Fuck you Yahoo Mail

I have an email address at Yahoo Mail that I’ve had for at least 10+ years, although nowadays I use it only very occasionally (maybe once every few months) as a “throwaway” address — you know, for those times you have to give out an email address and don’t want to get spammed later.

Well, I should say “had”, because Yahoo just randomly decided to fuck me over today.  Even though I know, without any doubt, my correct username and password, they just won’t let me login.  Isn’t that nice?

“Traveling somewhere new?” they ask.  No, I’m not.  I’m sitting at my desk, at home, the same place I’ve lived at for the last 3 years.

My only recourse, apparently, is for them to send a code to a mostly obscured email address, which I have no idea what is is.  d****@w****.com — what the hell is that?  Certainly whatever it is is some address I haven’t used for probably 10+ years and no longer have access to anyway.  I also tried the “forgot password” tool even though I do know the password — I thought maybe they’d let me reset it, but no.

Now before you go off lecturing me that it’s my “fault” (or some shit like that), for not “keeping my information up to date”… do you realize how many god damned websites I have logins to try and keep track of already?  Multiply that by 15+ years of this shit and… how is anyone supposed to keep everything “updated” all the time?

At least Gmail prompts me from time to time to make sure my recovery info is still correct.  If it’s not, I update it on the spot.  Well, it would have been nice if Yahoo had ever prompted me like that — before locking my account for no reason — which would have avoided this mess altogether.

The lessons from this bullshit are:

  1. Yes, security is important — but not at the expense of permanently locking out your legitimate users.
  2. You get what you pay for — which is why I’ve been progressively migrating away from free email services (like Yahoo) in favor of my own mailbox(es) running on my own servers, where my sysadmin (me) would never pull such a dick move.
  3. Yahoo, as a company, really is fucked.  How are they even still in business?  I’ve seen them fuck up so many things over the years (anybody remember Yahoo Auctions?), that really I shouldn’t be surprised by things like this anymore.  (Ironically, about a month ago I turned down a job opportunity at Yahoo, working on the — you guessed it — Yahoo Mail team.  Gee, I wonder why they are hiring?)

Need a throwaway email address?

By the way…  if you need a throwaway email address, check out the (appropriately named) site http://www.throwawaymail.com/.  I’m not affiliated with them in any way… I just found it while Googling for throwaway email accounts and it worked great for me, and it’s free.  Totally replaced my need for having Yahoo Mail anymore.

Saying “no” to Yahoo

Recently I was flattered to receive a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter at Yahoo.  It’s a nice ego-boost to think an iconic Silicon Valley company might be interested in little old me (even if they are a company on the brink of bankruptcy and/or takeover).

But I politely said “no”.

Current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously banned remote working in 2013, and continues to support that ban.  I think that’s a pretty big mistake.  Sure, working remote isn’t for everybody.  But it works really well for me, and a lot of other people out there too.  A wiser policy would be to measure what employees actually produce — then you could decide on a case-by-case basis whether an employee could continue to work remotely (or at all, if they’re that lazy).

This was my reply, for whatever it’s worth:

Hi ****,

Thanks for your message.  It’s certainly flattering to know that a company like Yahoo is interested in me, and I’ve been mulling it over the last few days.  In the end, however, I don’t think it would be a good fit right now.  I’ve read about Marissa Mayer ending remote working at Yahoo, which is anathema to what I’ve come to believe with regards to the ideal workplace.  I’ve worked 100% remotely for the last 3 years and have been tremendously happier and more productive in that setting.  As tantalizing as the idea of adding Yahoo to my resume is, I don’t think I would be happy at all going back to an office job.  Should that policy at Yahoo ever change, please let me know.  Otherwise I wish you the best of luck with your search!

Best regards,


So much for that.