Or maybe it always was.
Although I’ve had a Yahoo email account for years, the worst thing they ever did before to me was a forced-choice change to a new format I didn’t like. And even then, they walked it back, sort of like Coke Classic—they allowed users to choose to return to what they called Yahoo Classic.
Now they’re forcing the same choice again, and this time they seem to mean business. Will there be another reprieve and a third act for Yahoo Classic? Don’t think so, but we’ll see. I forget when Yahoo says that the final transition is going to be complete and Yahoo Classic will be no more, but it’s pretty soon, and in the meantime they keep “helpfully” asking me to switch almost every time I sign in.
And don’t tell me to go to Gmail. I already wrote about the problems there, and at the moment I still prefer to take my chances with Yahoo.
But worse, the autofill feature of Yahoo email suddenly stopped working on my computer the other day when they redesigned the sign-in page, although autofill works for me at every other site, and autofill is enabled for Yahoo. I don’t like to keep myself signed in all the time because I have more than one Yahoo account (personal vs. blog, for example) and so that autofill feature was a very handy thing to have when switching back and forth.
But just try to contact Yahoo about it. Ha! I know, I know, Yahoo is no different in this respect from any of the big computer powerhouse companies these days; “customer care” is not just a joke, it’s an ironic joke. “Help” pages take all day to navigate, and you can’t find the answer to your question there anyway, ever.
Emailing Yahoo about it is an exercise in Kafkaesque futility, an endless merry-go-round where I get one of about five standard emails that rotate around and make the same 5 suggestions over and over and over. Two of those suggestions involve calling two different phone numbers. On calling the first, one gets a message (after the old “Yahoo” sing-song yodel, which becomes surprisingly irritating under the circumstances) that says that, due to heavy volume, they cannot answer calls. At the second, it merely says “You have reached a number that is no longer being supported.”
So on and on we go. I no longer expect an actual answer. Now, I’m just interested in the process—it’s the journey, not the destination, right? And yes, I’m aware that the “people” answering me are not people at all, despite their cutesy little names (each email is signed with the first name of a different person such as “Ashley” or “Eric,” to give it that oh-so-personal touch).
Now it’s come down to wondering how the program will respond to different challenges I set up for it, such as my most recent missive:
You keep sending me messages you have already sent me, over and over. I have tried ALL your suggestions and they do not address the problem. Rather than just keep repeating yourself, I need to talk to someone on the phone. You have given me two phone numbers that do not work because no one answers the phone. I need a number that works and where someone answers the phone and talks to me.
You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not really expecting a solution to the problem. Maybe when I almost inevitably switch to the new format, which they will force me to do some day, the problem will go away (and the new problems will show their annoying faces). And don’t tell me to switch temporarily and see what happens; I already did switch one of my accounts. I hate the new format (and autofill doesn’t work with it, either), and there’s no way to switch back.
I know that in the larger scheme of things these problems are so small as to be almost non-existent. But there’s that steady drip, drip, drip of small annoyances that one has to shrug off as one goes forward into this brave, brave new world. Back when we first started using computers, I don’t think there was anything like autofill, and we did just fine, although you used to be able to have a quick meal while waiting for a site to load. But now we’ve become accustomed to all the bells and whistles, speed and convenience and the fact that our computers remember just about everything we do and anticipate our every need.
Hmmm. It’s not hard to see a problem with that, either, when the government knows those things too.