Yahoo Mail outage turns into a big PR mess

Reports of Yahoo simply shutting down user complaint threads is part of what critics are calling a ‘full-scale disaster.’

Last month’s reports that the lion’s share of Yahoo employees weren’t using Yahoo Mail had to be embarrassing for the company, but it was just the start of its woes. Since Monday, some Yahoo Mail users haven’t been able to access their email at all. A message to the company Tumblr posted Wednesday promised to have service back up by 3 p.m. Pacific time, but some problems seem to be continuing even now. Here’s the last update from the company’s @yahoomail Twitter account:

Earlier in the night, the Twitter feed reported some progress, saying 30 percent or so of the emails sent during the outage had been delivered. The help page linked in that tweet shows no progress since Wednesday night. ZDNet is calling this Yahoo Mail’s “worst failure yet,” and All Things D says it’s a “full-scale disaster.” From Kara Swisher’s All Things D article:

What is consistent are two things: Outages have been occurring regularly and Yahoo has been woefully negligent in informing its users about the problems. They have also declined to return emails inquiring about the issue and others related to Yahoo Mail from this site for weeks, in perhaps the most astonishing display of PR incompetence I have experienced in a very long time. Heretofore excellent communications staffers I have worked with in the past have seemingly been rendered mute.

Though the company appears to have completely ignored All Things D, Yahoo referred Barron’s to its Tumblr post about the outage.

ZDNet reports that Yahoo Mail has been suffering problems for much longer than this week. Users have been reporting outages since Nov. 25. Threads on the “Tell us what you think about Yahoo Mail” page with complaints about the October redesign of Yahoo Mail have been routinely marked “completed,” which means no one can further post to them. Some of those threads included complaints about lost or missing emails. (Image via)


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