Yahoo Web Hosting / deactivated by account - kept all my data
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Yahoo (which I used for hosting my business email, website, and blog). They told me I was violating their TOS (Terms of Service) but gave me no specifics whatsoever. After a bit of research, I found that my blog had been “hacked” by someone who inserted hundreds of links back to their “drug related” site among other things. Within 24 hours of receiving the email from Yahoo, I “cleaned up” the “hacked” blog – this took me about 3 hours of work to do. Then 24 hours later, without any warning, Yahoo DEACTIVATED my account. I lost all my business email, my website, my blog, my Yahoo groups that I was managing, etc. etc.
When I contacted Yahoo customer service, they said there was nothing they could do and that I would have to “email” the Yahoo Abuse team. (An interesting process, especially since they had just TERMINATED my EMAIL account!) Despite my efforts to contact Yahoo Corporate, Yahoo Abuse Department, etc. – I was NEVER able to reach ANYONE at Yahoo that was willing to even talk to me. All communication was via email.
The net result – Yahoo said they would not reactivate my account, and would not give me back any of my data files. They said I had violated their Terms of Service (TOS) and even though someone else “hacked” my blog, it was MY RESPONSIBILITY. And even though I immediately “cleaned” the hacked blog, they claimed there was still something wrong with the blog – but would not tell me ANY DETAILS as to specifically what was still wrong.
Also note that Yahoo provides its customers access to a version of WordPress for doing “blogs” – but the version they provide is very outdated, and the version they provide has significant security holes in it!!
If I had been hosting my other business website on Yahoo I would have immediately been “out of business” and it would have cost me literally tens of thousands of dollars.
My questions to Yahoo which still has never been answered:
1. How did I violate the TOS?
2. What section did I violate?
If Yahoo fails to return valuable data to me, then I believe I can find sufficient legal bases to convince Yahoo to release the data to me – but at what cost? I can’t really afford to go up against their big corporate legal team!
I hope someone (hopefully you?) can publish my story to at least warn other small business owners to NEVER use Yahoo hosting services for their business. The risk is way too high!
What appalls me the most is that I have been a loyal small business customer of Yahoo for over FIVE YEARS! And this is how they treat a “good customer”? Seems like they’ve chosen to punish their good customers for the acts of unscrupulous hackers!
Is this the way Jerry Yang (Yahoo co-founder) is choosing to treat his customers? Perhaps he has more problems than just what the AllThingsDigital blog posted a few days ago:
“There are very real questions about whether Yang has the right talent and temperament for the job at hand … After all, the stock is in the basement, after Yahoo (YHOO) lost a lucrative bird in the hand in the form of a $31 per share offer from Microsoft (MSFT). Next, a weak economic environment is forcing it to cut deeply into the muscle of its many businesses, with slashing out 20 percent or more of costs, a worrisome trend if Yahoo hopes to grow when we all eventually emerge from the downturn. And, of course, more key executive departures, weak employee morale and an overall inability to clearly articulate the changes Yang has been trying to make at the company, such as its laudable open platform efforts.”
Maybe we should add “atrocious customer service” to the list of Jerry’s problems/issues?
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