Yahoo’s webmail outage continues to frustrate users

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Yahoo may have spent most of this year trying to claw its way back to internet relevancy, but a days-long webmail outage is fraying the goodwill the company has built among its loyal users.

According to TechCrunch, the company has received an avalanche of complaints, as high as 280 in a single hour, due to a partial outage that the company deemed “scheduled maintenance.”

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But not only has there been limited communication regarding how and when the outage is supposed to be fixed, but that troubles with the service have been ongoing — some users are reporting days without email, others have mentioned previous experiences with the same issue.

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Not only are people grousing on Twitter, but Yahoo Mail’s Facebook page is getting a similar treatment, and the company has provided the same, generally canned responses to the outrage as before. Interestingly, the page also notes that the system has been experiencing issues after cutting off non-SSL access to inboxes:

As we posted last week, Yahoo takes security very seriously and is working to protect your inbox. We’re shutting down non-SSL access to Yahoo Mail via POP and SMTP starting today.

To prepare for this change, or if you’re having network connection issues, we encourage you to check your device’s settings and enable SSL connections so you can continue to access Yahoo Mail:¬†http://yhoo.it/1izMz5F

It’s unclear whether that is the root of the outage, or just another problem in a laundry list of issues many have been having with the service.

The outage has clearly been vexing the Yahoo team, as a recent blog post says¬†that the problem has been present since Monday and is “harder to fix than we originally expected.” The new time for the system to be back up is 3pm PST.

The issue isn’t that Yahoo’s webmail has gone down — in fact, from time to time it is to be expected. But when one of a company’s core services, especially the one that CEO Marissa Mayer identified as the linchpin to the success of Yahoo, experiences issues, users expect to be informed regularly. The company must be transparent about outages, or risk ruining the reputation it has worked so hard to rebuild.

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