Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Have Yahoo Back

So I had this issue with Yahoo. I have a Yahoo ID, and I also ordered AT&T / Yahoo co-branded DSL, which makes you create an ID. Yahoo allows you to merge both IDs to make things simpler. Alas, when I stopped my AT&T DSL, my old Yahoo ID stopped working. No more Flickr. No more Yahoo Radio. No more Yahoo Messenger. I tried numerous times to get some information, until I finally did, from an AT&T rep, who basically told me I had to wait.

Except that that wasn't it. I waited for as long as I was told, but the AT&T servers did not purge my account and allow my Yahoo account to work again.  A new tech chat tells me that no, the previous tech had it wrong, I should have logged in using my old AT&T ID and done an unmerge and then things would have worked again. Now it is too late, you have to wait 100 days until some server does some automatic thing, no you can't log in now using your AT&T ID to do the unmerge because it has been to long -- yeah, because I had been previously told to wait -- so your AT&T ID is disabled as well.

Ok, I waited, and July 17th or so, about 6 months after stopping my DSL, I can now log into Yahoo again with my old ID. This could have been fixed if:
  • AT&T's systems had noticed I had a merged ID and sent me email that I should unmerge them when I asked for a shut-off
  • The first tech in chat had told me what I actually should have done.
What's surprising is that I am making suggestions here about how a telco should make things easier, especially when you leave. Right. Never gonna happen. Maybe Yahoo should have warned me that I was about to be locked out of their systems, but from the support emails I tried to exchange with Yahoo, they are not allowed to touch AT&T / Yahoo co-branded accounts. At all. Even though the name Yahoo is on them, Yahoo does not manage these, and is contractually not allowed to even peek. My bet is Yahoo can't even warn customers with merged IDs that their Yahoo ID is about to become useless because they're never told when a user switches off AT&T / Yahoo DSL.

Coupled with stories I am getting of Apple Store reps ending up in AT&T stores to just get this phone working and done, I guess this is the year to make clear to everyone that depending on other vendors for your own customer experience is a really risky proposition.