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Yahoo Web Hosting / deactivated by account - kept all my data

1 701 First AvenueSunnyvale, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

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Yahoo provides its customers access to a version of WordPress for doing “blogs” – but the version they provide is very outdated, and the version they provide has significant security holes in it!!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.

From a legal perspective, I see a possible violation by Yahoo of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibiting unfair acts in trade and commerce in that Section 15 [Termination] of the Terms of Use is unfair to impute that unexpected technical or security issues or problems that I did not cause is a “Cause” for termination. In addition, there may also be a violation of the Yahoo Privacy Policy under its section on Confidentiality and Security. There could even be a possibility of a Sarbanes Oxley securities issue.

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?

Mi
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Comments

  • Ji
      23rd of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    This is wrong the exact thing is happening to me as off 11/22/08 three of my sites are down www.consumervscompany.com www.globaledgemarketing.com www.adultpornmansion.com
    I keep getting this auto response that says to review Yahoo! TOS but I can’t find where I have violated! This is B/S

    Does anyone know how to start your own company like yahoo so that I can host my own sites?

  • Ve
      8th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I wish to had my support to this poster. In my case Yahoo pulled the plug on my community web site without notice or warning. Now when I call customer service, they tell me that the 'Abuse Team" (extraodinarily well named) does not have to provide any reason. Contacting the abuse team is ineffective; all they do is cut and past the Terms of Service and send them back to you saying you violated them, but not saying how.

    I can't get any access at all to my site, but one Yahoo customer service rep (who for the record sounded very frustrated in answering call on the actions of the 'Abuse Team") did "speculate" that it was because I had installed the WordPress BLOG (Provided by Yahoo using Yahoo's install script and as the poster points out it is several versions old) and it had been hacked by someone from the outside. So in essence Yahoo through faulty system management has created a Security Flaw in their system and is now engaging in a Knee Jerk reaction at the expese of their customers. The best part is that even though the use the fact that they provide BLOGS as a feature in their marketing, they are now saying that it is the CUSTOMERS fault for using the features that Yahoo provided.

    I thank this poster for at least showing me that I am not the only one with this issue. I really do this that we should all contact the FCC and the Comsumer Protection agency on this issue as this is patently abuse on Yahoos part.

  • Od
      1st of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    i accessed my yahoomail last on the 27th of may 2011, but since 31st of may 2011 i have not been able to open or read my yahoomail. my yahoo address is oduenyi_juliet@yahoo.com

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