it because it is really fast (stored as cookies maybe). For dial-up impatient users like me, it’s a boon to view mail and switch between email folders as fast as offline content. Thank you Gmail!

  3. Ming Lee says:

    Hello, first time here and wanted to say hi

  4. Angel says:

    It’s been a week since my yahoo account suddenly and inexplicably stopped accepting my password. Tried to log in last tuesday and received the “invalid password” message. Tried again typing very very slowly and very carefully, and was denied, again and again. No mistake of mine, nothing that Yahoo said on their help pages helped, and I could not even request a new password because “information you’ve provided does not match this account” when nothing had changed except a zipcode. I tried every zip code I’ve lived at since this account was set up, 6 years ago. Nothing. Finally got through to a real person via Yahoo customer service and was asked for my secret answer to my secret question. Gave the answer. Was told the answer did not match the answer on file (?!?!?) The most recent email has said, in the politest of terms, that I am apparently not who I say I am and they won’t talk to me anymore about this account. It’s been a week and it hasn’t fixed itself. What makes it all the more frustrating is that I DID NOTHING WRONG. What the heck? I have almost 7 years of emails in this account, not to mention all my addresses, 3 years of emails from my husband in the Navy, and an extensive personal website built thru Pagebuilder. And I’m supposed to just let all of this GO???????

    Has ANYONE had any luck getting yahoo to fix a problem like this?

  5. Sharon says:

    I have some numbers for yahoo:

    408-349-3300
    408 349 1572
    866-800 8092

    I was able to talk to a couple of “live” people today.

    My problem is that I cannot login to the yahoo email account that I have had for 5 years.

    I get a red message that says that my password is invalid.

    When I try to get a new password they say that I am not answering my security questions correctly.

    So a man named Raj at yahoo looks at my account and tells me that a hacker has gotten into my account and has changed my zipcode in my account information as well as my password.

    This hacker is using my account for who knows what.

    So he gave me this address to report the problem to yahoo:

    account-security@cc.yahoo-inc.com

    But when I emailed the above address I got another form letter from yahoo asking me the same security questions that a dozen exact form letters asked for the last several weeks.

    There is no talking to computers.

    So my next step is to hire a lawyer.

    Anyone interested in a class-action suit?

  6. Crysania says:

    Well, as a friend of someone who this has happened to, I e-mailed that address with a letter informing them of the hacking and asking them to fix it. They can ask for MY information because MINE is correct. No idea if it will help out, but it’s very frustrating to me.

  7. Angel says:

    Update: Yahoo has just erased/made inaccessible the website that I created 6 years ago with YahooPagebuilder. Thankfully we managed to save the pages (just in time too), but this proves that they still aren’t doing anything about it, and probably don’t plan to. Unless we make some noise.

    I’m with Sharon.

  8. BigFreak says:

    I have getting the message “login failed,please use the correct password and type the word you see below”every time I try to access my yahoo account.The same page also says “we require you to type in the word you see below” after 5 failed login attempts.The thng is that it is happening after the first failed attempt.I’ve changed my password three times in as many days and still the same frustrating results, I have no problem with yahoo messenger,but when it says “you have new mail” and i click “go to mail the failed thing evaery time. It eventually lets me in after typing that stupid word in the box,but this is a bunch of “B.S.”I chose a long and unusual email and password initially for security reasons but beeing the disabled person that I am it is a very long and tedias set of typing sessions.I am trying very hard to be patient,but then I read that YAHOO_inc.is the biggest funder of spy ware cookies and that congress is seriosly trying to put a stop to all of that,I sure would like to hear of someone else having these issues.I’m runningWindowsME,have Norton sysworks04,AdAware,SpybotS&D,andTrojan hunter,and none of them find any real threats.I do believe that I have A”real good” hacker(crackhead) working my computer to the bone.So good that some of the best defense programs available can’t catch it.I am a Gulf war VET and I’ll be damned if I give up before my death! I gave my life and soul to this country and this is how some friggin coward repays us? SEMPERFI,MOTHER F***ER,WE will prevail! GOD BLESS AMERICA and KILL the REST!!! THANKS for any support,and letting me vent !

  9. Angel says:

    I’ve gotten a reference number from the yahoo security phone line, from a guy named David who was really, really understanding (that was really nice), and emailed security again. Now apparently I’ll be getting another form letter, but I’ll keep emailing until they help. Wish me luck.

    Try it, folk. The number is 408-349-1572, listen until you reach the Password option (number4) and if you’re lucky, you’ll go straight thru. I was lucky, or maybe it was just the time I called.

  10. mario jaradi says:

    i forgot my yahoo id and i cant check my email or
    my yahoo messanger to talk to one of my realtives can you help over the computer easy way

  11. stacey grimes says:

    please someone help!!!I cant compose mail in color graphics mode.I get as far as…TO:,FROM:, SUBJECT:, Pick Stationary,then when i go to type a message,my cursor wont go to the message box.I cant attach files either.I CAN compose in PLAIN MODE.I really need this fixed.I run windows XP,have a dell,use dsl broadband through SBC,and have been on the phone for 14 hours with different people.has anyone had my problem?I WANT TO SCREAM!!!!!

  12. Angel says:

    Mario: you can request your yahoo id if you go to yahoo’s “help” page.

    Yahoo is still f-ing with me.

    Talk about ruining November. I am a complete wreck over this. Did NOT need this in my life right now.

  13. Simon says:

    Hello there, please help! Every time i try to access my yahoo mail account, my browsers comes up with the downloading dialog box, and tries to downlpad sonething, which it never does. its fine with any other serice, like briefcase, just mail, and it works fine at work. it happened about a month ago for 2 weeks, then stopped and worked fine untill lasr week, anyone able to help me? i emailed them and they told me to clean my cache, but i had just done a full formatt anyway!(was happening before the formatt). Thanks for any help

  14. simon says:

    PS. I’m using win 98 with IE 6, but the same happens on my housemates computer with mozzila and Win 2000. we are networked, if that helps, through a linksys broadband router.

  15. cca says:

    We are behind a firewall, but one at a time we can only log-in into the mail.yahoo.com. (prompts invalid username/password for those failed attempts). All are having an on-line Yahoo messenger. Before, the YM gives you a prompt that U receive mail, just clink on the msgs then it will open your yahoo mail immedaitely, but now this is not the case…Please help…

  16. madhu says:

    i would like to know what is the working difference between yahoo mail and yahoo messenger in terms of data communications of networking..

  17. hairy says:

    i am getting the problem “error 999” on my new laptop, however when i go upstairs to me old pc i can access Yahoo Chat & Mail no problem…i can access Yahoo messenger np on both systems.From messenger i can access my mail on me new laptop…….any answer’s for “error 999″….

  18. Firoz says:

    All my mails got deleled automatically now on 12/01/04 around 12:30pm Indian standard time. how can i get back my mails.Iam using my account from 3 years .please hlp me out

  19. Neko says:

    Hello, I’m having the same problem with my Yahoo Mail. Whenever I try to log in my account, there’s a page displayed something like “unabled to process at this time, run time 999 error” … I’m using Firefox 1.0 🙁 … I dunno what had happened, can anyone help me?

  20. portagen says:

    had all the yahoo email access problems, could get into my accont, but not my email… installed admuncher and instantly got in!
    thankyou!

  21. deepak says:

    i can’t check my yahoo inbox…
    i can able view yahoo website but while clicking on inbox i am getting error page..

    how to solve this problem…
    my system was not on router..it’s on LAN..

    Thanks…-Deepak

  22. andrei says:

    error on page appeared when i try to open a COMPOSE and there is no typing area

  23. Mike says:

    I’m having the very same problem as “andrei”
    Are we the only two?

  24. mike says:

    sorry andrei
    i should have said, “plain text”

  25. mike says:

    in mail options, select “general preferences”
    then in “compose” select ” plain text”
    this worked for me

  26. christine says:

    We finally got DSL in our rural area in 9/04 – our daughter in college came home after finals and set up her router this Saturday so we could all be connected at once. That’s when I could no longer access our Yahoo e-mail!

    After reading through ALL the posts and trying several things along the way, which didn’t work,I finally saw the post from the person who had been a systems administrator in Malaysia (posted on May 3, 2004).

    I disconnected the DSL and router completely to troubleshoot by seeing if I could access through dial-up (a free back-up that we have) and it worked!

    So now when my daughter gets home in a few hours, we will change the settings as recommended in the 5/3/04 post and see if we can then access the e-mail with both the DSL and router in use.

    Hope this helps someone!

  27. jeremy says:

    somebody locked my yahoo chat for no apparent reason. is there any way i could get my information such as yahoo messenger and contacts back??? if you can help me, please e-mail me!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Anne says:

    In my Yahoo Mail–when I want to forward e-mails–and I click the insert address–it does not come up–all it does is flash on screen–(the address page)–it will not stay—and then I have to manually insert the address-to forward mail–could you please tell me–if possible–what I can do to rectify this problem—many-thanks—Anne

  29. Sheri says:

    I’m getting the same error message as Deepak and Andrei. Whenever I try to reply, forward or compose an email the reply comes up blank, a composed email won’t send as that’s when I receive the “error on page” message. I then try to save it to drafts, and when I retrieve it to send, the whole email text has disappeared.
    I tried your suggestion Mike to change it to Plain Text, but for some reason, any changes I want to make won’t allow me to save, only to exit. Anyone else having this problem as well?
    Many thanks. Sheri

  30. David Graham says:

    I’m based in the UK, and I’ve been having problems composing/forwarding mails – loads the subject box, and that’s it, nowhere to type message. Displays some error with SPELL CHECKER UNDERLINE.

    Can anybody help???

  31. william frailey says:

    i cant give, i cant even get my mail. you a email adress because yahoo cant find it acording to yahoo that is no and i cant get my mail

  32. william frailey says:

    , i cant even get my mail.adress because yahoo cant find it acording to yahoo that is no and i cant get my mail i having the same old c— pop up on me. i fill out this and i fill out that i have out every form and i still cant get my mail. i know it is yahoo doing this. but why. this is been going onsince dec.11 and i still havent got my mail.

  33. vangie says:

    Cannot forward,compose or send mail

  34. kevin hanze says:

    i have problem for my e mail not open i want know why plsssssssssss

  35. Vijay says:

    I’m having problems receiving mails in my Yahoo free service inbox-for about 2 months now.Outgoing is fine.

    I’ve only seen solutions to all but this problem here.For all those who’ve posted similar problems,have you found a way out?Or at least can anyone help out?

    Needless to say,none of the fixes( filters ,mail forwarding enabled etc.) suggested in their automated responses work-I’ve emailed them 5 times,they just won’t put a human on it!Its the SAME computer generated reply sent 5 five times over.

  36. X-Yahoo member says:

    Basically, yahoo mail suks! And whatever you do, never never never try contacting yahoo! All they will tell you, is to go to the help forums. What a copout!
    I have finally switched to hotmail, and have not had any problems whatsoever. Maybe if enough ppl leave yahoo, the idiots that run yahoo may be looking for a new job?

  37. linda short says:

    PLEASE HELP ME i need to get to the mccowan family site but my e-mail address that i was using got deleted by yahoo and i need to get to this site my family research is in it and all my conections to the family it want let me into it with my new address or my old one that was deleted by yahoo please help me it is under my family.com linda

  38. Morna says:

    I wonder if anyone can help, please? I’m having problems getting into the inboxes and other folders of my 3 webmail accounts, at yahoo, msn hotmail and mail.com. Every time I try each of them all I get is “page cannot be displayed.” They seem to have been like this for nearly a fortnight now. Sometimes with msn I get the message, “page cannot….” and I’ve tried refreshing the page, then it comes up as “action cancelled.” I’ve even tried clicking on “contact us” at mail.com, in order to try and report my problem, but I still get the same “page cannot be…” message. It’s really annoying me not being able to get into my emails, as I know I have several unread emails waiting for me at each account, from different friends. Should I try accessing the accounts from a different computer? I’m stumped. HELP!!

  39. w. wilson says:

    My wife uses Yahoo Free Mail. The forward mail button does not work. Any ideas how to fix this problem?

  40. lucas lane says:

    evertime i try to log in it wont let me in and i cant even get into my mailbox so i had to open a new account and lost all my friends and important messages in my mail box please help me to get back into my account…….

  41. lucas lane says:

    buckylane67501 was my yahoo id but i cant get into it at all not even my mail…… 3-11-81 zip..85348/67068 referrance # 1005771

  42. mushary says:

    h have problem login to my yahoo mail 2 days ago i try evry posible way but still the problem

  43. Angel says:

    I hate to sound discouraging, but…….

    I had my email account hacked into on the 1st of November; a hacker was the only explanation for the reason why my password and all my personal information was suddenly no longer accepted by yahoo. Fought an email war with yahoo security all that month and half of December before I realized that they had stopped even pretending to be helpful and were just recycling form letters (i.e., sending me letter A, then after my reply, sending letter B, then after my reply, resending letter A……..). I pleaded, begged, demanded, screamed, done everything short of cursing them to hell and back. Last I heard, a lady who started having problems in June was trying to gather information for a class-action suit against them.

    I lost access to a 7yr old account, an extensive website, and everything they contained. And had to stop screaming at them because it was making me seriously depressed.

    Yahoo. SUCKS.

  44. vettri says:

    i am not able to read the message in my yahoo mail ID in my pc , there is no problems in opening yahoo homepage

  45. madhu prakash says:

    please let me know what is error 999? when i open yahoo messenger it saying error 999, how can i rectify that?

  46. Ghanashyam says:

    Yahoo Sucks!…facing problems for last 2 months with viewing, deleting, forwarding, practically every part of yahoo…

    Finally, decided that I need to shift to some other free email…started using Gmail now…

    Advise you all the same after seeing these posts!

  47. surjya sahoo says:

    there is an problem in my account .When I am clicking my received mail i am geting an message of “error on page”.please check my account

  48. pj says:

    CAN ANYONE HELP? I can open and read mail on my My Yahoo Mail account. However, all of the buttons (Delete, Check Mail, Compose, Forward, Spam, Mark, and Move) are unresponsive. The button is outlined as if the cursor has been clicked in the right spot, but nothing else. No progress bar at the bottom of IE, no “done” or any other message. I just installed Norton SystemWorks and Personal Firewall but I can’t find a setting that is causing this.

  49. Angel Gonzalez says:

    I am trying to create a new free Yahoo account and received the following error message: “unable to process your request at this time”. What should I do? Thanks.

  50. sheila says:

    i cant get into yahoo because they say i dont have the right or no cookies. whats the deal

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