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Old 12 Sep 2013, 12:41 AM   #1
hans2010
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Yahoo Mail in 2013: rampant bugs and functional degradation?

This summer (2013), Yahoo phased out it's "Classic" webmail interface (that existed since the 1990s) and forced all of those users onto it's new webmail, known as "Neo", which has two versions, "Basic" and "Full Featured".

The result is that there have been a large number of complaints about bugs and other instability, as well as many cases of (apparently) intentional functional degradation (i.e., functionality that was removed or degraded). Many of these complaints have been posted to the Yahoo Group called "Y-Mail" (mostly about "Neo Full Featured"). What strikes me as odd (other than the unleashing of unstable code on a large user population) is the lack of visibility about this issue in any media. There were a few mentions of such problems on this forum, e.g., this one posted in July 2013:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LioNiNoiL View Post
Yahoo is presently experiencing "Server Hangup" and "Server Error" problems, which seem to appear whenever their outsourced codemonkeys make any "upgrade".
Now, imagine if, for example, AT&T mobile service outages were running rampant... that would be reported heavily in the news media, no? Yahoo Mail has a similarly large user base. But I haven't seen much about this reported anywhere, outside of the "Y-Mail" group.

My point is not to trash Yahoo or start a gripe-fest, just to give this issue some visibility, because it would seem that the technical community (e.g., this forum) might be interested to know about problems of such apparent magnitude with a major webmail provider.

Here is just one of the many complaints that were reported in "Y-Mail":

Quote:
Recently I was following the complaints about strange behaviour of YAHOO!Plus etc. And silently I was congratulöating myself, because I had none of these annoying experiences.
Until yesterday:
My 1300+ contacts are divided into about 30 neat smaller lists according to the various interests. These lists have completely disappeared and whats left is a long list of contacts of 1300+ which I now have to sort again into smaller lists.
Sometimes someone comments not only on specific symptoms but also what the causes may be (JavaScript bloat, etc.):

Quote:
However I think that the real issue with Neo F is that there is so much Javascript - hard-coded and dynamically generated behind it - that failing a fast connection with 100% integrity - it simply does not work.

Being a hot sunny day yesterday I went from London down to Brighton beach on the train .Up until Neo, i.e. with Classic (and GMail) I could do emails on the train using a Three mobile dongle on my Acer netbook.

Yesterday I couldn't use Neo FF because due to the dynamic nature of the connection - switching from mobile tower to tower beside the track - the Javascript didn't fully load properly.

I don't think that our issues with Neo FF are browser related. The issue is that it has been so poorly designed - it is BLOATED with Javascript. This requires a rock-steady connection; no good for fast (or slow) train travel. And being partly dynamically created - aka 'on the fly' so to speak - the Javascript has to be continually refreshed as you work to create, type in, send, and delete, etc. emails.

It seems that Neo FF has been designed and built by script-kiddies who have no concept of how real users work. They have made the assumption that ALL users have professional kit connected to a rock-steady hi-speed wired broadband service, as I would expect Yahoo to provide its staff with.
These are just a few examples of a long list of problems that have been discussed in the past few months. The purpose of this thread is not to collect specific complaints, but to see whether or not there is a general awareness of a recent intensification of quality issues at Yahoo Mail, and find out if anyone has any insights into what's going on over there or what we can expect.

Comments?
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Old 12 Sep 2013, 01:56 AM   #2
just1acc
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Your point is good. But the thing is, unlike average Joe, most of the EMD users have a basic level of understanding about functionalities like POP, IMAP, Alias, SMTP, Clients etc etc. As yahoo offering is very limited, only a few people here bothers to ACTUALLY use it. I'm sure most of us have one, for spam catching or forwarding to primary address.

As a result 'an EMD member opened his/her y!mail via web' significantly rare occasion, eventually shout-out about it rare too.

Last edited by just1acc : 12 Sep 2013 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 13 Sep 2013, 11:40 AM   #3
mailboy
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Maybe I'm naive or a minority, but I do not have any problem with Yahoo! mail plus, and I am happy with it, either via IMAP or web.
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Old 13 Sep 2013, 12:47 PM   #4
Dutchie007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailboy View Post
Maybe I'm naive or a minority, but I do not have any problem with Yahoo! mail plus, and I am happy with it, either via IMAP or web.
NO you are NOT naive nore a minority...I also have several (free) yahoo accounts and I am VERY pleased with them!! Their spamfilters are OUTSTANDING...just as their Imap support.

AAMOF my first email on the net (that was back in 1999 ! OO how time flies..)....was a yahoo account...and guess what...I still have it!!:-)

As I see it...Yahoo gets stronger and stronger since recently....and their email service certainly is NO less as Gmails snoop service;-)

Dutchie.
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Old 13 Sep 2013, 08:42 PM   #5
communicant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchie007 View Post
As I see it...Yahoo gets stronger and stronger since recently....and their email service certainly is NO less as Gmails snoop service;-)
Yahoo recently changed their TOS and required users to agree explicitly to Gmail-style scanning of all emails. If you still have your Yahoo account, then you agreed to this when the interface was 'upgraded', whether you knew you were doing so or not. Yahoo invades privacy just as much as Gmail does. Yahoo is not as technically competent as Gmail, however, and for more than a decade has subjected its users to one disaster and degradation after another. Gmail is arrogant, has no respect for privacy and has a number of annoying features that some people hate, but at least it is rock solid, consistent, reliable, and not prone to constant tinkering and frequent half-baked major changes that leave users helpless and enraged. Gmail is evil, but it is solid and super-competent. Yahoo is evil, but it is (and always has been) an unmitigated and infuriating mess.
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Old 19 Sep 2013, 12:14 AM   #6
hans2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just1acc View Post
Your point is good. But the thing is, unlike average Joe, most of the EMD users have a basic level of understanding about functionalities like POP, IMAP, Alias, SMTP, Clients etc etc. As yahoo offering is very limited, only a few people here bothers to ACTUALLY use it. I'm sure most of us have one, for spam catching or forwarding to primary address.

As a result 'an EMD member opened his/her y!mail via web' significantly rare occasion, eventually shout-out about it rare too.
Thanks for your comment, but I think you missed my point. I did not say I expect to find "average Joes" (as you call them) reporting Yahoo Mail issues on EMD. That is already being done on the Y-Mail Group (as noted above) and on Uservoice (more on that below). I was only thinking that some EMD users might have some knowledge or interest in what's going on "behind the scenes" in the webmail industry, even if they aren't Yahoo users. (This is like saying that when the Soviet Union was headed for disintegration, political scientists might have been interested to know about that, even if they didn't live there.)

Secondly, since the media that do cater to "average Joes" like to jump on stories about service outages or functional problems in the telephone network, or iPhone Maps, etc., they might find this newsworthy. Even if the recent problems affect only 3% of Yahoo Mail users, that's still millions of people. Yes, Yahoo has always had some problems here and there, but at some point, the story goes from "dog bites man" to "man bites dog" (as newsmen like to say). So if any reporters from Wired or Cnet are reading this, you might want to consider that. The ultimate beneficiary would be Yahoo users because the reporting puts pressure on the company to fix its looming disasters.

It's just a suggestion, not a big deal.

Also, regarding your comments about POP, IMAP, and forwarding: on Yahoo, those features are not free. I'm unclear on why you (or, "most of us", as you say) want to pay Yahoo for that if you can get similar services bundled for free in your primary service or elsewhere.

As for Yahoo's offerings being "limited", it depends on your point of view. Yahoo has had the best DEA (disposable email address) implementation of any webmail provider I've seen (except for a few months in 2010 when they temporarily broke it), without any of the weaknesses or issues that were discussed at length on EMD (see thread titles with the word "disposable").

Regarding the "rare occasions" you mentioned, some of them appeared following your post. Maybe they didn't post that often because they weren't having a lot of problems? In any case, I can understand that there's not much overlap of the user bases of EMD and Yahoo Mail, unlike, for example, Fastmail, which directs it's users to this website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mailboy View Post
Maybe I'm naive or a minority, but I do not have any problem with Yahoo! mail plus, and I am happy with it, either via IMAP or web.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchie007 View Post
NO you are NOT naive nore a minority...I also have several (free) yahoo accounts and I am VERY pleased with them!! Their spamfilters are OUTSTANDING...just as their Imap support....
I agree it could be that a majority of Yahoo Mail users are either not affected or not bothered by the recent issues. But, as I said above, 3% of Yahoo users is still millions of people. OK, I'm making up numbers, but it's fairly clear that the quality issues have escalated, and some of the functional degradations that I have experienced or heard about are things that we would have been embarrassed about unleashing on customers, back when I was in the software industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by communicant View Post
Yahoo recently changed their TOS and required users to agree explicitly to Gmail-style scanning of all emails. If you still have your Yahoo account, then you agreed to this when the interface was 'upgraded', whether you knew you were doing so or not. Yahoo invades privacy just as much as Gmail does. Yahoo is not as technically competent as Gmail, however, and for more than a decade has subjected its users to one disaster and degradation after another. Gmail is arrogant, has no respect for privacy and has a number of annoying features that some people hate, but at least it is rock solid, consistent, reliable, and not prone to constant tinkering and frequent half-baked major changes that leave users helpless and enraged. Gmail is evil, but it is solid and super-competent. Yahoo is evil, but it is (and always has been) an unmitigated and infuriating mess.
Yes, I found out about Yahoo scanning emails when I was researching the issue of why SpamGuard can no longer be turned off. For my part, I posted my SpamGuard issue on Uservoice, and made reference to the email scanning issue there as well.

As for "one disaster and degradation after another", it's true that I've had my occasional gripes as a paying customer, but I was able to work around them (somewhat grudgingly). What kept me on Yahoo was a simple interface (I stayed on Classic for as long as they let me, and found out how to disable Ajax when they started doing that nonsense), and a good DEA implementation (as mentioned above), plus the relative anonymity and simplicity of having an @yahoo.com address (which is easy to communicate verbally to non-English speakers since pretty much everyone worldwide knows how to spell it).

The result for me is that the recent increases in quality issues (combined with earlier frustrations that were never quite resolved) has me shopping around for a different webmail provider (as I discussed in a different thread). Judging from the complaints I've seen from other users (like those I quoted in my original post), there are others who feel similarly.
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Old 17 Oct 2013, 02:41 AM   #7
hans2010
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As predicted, the deterioration of Yahoo Mail has been taken up by the mass media.

The Daily Mail (14 Oct 2013):

"Yahoo Mail users furious over Marissa Mayer's redesign that wiped away key features and left interface looking like a 'Gmail knock-off' (except useless)"

ZDNet (14 Oct 2013):

"Anger explodes at Yahoo Mail redesign disaster: Key functions removed or broken"

I am posting the above for reference, in case anyone wants to follow the Yahoo Mail debacle.

As for me, I decided to move from Yahoo Mail to FastMail. The "last straw" for me was within the past few weeks -- rampant cases of DNS lookup failures on Yahoo's outbound mail servers (i.e., notifications several days after sending an email, "No MX or A records" for the target domain -- and if you google that phrase, you'll see that Yahoo has had this problem for months).

That's just too flaky for me.
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Old 17 Oct 2013, 07:18 AM   #8
oldjoe
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Yahoo Boohoo

Yahoo's ruint Yahoo. (again 'gainst all the, you know: whosos.)

How'm I gonna git my things outa the house?

She's shredded my files tree; throws shill in m'face when I'm tryin' git m'keys in th' lock(s) so re'ranged... 'r find the butt'ns t' push on th' "NEW" door(s).

Won' let me pas' the porch wh'n I'm with Opera.

Gotta be common to commerce. Done 'n done got the Classic kilt with knife-in-the-night.
Show's y'what a 25 y'r-old mail-carrier's wants is worth in the post-modern. post-industr'all scheme-o'-things. Back-door hobo.

Empty y'r pockets people; we're collectin' all the coins.

Get y'all get re-registered right after Christmas. Farcebook.

Otherwise, looks like Opera's got one foot on the dock the other on the sloop a-slippin' a-weigh,

FM, flagship again. Thank you crew.
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Old 17 Oct 2013, 11:16 PM   #9
Bamb0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailboy
Maybe I'm naive or a minority, but I do not have any problem with Yahoo! mail plus, and I am happy with it, either via IMAP or web.
Even now?

ITS MUCH WORSE THAN IT WAS!!!!! --- Isnt it strange they choose "NEO" for the name of it? (NEO as in THE MATRIX as in THEY WATCH YOUR EVERY MOVE NOW (More than before))
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Old 18 Oct 2013, 07:40 AM   #10
William9
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Reading the backlash, I'm guessing that I haven't used the new interface enough to have a bad reaction -- but what I've seen so far looks good to me. Someone mentioned that you can't see your folders without leaving your inbox. That's not correct. If you click on folders, you can see them and your inbox at the same time. I have not experienced bugs in the several times that I have used the new Yahoo! mail.
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