Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yahoo Mail bug = Yahoo Customer No Service!

I use my yahoo account soley for newsgroups. It's convenient because many of the groups and user lists I subscribe to are yahoo groups. I've decided to stop using my yahoo account for this after an unfortunate incident with yahoo mail yesterday.

I was going to respond to a post in the eventum users discussion list when I decided I would do it later. Instead of hitting the back button, I accidentally hit the "Send" button to the empty reply. I panicked! I quickly proceeded to hit the "Cancel" button as many times as possible. I hit that cancel button 17 times. I know this because my blank response was posted to the Eventum user discusion list 17 times. Hitting the cancel button in yahoo, after you have hit "send", will actually resend the email. And if you are like me and tend to hit cancel many times, yahoo will graciously send the email that many times for you.

I was really embarrassed. There are probably hundreds of people who belong to that list, each getting 17 emails. I probably produced 5000 emails are more by using the yahoo cancel button.

So I sent an email to yahoo customer support. They have a difficult to find web form that you fill out. Here is what I entered:

Mail-Id: 1138119877-295
> Name: Travis Pierce>
> Yahoo! ID: travispierce70>
> Type of feedback: Problem>
> Problem area: Composing and sending messages>
> Error message: Other... (included below)>
> How often this occurs: Once>
> Type your feedback here:
> I accidentally hit send from the compose email page while composing an email, and wanted to cancel. I then proceeded to hit the "Cancel" button on the compose email page. Every time I hit "cancel" Yahoo sent the email that I wanted to cancel. I ended up sending the email 17 times to a support group with over 300 members. This ended up generating 5100 emails. Remove the cancel button if it in fact does not cancel but re-initiate the sending of the email. This does not make any sense. A cancel button should in fact cancel the sending of the email.

I then got this response from "florence"

Hello Travis,
> Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail. We appreciate that you contacted us for assistance, and we would like to help. However, we are unable to understand exactly what the problem is.

1. Please describe all of the actions you took that led up to the problem.
2. Include the exact text of any error messages you receive. It is important that you include the entire error message as this help us to more accurately determine the cause of the problem.
3. Include how often this occurs and any other relevant information.

The more information we have, the better able we will be to investigate this issue.
Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.
Regards, Florence
Yahoo! Customer Care

So they want a better description. OK. I can do that. I'll do better. I'll show them what happened. I recreated the issue by sending myself an email. I screen captured the video and then sent Yahoo the link. Here was my reply:

In order for you to understand, I have created a video clip of the problem that I am reporting. You can view the video at

I click on the "compose" button.
The compose box comes up.
I fill out my email.
I then hit send.
I immediately hit cancel, prior to the "sent emailscreen" coming up.
For each time I hit cancel, the email is sent 1 times.

In this example, I hit the cancel button nearly 20 times. I subsequently received 20 emails. I can somewhat understand that the cancel button does not work, but for it to send the email each time it is pressed is just down right wrong.

Surely, I thought that yahoo would admit that this was a problem. However, their final reply was the following. My only thoughts are that yahoo must be idiots. Here is "Herbert's" reply.

Hello Travis, Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.

Once you click the "Send" button, your message is fed into our delivery system and cannot be retrieved. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to intervene in this process. Please use the "Cancel" button if you don't want to save/send a message after composing.Even if the message is sent to another Yahoo! Mail account, we cannot delete it for you.

Once a message arrives in your mailbox, it is yours. Likewise, email that arrives in others' mailboxes belongs to them and cannot be removed by us.In the future, if you are not entirely certain that you want to send a message, consider saving it as a draft. Clicking the "Save Draft" buttonwill save the message to your Draft folder without sending it, so that you can return to it later to make a final decision on whether or not tosend it.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.Regards,HerbertYahoo! Customer CareVisit our online help pages at:

I know that I don't communicate all that well, but surely someone with half a brain would be able to recreated what I'm doing without digging in the garbage for the form letter. I think this is a significant bug. How do you report a bug to yahoo if this is the response you get? Would Google treat it's users this way? I don't think so.

One other quick note. Google is not in the yahoo spell check. What's up with that?

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