Until Nov. 30, this blog and my waywest site had been hosted over at AT&T-Yahoo for at least eight years. That evening I lost access to the site and watched on my iPhone as all my email rolled off the screen and into the aether. Not a peep from either entity that the site was going black—and no email about it afterward.
Thanks to the bristling posts at Yahoo’s Facebook page, I discovered a few days later that about 30,000 former AT&T small business account holders like myself were in the same torpedoed boat. For those who depend on their sites for actual business, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time—the day after Black Friday.
Even in this chilly post-modern world, Yahoo’s non-response was stunning: phone calls to support went unanswered or (worse) simply went dead after 30+ minutes on hold. It took almost 10 days for Yahoo to post the tersest possible note about what happened. I never did get through on the phone.
Essentially the termination boiled down to our failure to see and consent to new boilerplate user terms. I’d gotten several emails beforehand about this new agreement, which I couldn’t find to sign. I called both AT&T and Yahoo twice to find out what I needed to do. In all four instances, I was told I was all set.
It wasn’t until later that I realized the reason I’d never seen this new agreement was because it only appeared when one signed into the Web Host panel. Not my email account but the web host account, which I never see because I use WordPress to run the site. So for not checking a box in a boilerplate form most of us never saw, Yahoo pulled the plug.
What became clear over the next four weeks of no service was that with an estimated 100 million customers, Yahoo didn’t care about a measly 30,000 customers left twisting in the wind.
For never explained reasons, they eventually restored our access—again without telling us. I discovered it only because I’d been habitually checking for my site and email every day for weeks. A couple of days after that, another terse note also was posted on Yahoo’s system status page. I don’t think they teach this in customer relations classes.
Of course, our service was not really restored, just “re-activated.” All the email sent to us over that lost month? Bounced. All the email aliases I’d set up for the account? No longer there.
I’ve spent weeks sorting through the wreckage, and have now moved my primary email elsewhere and have finally gotten this blog/website hosted on dynadot.com.
There remain some items to fix. For example, the menu links to my Lightroom and iPad books need to be fixed. But we’re close.
[Update: On March 10, I restored the blog links which involved adding new CNAME records at my host to point clicks to their respective TypePad locations. Someday, perhaps, I’ll consolidate everything here. But not a top priority.]