Looking for real help from Yahoo

On Wednesday I somehow signed out of my Yahoo account on Flickr. When I tried to sign back on, my login/password failed. So I went through Yahoo’s authentication process to recover those, and it sent them to me by email.

Still didn’t work.

Then I went for help here, and got thanked by a page that said “one of our knowledgeable and well trained Sign-in & Registration agents” would get back to me within 24 hours. At 2:42 this afternoon I received this:

Subject: Auto Confirmation – Your Yahoo! Account Verification support request was received …
From: Yahoo! Account ServicesĀ  <my-login-help@cc.yahoo-inc.com>
Reply-To: Yahoo! Account ServicesĀ  <my-login-help@cc.yahoo-inc.com>

Hello,

This is an automated message regarding your recent request for Yahoo!
Account Verification Customer Care support. Your message was received,
and you will hear back from us within the next 24 hours with an answer.

Thank you for reaching out to us. We look forward to helping you!

Sincerely,

Yahoo! Customer Care

**Please do not respond to this message as no one will receive it.

I look forward to being helped too.

FWIW, I have had a Pro account thatĀ  since Flickr was a start-up in Vancouver. I have 28,000 pictures on Flickr so far. I’d like to put up more.

Now, of course, we’re entering the weekend. Still, I’d like some real help here. If any of ya’ll know one of those “knowledgeable and well trained Sign-in & Registration agents” — or just anybody who can help, please send them my way. Thanks.

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12 comments

  1. Jason L. Froebe’s avatar

    Toll Free USA: 1-800-318-0631 (This may be the billing department)
    Toll Free USA: 1-866-562-7219
    Toll Free Canada: 1-877-722 3755
    Direct Number: 1-408-349-1572
    Yahoo Fax Number: 1-408-349-3301

  2. Flip’s avatar

    Why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in a basket you can’t control.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Jason. I also got some offers from help via Twitter, although I can’t seem to DM the sources. :-( So I guess I’ll have to wait until Monday.

    Flip, those 28k pictures aren’t all my eggs. And Flickr isn’t my only basket. But it’s a nice basket, on the whole, so I use it.

  4. Winston’s avatar

    I’ve had this happen twice with Yahoo accounts. Once, after going as far as Yahoo could help me, I abandoned the account and never heard from them again. The second time was with my Flickr account. My password suddenly didn’t work and when I tried the lost password routine, it would ask me a verification question like my postal code and say that I got the answer wrong. Yahoo’s response was that if I couldn’t get those answers right then the couldn’t help me, I went back and forth with Yahoo and also with Flickr (Flickr couldn’t help with sign-on problems but I asked them if they could help escalate it to someone who could help). On the 45th day, I gave up, made another account for my photos and disputed the charge to my PayPal account. A few days later (I don’t know if it was connected to the payment dispute) Yahoo could suddenly do what they had insisted (on ten occasions, from different areas, at different levels) was impossible.

  5. Candy Beauchamp’s avatar

    From my December 05 Newsletter (how I got mine back)
    http://www.offassist.com/newsletters/Dec05.html

    Back in April, I wrote an article about my Yahoo ID being hijacked.

    I get a fair number of inquiries as to how I managed to get my account back, so I thought I’d give share the information here. Consider it an early Christmas present…

    It was pretty easy to get fixed, but took about 4 days. A couple of good places to start are with Yahoo Customer Service, 408-349-3300 and/or 408-349-1572. On the second number I think it is option 2, then 2 again, but listen to the menu to make sure. You can also email account security directly at account-security-help@cc.yahoo-inc. If you email them, put your Yahoo ID in the subject line.

    Remember to be polite on the phone. I think that’s why I got so far when so many others do not. I called them and explained that my LIFE was My Yahoo and that I screwed up and needed their help.

    Be prepared to give them your city/state, date of birth and when, approximately, you first signed up on Yahoo along with your original zip code from that time period. Oh, you also need to tell them what your alternate email address is on the account. I think I had forgotten my alternate email, so I called and guessed a few times and the lady let me know when I had the right one.

  6. Sheila Lennon’s avatar

    After a similarly twisted adventure that did include someone emailing me back, I lost the Providence Journal flickr account at the last step. The verification asked the name of my cat, and I couldn’t remember which of our 3 cats from 6 years before I had named. I guessed wrong.

    After I failed the verification the nice Yahoo lady didn’t answer my emails any more, and they eventually wiped the account. It’s still floating out there.

    Sorry I can’t be encouraging. I might be ready to try again, though.

  7. SEO Orange County’s avatar

    I have always been frustrated with flickr. Picasa, on the other hand, is more my cup of tea. My mom is always looking for help with her computer, and from a usability standpoint she likes Picasa because she is a non-technical shutterbug.

    I have always been trying to convince her to back up her photos onto an external hard drive so that she didn’t lose them to some unknown website bug.

    I finally found something called Sync Toy for windows which allows the photos to automatically back up to the external drive in the middle of the night.

    The question is, are you going to stay with flickr after this, or are you going to share your photos through some other site?

  8. wcf’s avatar

    Yahoo sometimes deactivates accounts if the email isn’t used for a long time. I only use my Yahoo account for Flickr, but I send an email to my Yahoo address occasionally to make sure the account stays active. I occasionally log into the Yahoo webmail page, too. But if they’ve already deactivated your account, I don’t know what you can do.

  9. Keith Dick’s avatar

    I know this won’t help you solve the current problem, and I hesitate even to mention it, since it seems so obvious to me, but on the chance that it will be helpful to you or one of your readers to prevent the problem in the future, let me describe how I prevent this problem.

    Every time I create a new account anywhere online, including my ISP accounts, I write down the name of the site, the account name, sign-in name if different from the account name, the password, any security questions and answers they ask during account creation, the email address I gave them if they asked for one, and anything else that seems like it might be important. I write all that in a paper notebook that I’ve been keeping for 20 years. I do not keep it on the computer, for a number of reasons that should be obvious. The paper notebook stays at home, so there is no risk of losing it while traveling. If I create a new account when I’m not at home, I write the information on a scrap of paper and add it to the notebook when I get home.

    If I forget a userid or password, it sometimes takes several minutes of sequentially scanning the pages of the notebook, but I *always* find it. At worst, I have to wait until I get home to look up the forgotten password.

    This technique adds a little extra effort to the process of signing up, but it has been worth that extra effort for me.

    I know there is some danger that someone might break into my home and steal the notebook (not break in specifically to steal it, but take it in the course of an ordinary break-in), then try to use the information to get into my accounts. I decided the chance of that is small enough to tolerate. I also occasionally photocopy the pages containing the recently-added accounts and store them in a different place. So if the notebook does get stolen, I have a backup of most of the information to use to quickly change the passwords on the most important accounts.

    I suppose it would take you a lot of effort to create such a notebook at this point, since it probably would take you a lot of time to try to remember all of your online accounts and gather the relevant information from them. Perhaps you could start a notebook with just the accounts that are most important to you, then add new accounts as you create them in the future, and add old accounts as you realize they are important enough to be logged.

    This has worked well for me, but maybe it doesn’t suit you or many others. If you, or any of your readers, see some drawback/danger to this approach that I’ve not considered, I’d be interested to learn of it.

  10. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks for all the help, everybody, including the Yahoo and Yahoo-related folks on Twitter. We’ll see how it goes. I’m on the road right now, and hope to speak to somebody, somehow, this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

  11. Doc Searls’s avatar

    SEO, I’ve always been interested in Picasa, but it didn’t run on the two platforms I use: Linux and Mac. Now there’s a Mac beta. I’ll try it out.

    I’ve shared photos also through Tabblo and 23hq in the past. Might look at them again. But on the whole I’ve been pleased with Flickr. My only problem has been with login, actually.

  12. John Dorian’s avatar

    unfortunately you probably won’t ever be helped by a live person. most large tech companies simply don’t build their support staff to the levels needed to address basic customer inquiries such as these. automated query responses is probably the most you’ll get.

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