I will gladly send you money; just give me the service I want when I want it. My website is registered at Yahoo but hosted on a different server so the redirecting to get to that server goes through Yahoo. Two weeks ago the redirecting stopped working; the address www.MichaelHugos.com now goes to the sign on page for Yahoo Small Business instead (but, if you type only MichaelHugos.com, then it does redirect correctly, but how many people would think to do that?). So, basically, people (as in customers and prospects) can't find me, and I look pretty bush league because my website appears to be down for so long.
Yahoo and lots of other companies have destroyed their markets and their profits and at the same time they have failed to serve their customers because they assume that low prices (also known as "cheap") are all that customers want. I pay less than US$25 a month for the website and email package that Yahoo offers to small businesses and this is indeed cheap. It's so cheap that Yahoo has to strip this package of all meaningful customer and technical support and take other drastic measures to reduce their operating expenses so they can make money at these low prices. Because of this, both Yahoo's shareholders and its customers are being short changed.
I Only Want Cheap If You Offer Me Nothing Else
Selling commodity products to a mass market is never much more than a break even proposition. Yahoo could easily make more money and increase its stock price by offering me (and its 500,000 or so other small business subscribers) more services - not less. Offer me real customer service and technical support and web design assistance; give me a number to call where someone who knows what they are talking about will answer the phone and speak to me. Respond quickly to my needs; help me get things done and I will gladly pay two or three times as much as I pay now; and as my company grows, I'll pay even more. Cheap stuff does me no good at all. I'm trying to run a business. I need to make money, not save a few dollars.
I focus on the activities my customers pay me for and outsource the rest (like accounting, legal, maintenance and web design and hosting). I don't have time to spend on those activities but they are all important so I need to have people doing them that I trust. I want a good price but I also understand you can't get something for nothing. So give me good service - and I will pay for it.
Over the last two weeks I've written emails and waited on the phone for hours to get my chance to talk to somebody at Yahoo customer support. When I do get through they verify that there is a problem with Yahoo's service and then announce they will send it on up to technical support, but they tell me I can't talk to anyone in tech support myself and someone in tech support will contact me in 3 - 5 days. Then what I get are emails like this:
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail Customer Care.
We understand that your Yahoo! Mail Personal Address domain is still not redirecting perfectly to the designated site and apologize for it. [Editorial Comment: Is the use of the word "perfectly" meant to subtly imply I am being an unreasonable perfectionist in my desire to have the redirecting work correctly? At present, not only does it not work perfectly, it doesn't work at all.]
We'd like to reassure you that The Yahoo! Mail Engineering Team is still investigating the issue you originally reported.
We appreciate your patience and understanding on this matter. [Editorial Comment: Why do people say things like this? We all know I'm neither patient nor understanding about Yahoo's inability to fix this simple little problem. How hard could it be; why don't they just fix it already?]
Be sure to check the Official Yahoo! Mail Blog for more information about our Yahoo! Mail product updates, new releases and bug fixes.
What would you think if an employee in your company sent you emails like this after you told them you had a serious problem? Would this give you much confidence that your problem was going to be fixed any time soon?
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