Yahoo Services at their Best

I have not written in this blog for quite some time (because of work overload mostly) but this incident was too funny to keep it to myself.

A few years ago I registered a few .com domains with yahoo small business at a promotional rate of $4.95/year (or around that price anyway) . Last year (I don't remember exactly) when yahoo announced their regular prices I decided it was time to part from their services so I initiated the transfer process which was completed within a few days and all the domains were working properly on their new "registrar". It was obvious to me that the no other action was needed on my part. I was wrong ...

Last month I received a yahoo email that my one of my domains was suspended because I had failed to pay their $34.95 annual registration fee !!! Had they not noticed that the domains had been transfered elsewhere ? Of course they had the other domains completelly transfered out of their system. Wasn't this automated ? I initiated a transfer and part of that process was Yahoo Domains sending me an email to confirm that the transfer had my consent !!! (and wasn't fraudulent)

Anyway I went along and logged in my control panel in order to cancel the service but since they considered my billing obligations past due, no action was allowed - except I believe entering a new credit card number. Because of this I decide to send them an email explaining the situation so it can be resolved but this lead to a few emails back and forth in what appears to be a total miscommunication between me and the YAHOO email support . I will let you enjoy them ... still in doubt whether the responses were coming from a human being though ...


Original message



This is an automated notice. Replies to this address will not be received. If you have questions, please contact Yahoo! Customer Care. For your protection, Yahoo! will never ask you to provide your billing information via email.

Dear G Kontopoulos,

Your Yahoo! Domains account is past due and has been suspended. Although we have previously sent past-due notices, we have not yet received payment for your account.

Amount due: 34.95

Service period: 10/19/2008 00:00:00 to 10/18/2009 23:59:59

The Yahoo! ID associated with this account: xxxxxxxx

The domain name for this account: xxxxxxxxx.com

To update the payment information on file for your account:

1. Go to the Service Summary page at https://billing.yahoo.com to view a list of your active services. Services with past-due payments will be marked with a past-due alert.
2. Click the "update your payment method" link in the past-due alert.
3. To edit the payment method you are currently using to pay for your service, click "Edit." To switch to a new payment method, click the "Add a new payment method" link in the upper-right corner of the page. Be sure to click "Continue" to save your changes.
4. Once you have updated the payment information for your service, we will attempt to charge your payment method using the new information.
5. Verify that payment information has been updated for your service by confirming that the service is no longer in past-due status. When you return to https://billing.yahoo.com, you should see your service marked with the word Active.

To update payment information for additional services, return to the Service Summary page at https://billing.yahoo.com and repeat the steps above.

If the information on file in the billing center is valid, you may need to contact your credit card issuer or PayPal to correct the problem.

If you are having problems updating the information as instructed above, please visit our online help center or call our toll-free number at (866) 800-8092 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

We appreciate your attention to this matter.

The Yahoo! Billing team

My response
I have been receiving emails about my domain registration
expiring and unpaid bills but xxxxxxx.com and any other domain that I
had with yahoo has been transfered to another register almost a year ago

I am trying to cancel the plan but it does not let me

Please correct this in your records


Please correct this in your records
Their response
Hello George,

Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Small Business Support.

As per our records we see that your domain xxxxxxx.com is still active
with Yahoo!, kindly cancel your domain online and if you are not able to
do it online kindly contact Yahoo! Customer Care Billing 1-866-562-7219
to force cancel the domain.

Please do not hesitate to reply if you need further assistance.

Regards,


Shankar
Yahoo! Small Business Support

For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:

http://help.yahoo.com/


My Response
This is the second support request

xxxxxxx.com was successfully transfered to
another account outside yahoo domains 1 year ago
(using the accepted transfer method all registrars use)
and yahoo had accepted the transfer
I thought it was obvious that the
yahoo domains will not bill me again about it ??

Please cancel the account for xxxxxxxx.com

I am trying to do it with the web interface
but it does not let me

The previous person instructed me to contact
customer service and I am (email support)
since I am neither in the US nor do I have time
to spend on the phone for something I consider trivial

Thanks

Their response

Hello,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Customer Support.

To better serve your needs we now provide care for billing related
concerns exclusively over the phone.

Please call us at 1-800-318-0870 Monday through Friday from 6AM to 6 PM
Pacific Standard Time, and a customer care representative will be happy
to assist you.

If you prefer to go online where you can view all billing, payment, and
credit card information, make payments, or update your services anytime
day or night, please go to


http:// billing.yahoo.com .
Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

Regards,



Yahoo! Customer Care
For assistance with all Yahoo! services please visit:
http://help.yahoo.com/


MY FINAL RESPONSE

You people just don't read the email

well I am considering this issue FINISHED

here is our previous conversations
Please don't contact me again about THIS !!!

TNX - not as good as advertised

I have talked about TNX before in what it seemed like a praise of them. Its been six months already since I first tried them out and I have used them extensively all this period and I have drawn some conclusions which I would like to share with you guys.

The system in theory is pretty effective but in practice it has many pitfalls. First of all for those that don't know TNX let me just say its an easy way to get one way backlinks to your site. Of course there is a price to pay for this. You create your ad campaign, you choose what types of sites you want it appearing on and then you can potentially get thousands of backlinks withing days. So far so good.

In my experiments with TNX this my conclusions:

Not clear backlink benefits

I have tried to get links from relevant sites (chose themes/categories specific to my site's theme) in order to get the maximum benefit. After trying it for 6 months its still not clear to me if there were ANY benefits with ANY of the ad campaigns that I did. I am not drawing a definite conclusion here since this was not a controlled experiment and I was actually trying to get cheap links from PR0 pages. Thus, other people might have actually got good results with TNX and high PR links.

Google can probably detect irrelevant links

I have also tried selling links through this system. I tried this with one site on which I had it on for about 2 months. The links that were appearing on the ad spaces were more often than not irrelevant (not same category as my site). Google probably took notice of those links and penalized my site with PR drop from 4 to 0. But that had also a snowball effect on the money that I was getting for each link sold on the site. PR4 links were worth more than the PR0 links. Thus I decided to stop selling links using TNX. Another side effect of this drop was the unwillingness of other webmasters of exchanging links with me (because of the PR0).
If the system would not allow links to irrelevant sites than this probably would have been avoided and maybe this is something that the developers of TNX should take into consideration for their next update.

You could be charged for links dropped

I recently was doing a back check on some of the links that I "gained" 3 months ago and discovered that most of them were reported "by the system" as "NOT FOUND". After a brief discussion with the support of TNX I realized that EVERYONE has to manually visit each campaign and DELETE the links that are reported "NOT FOUND". Here is the part of the relevant discussion.


Why am I being charged for links

Date: 2008-06-27 23:39:17
Name: Giorgos Kontopoulos

Message:

that don't exist !!!
This is ridiculous

I just checked today for the first time and

most of the links Even your system concludes "not found"

Almost 90% of the links are "NOT FOUND"

EVEN when I go and check and there are no links there !!

What I conclude is that for 3 months now I am paying
for NON existent links

I demand this issue be resolved,
And I demand half of the link sales (at least)
to be credited back to my account

I am seriously thinking of refunding the money
and leaving from this network

Seriously disappointed
Giorgos Kontopoulos

Date: 2008-06-28 03:59:24
Name: Alex

Message:

Dear Giorgos,

You are more than welcome to delete any link that has a "Not found"
status and get a full refund of points spent to cover its cost.
It does not matter when the link is deleted, as long as it has a
"Not found"status, you are entitled to a full refund of your points.

>>I am seriously thinking of refunding the money and leaving from
this network

I think you just need to ask more questions so you have better
understanding of the TNX network. In case you decide to get a
refund and leave, please re-open this ticket.

Regards,
Alex.


This is clearly something that the system ought to be able to do on its own. It would be a full time job otherwise if one had anything more than 1000 links with TNX, and had to continuously check if the links that were acquired automatically HAD to be CHECKED manually for their EXISTENCE.




Those are the major reasons that have convinced me that TNX was no more for me.

Have you guys had any experience with TNX ? What did you think of the system ?? Any successes ?