Yahoo – Arrogant, User-unfriendly, Willing Toady for Authoritarianism

 I hate Yahoo.

Let’s get that straight.

And, before I go any further, PLEASE don’t tell me stories of this or that “very nice and knowledgeable ‘Customer Service'” rep you once spoke to.  I find this blog phenomenon happening repeatedly:  someone writes something critical of this or that company, then someone else sweeps-in to tell a “happy-talk” story, thinking that that nullifies the original premise — which, of course, it doesn’t.  

It’s as if someone blows the whistle on a bad cop who sexually assaults motorists he pulls over, then someone else comes to the bad cop’s rescue saying, “Be that as it may, he volunteers at Habitat every 3rd weekend!” — as if that has anything to do with the original premise/problem.  So, please, defenders of Yahoo, spare us non-sequitur defenses of this jack-leg company that seems so quick to confuse being on the front-end of the search engine business model to actually being managed by competents.  In other words, just because VHS beat-out Betamax doesn’t mean VHS was better than Beta.  Similarly, Yahoo seems to confuse good market positioning, PR and a healthy does of dumb luck with actual “worth while product/service.”

Oh, and by the way:  Yahoo Shares Tumble.  Heh.

More below the fold.

 O.K., much of my beef with Yahoo is personal and anecdotal, but it appears that my assertion that this company is its own worst and most destructive enemy has been borne-out by “events on the ground”, as they say, when arrogant and full-of-himself Yahoo founder Jerry Yang gave Microsoft (which, please note, I’m no big fan of, either) the finger and rejected its $47.5 Billion offer for Yahoo, to wit:

Now (Yang) may only have a few months to convince Wall Street that his rebuff of Microsoft’s takeover bid was a smart move – and if he can’t, analysts won’t be surprised if Yang is either replaced as CEO or forced to consider accepting a lower offer if Microsoft comes knocking at his door again.

“This squarely puts the pressure on Jerry Yang to deliver results and shareholder value,” Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Scott Kessler said. “You are going to see a lot of shareholders just throwing in the towel because they are going to realize it’s going to take awhile for the stock to get back to where it was Friday.”

(NOTE:  Full article linked above)

Of course, my problems with Yahoo are much more modest, but I believe that mine square with, and, along with Yang’s arrogance, are indicative of an utterly f’d-up corporate culture at Yahoo.

 1.  Customer service sucks.  I have a Yahoo email account and my company’s website is hosted by Yahoo.  I will soon be changing these things.  Over the past year I’ve called Customer Service (sic) from 6-10 times regarding various issues of Yahoo software asshattery.  I have NEVER spoken with a CS person who actually (a) KNEW how to solve the problem; (b) had ANY kind of clue about how to go “off script” to brainstorm on solving a problem; or who (c) didn’t end up yelling at me because they seemed embarrassed at being a 20-something-year-old in a job that’s over their heads (NOTE:  age is not the issue; Bush is somewhat over 20 and he’s certainly in “over his head”). Customer service is not only very important, but doesn’t have to be difficult. Take this article called zendesk vs freshdesk, for example. Read it, and then use it as a guide to decide which customer service software to use. This way, customers won’t have to deal with the rude 20-something-year-olds and the customer experience will improve.

 2.  Yahoo:  On the cutting-edge of the 19th Century!
 I read and write Japanese.  I need to be able to correspond using Japanese.  Yahoo’s email can’t do it.  It’s embarrassing when I have to ask Japanese people to copy-paste their emails into Word, then send that as an attachment.  Of course, Yahoo has a Japan-based Yahoo.  ALL of that (including the email server) is in Japanese.  But Yahoo’s CS people, when complained-to about the U.S.-based Yahoo being incapable of handling Japanese, just say, repeatedly, and in a cloying, patronizing, infuriatingly bullshit way . . .  


Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.

We appreciate you following up with us and sincerely apologize for any

inconvenience you may have experienced.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Yahoo! Mail.

We’re already starting to build a database of user suggestions for our

next round of enhancements. I’ve forwarded a copy of your message to

the Yahoo! Mail team as a product suggestion.

We’re continually working to improve our services and input like yours

helps us do just that. So thanks again!

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience. Your satisfaction is always

our goal.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Mail.



. . . and absolutely NOTHING gets done.

 3.  Oh, and Yahoo’s in China, too!

 First, see this, e.g., about Yahoo’s unabashed complicity with the worst Police State aspects of China’s current regime.

“Paris-based Reporters Without Borders revealed in September that information provided by Yahoo was used to convict Shi Tao, a 37-year-old journalist, of leaking ‘state secrets.’ Then, in February, the group reported that Yahoo turned over information that led to the arrest of Li Zhi, a 35-year-old ex-civil servant from the southwestern province of Dazhou, and an eight-year prison sentence in 2003.

“In a short video that the advocacy group provided to CNET that was filmed in Beijing last month, Li’s brother pleaded with Yahoo to change its policy, saying:  ‘His health wasn’t great before he was imprisoned…Since he’s been in jail, he’s caught pleurisy (inflamed lung membranes), because of doing hard labor. Now his health is real bad.’

“In a statement last month, Yahoo defended its actions, saying:  ‘In this specific case the Chinese government ordered Yahoo China to provide user information and Yahoo China complied with local laws.'”

Great buncha guys, those Yahoo fellas!

 Blogging (excerpts from) House of Representatives testimony last November, re:   (“Lantos” is the late Representative Tom Lantos):

Update 10:17 am ET:  Lantos is asking Yang and Callahan to account for “their company’s spineless and irresponsible actions.” They probably won’t be able to get a chance to speak for the better part of an hour.

Update 12:52pm ET: Lantos again, to Yahoo’s Callahan, excerpted: “Morally you are pygmies… An appallingly disappointing performance. I think we cannot begin to tell you how disappointing Mr. Yang’s and your performance was . . . attempt to obfuscate and divert . . . outrageous behavior.”

Full blog report here


And then there’s that INCREDIBLY LOUD and INEXCUSABLY IRRITATING “Yahooooooooo!” crap thing every time you call the company’s CS number, that some MORON with Yahoo management  confuses as “clever”.

Crash and burn, Yahoo.  Crash and burn.

Mu . . .


Skip to comment form

    • Mu on May 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    about Yahoo.

    Mu . . .

    • Edger on May 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Life sucks. And everybody is an asshole. 😉

  1. Yahoo’s complicity in the arrest of Shi Tao was disgraceful, as was Google China’s filtering of information about Tibet from its search engine.

    Corporations without a conscience – what a surprise.

  2. for the future dystopian world.

  3. Yahoo does not recognize Iran. Also no hotmail from MS for Iran.

    I found out, unfortunately little too late, that Yahoo! which owns Flickr doesn’t include Iran in its country list. That means that if I was an Iranian registering with Yahoo! for any email account (which is a must to get a Flickr account) I won’t be able to specify Iran as my country. For Yahoo! Iran as a country doesn’t exist. And It isn’t only Yahoo!, Microsoft is doing the same for its Hotmail email registration.

    The two companies are saying that they’re complying with US administration’s restrictions on doing business in Iran.


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