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. Annette Thimsen says:

    I can recieve emails but cannot recieve. It is racking my brain, help!!

  2. John says:

    my yahoo geocities website has become unavailable? keep getting the below message

    “Unable to process request at this time — error 999 Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time.
    We
    apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.”

    I am a geocities plus user with added webspace 75mb all my paymentsd are upto date the site has been a dead link for 5 days now i have comtacted yahoo geocities but still nothing

  3. Vaughan says:

    Same problem.Makes you think that it is some ploy to rope you in so you have to pay to get all your mail back, but at the same time it could be technical difficulty. “This page is currently unavailable. Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.” But sign in through chat and than click on mail link at the top of the page. and this is what i have to do every time.

  4. Donald Golfokaz says:

    This has been going on now with my site for about 4 days i’m a geocities plus user with added 125 MB of disk space $9.95/month extra i’ve made contact with yahoo geocities but had nothing back
    whats going on?? come on yahoo geocities help us out here

    “Unable to process request at this time — error 999
    Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time. We
    apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.”

  5. odogg says:

    i can recieve mail but cant respond or send any emails at all,ive been having to use other email sources has any one else encountered this problem?its really fustrating!

  6. valerie says:

    I too been having trubble geting to my email i can sign in but i cant get to my mail box next page loads then i see nuthing but an empty web page it says done but no email. what is really goin on i been trying to get into my email accounts i cant get in with the other one at all same thig going on here too
    be nice if we all could read our mail and that they tell us whats going on this really sucks

  7. valerie says:

    I too been having trubble geting to my email i can sign in but i cant get to my mail box next page loads then i see nuthing but an empty web page it says done but no email. what is really goin on i been trying to get into my email accounts i cant get in with the other one at all same thig going on here too
    be nice if we all could read our mail and that they tell us whats going on this really sucks

  8. Donald Golfokaz says:

    just got this back from yahoo geocities but it still dosn’t help my websites are down and this is now the 5 day ???

    As I understand, you are inquiring about receiving a 999 error when
    visiting your website. We were able to view your page at:

    http://geocities.com/orion57uk

    without any problems. Please try again.

    If the problem has not been resolved, you may want to try clearing your
    cache or reloading your page.

    To Reload your page:
    View your page again and press the “Shift” button down on your keyboard
    at the same time clicking on the Reload/Refresh button on your browser.

    The Error 999 code is a result of pirated IP addresses, and the blockage
    has been instituted as an Abuse safeguard. In these instances, Yahoo!
    has intentionally blocked these IP addresses. Yahoo! monitors all
    network activity and when they notice a significantly high amount of
    activity coming from a specific IP address or a proxy, Yahoo! blocks it.
    The downfall to this is that most pirated IP addresses belong to small
    business or home users. When Yahoo! blocks the IP address to safeguard
    against getting hit, the original owners of the IP addresses also get
    blocked.

    Please do not hesitate to reply if you need further assistance.

    Regards,

  9. Brittany says:

    Everytime I try to log into my yahoo email it say my password is wrong but I can go next door to my aunts and it goes right into it. So whats wrong with my computer everytime I want to check my mail I can’t walk next door So hello some one tell me why yahoo sucks?

  10. TRAE says:

    i never did think i’ll be here again blabbing on Yahoo but i guess i ain’t God.

    can anyone please help me. i can’t seem to access my yahoo briefcase. and this has been so for some days now. from all indications it seems the problem is from yahoo and they have temporarily shut down their briefcase service. but they didn’t even put up a public explanation/apology to that effect. of maybe there is something i’m not doing well. can anyone PLEASE HELP ME. i saved some really important stuff there and i need to check them out.

    i won’t mind a personal reply to my mailbox: traerocs@yahoo.com as well as on this blog. thanks.

  11. KatieMandel says:

    re: yahoo briefcase

    have you got the yahoo toolbar installed on your computer? if not please go to this

    http://toolbar.yahoo.com/

    install it that way you can access all of the yahoo addons ? your wallet , briefcase so on hope this helps?

  12. Christine says:

    THIS FIXES THE PROBLEM OF NOT BEING ABLE TO GET INTO YOUR YAHOO MAIL INBOX – WIRELESS ROUTER SETTINGS MUST BE CHANGED.

    We could no longer access our Yahoo e-mail after setting up a wireless router!

    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!

    Then we changed the settings as recommended in the 5/3/04 post and were able to open the Yahoo Inbox again.

    Hope this helps someone!

  13. TRAE says:

    thanks for the tip KatieMandel, but i just discovered another way(more convenient for me anyway) of accessing my yahoo briefcase. i got an attachments in one of my mails, so i saved it to my yahoo briefcase and from there accessed other files i stored in my briefcase.thanks again and i hope this works for other people cos plainly the

  14. jps says:

    I can log into my yahoo, the address book, and the notebook. But I get a connection refused when I try to access the mail tab. I can’t log into yahoo mail from the mail.yahoo.com page either. Of course, I am job hunting and have new mail (as seen from my “my yahoo” home page)! any ideas? I’ve contacted yahoo support, but I guess it’s wait and see.

  15. KatieMandel says:

    I guess yahoo geocities are having big problems right across the board the help lines were inaccessible due to the high level of calls with the 999 error

  16. erlinda sarmiento says:

    I have not accessed my mail box for more than 6 months and my mails are gone. How can I retrieve them.

  17. menach says:

    i can’t comppose or reply to mail i get a error page. whay is this?

  18. Reed says:

    Fix for Yahoo error 999
    Linux, Redhat 9
    Mozilla browser 1.2.1

    “Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later. error 999”

    Kept having the above error in trying to access the Yahoo mail and small business logins. I could clear it up by rebooting (drastic medicine for a Linux user).

    Saw a post here by Randy at June 21, 2004 talking about proxies which had some good info. After reading his post, it seemed like a good idea to *avoid* a proxy when dealing with Yahoo.

    This solved the problem for me. These directions are for a Mozilla 1.2.1 browser:

    Edit->Preferences…
    select Advanced
    select Proxies
    Find the entry box labeled “No Proxy for:”
    Add this info to the box: .yahoo.com

    Good luck.

  19. Reed says:

    Further clarification to previous post…

    My Mozilla browser was set up to use a filtering proxy. So putting “.yahoo.com” on the No Proxy list causes all yahoo traffic to avoid that proxy server.

    In Randy’s case, his problem was solved by essentially doing the opposite, going from not using a proxy to using one.

    Perhaps the bottom line (just a guess) is that a server somehow gets on Yahoo’s “bad boy list” and one can solve the problem by changing where your traffic originates from.

  20. Philip Dyson says:

    I am signed up with yahoo geocities plus so too are my two friends I use aol adsl broadband. My two other friends are using tiscali and freeserve adsl broadband we live here in the USA and wait for it
    “we have all had the 999 error every time we try to get onto our sites”
    What we find strange is that we can still get into all our data? File manager, billing ~ credit card info. So has yahoo geocities got a bigger problem than they dare to admit. What ever it is, “its not good for my business or my friends businesses.

  21. Tommy says:

    I am also signed up with Geocities Plus. In fact, I pay for 3 accounts/webpages. I haven’t been able to access my webpages 80-90% of the time since last Thursday. I called a couple days ago and reported the problem. They said they would work on it and gave me a case number. As of today, I’m still unable to access my pages most of time. So today I called the billing department and they are issuing me a credit for this month. I use AOL via DSL and live in the Atlanta, GA area.

  22. KatieMandel says:

    (It must be a new firewall at yahoo geocities)

    Once the site owner have confirmed unique details at yahoo geocities customers care Via PHONE everything should settle down
    ( its no good sending emails)

  23. John says:

    My advice is just sit tight Yahoo geocities are aware of this problem!!
    Don’t reboot your computer or delete the new Microsoft service pack 2 as I’ve heard & read on other threads all your doing here is causing security problems for yourself

    (It’s a technical issue at yahoo geocities just be patient it will be resolved.

  24. Tommy says:

    Well, I think Geocities may have fixed the Error 999 webpage problem. All 3 of my Geocities Plus accounts/webpages have been working 100% of thetime since about 7:00pm last night. It is now almost 12:00 noon. Knock On Wood!

  25. Rahul says:

    I have tried different comps .. different browsers .. different services (mail, chat, groups, briefcase etc) .. the only thing i can log on is the messenger .. it shows 7 mails though i cant access them even thru it ..
    have absolutely no clue what to do .. others’ ids are working fine from the comps i m using :((

  26. Anithaabalraj says:

    actaully i was using my another yahoo id for nearly 6 years …and my id was sruthi_balraj@yahoo.com..somebody has locked my yahoo id or i dont know wather they changed my password..and my password was anitha
    pls help me out..
    iw ant to access my old id only
    please i need ur help

  27. DESPISTADO says:

    THE 999 YAHOO ERROR CAN FIX IT BY CHANGING YOUR UPPERCASE ID TO LOWERCASE AND THE OTHER WAY IS LOG IN IN SECURE MODE YOU WILL NEVER GOT THIS PROBLEM AGAIN

    BEST REGARDS

  28. buckylane67501 says:

    i cant get into my account it is locked so i had to make a new one can u help me ? buckylane67501 was my old one MARTIN is my password

  29. shyam says:

    I can,t find space to type message.When I click the COMPOSE button there is space for typing address and subject but can,t find space to type my message .Please help me…….

  30. Vidya says:

    Hi,
    I am facing a strange problem while accessing my Yahoo Mail. I am able to sign in successfully. But whenever I try to access my emails I get the following errors. Please Help !!

    Error 1

    A Run Time Error Has Occured.
    Do you wish to Debug

    Line: 278
    Error: Unterminated String Constant

    Following the above error, the below error occurs.

    Error 2

    A Run Time Error Has Occured.
    Do you wish to Debug

    Line: 19
    Error: ‘yad_width’ is undefined

    Could anyone please help solving the above problem ?

  31. fateme says:

    I recive error 999 when i enter mail in yahoo
    plz help me.

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  33. bernadette says:

    I can receive emails, but cannot reply or forward with text. i get a page with the “TO” line and Subject line, but nothing for writing text. Also when I hit compose, i get the “TO” line and subject line but no text line. Anyone have a solution to this problem?

  34. Aby George says:

    I had changed my password, afterthen I cannot enter in my yahoo iD ‘mail inbox’?

  35. Aby George says:

    I had changed my password, afterthen I cannot enter in my yahoo iD ‘mail inbox’?

  36. Aby George says:

    I had changed my password, afterthen I cannot enter in my yahoo iD ‘mail inbox’?

  37. marc says:

    Install netscape 7? and you don’t have any off these problems.

  38. Roseshell says:

    When I sign in for my yahoo mail it says I have no url!
    I can read mail but can’t compose.

    HELP
    Roseshell

  39. sachin says:

    i think solution to yahoo error 999 is a very small settings change.
    i encountered the same peoblem and couldnot access my account for seven days.
    thanx god the problem is solved now.
    i might be able to provide solutions to error 999 yahoo mail problem mail me at sachin.bhayana@gmail.com

  40. sachin says:

    i think you donot need any installations to solve error 999 yahoo mail problems
    mail me at sachin.bhayana@gmail.com

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  42. Prem says:

    I can’t log into my yahoo mail, Somehow the password has been changed. I tried the forgot password,but it seems someone has changed all my details as well.How do get my mail id back as i have a got friends lis in my messenger.Pls advice…

  43. chakrapani says:

    Sir,
    i have lose my system password.

    how to clear password or delete password ? .

    pl. give me details.

    waiting replay….

  44. Michelle Sollicito says:

    Hi there!
    Just to let you know, I have experienced similar problems to some of you guys with yahoo mail, my.yahoo.com and geocities recently.
    My husband works for Yahoo! So I have sent him all your comments so that he can use them to solve the problem.
    It seems that the Yahoo! workers “at the coalface” (i.e. the ones who actually write the code for these sites) were unaware of these problems.
    Please post any future problems you have here too so that I can pass them on.
    Thanks
    Michelle

  45. kaz says:

    The problem that i have is that often when i get to the yahoo login changes, for some reason the font changes! Then when i try to open up mail it takes avery long time to open! If it does open after 2 or 3 minutes (sometimes) there i svery little formating on the page and takes ges to open a mail ie 4 or 5 minutes. its really bizarre

  46. Ramkumar says:

    When i log in to Yahoo.com id i get a script error but i am not
    getting the same in co.in or any other ids… i have to refresh my
    page several times to get the page… the script error is as follows.

    line:20
    char:2
    error:’Yad Width’ is undefined
    code:0
    url: the current yahoo mail url that we are viewing…

    some one pls tell me why this happens and what should be done to rectify it

  47. Deepak Patil says:

    When i log in to Yahoo.com id i get a script error but i am not
    getting the same in co.in or any other ids… i have to refresh my
    page several times to get the page… the script error is as follows.

    line:20
    char:2
    error:’Yad Width’ is undefined
    code:0
    url: the current yahoo mail url that we are viewing…

    some one pls tell me why this happens and what should be done to rectify it

  48. peter says:

    When i log in to Yahoo.com id i get a script error but i am not getting the same in other yahoo ids, i get this after several refreshe’s
    page several times to get the page… the script error is as follows.

    line:20
    char:2
    error:’Yad Width’ is undefined
    code:0
    url: the current yahoo mail url that we are viewing…

    some one pls tell me why this happens and what should be done to rectify it
    Plse help

  49. Dheeraj Verma says:

    This is rediculus to have the massage that error on the page from the IE abt the yahoo web site on every page it shows the error and if the person doesnot have the much time then the Yahoo site is to waste full from my point of view. Pls rectify the problem asap

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