Yahoo services: small business account

Katinka Hesselink 2006

I'm usually a yahoo-evangelist. I use yahoo for my e-mail, my web hosting (this website), I use its groups and even its tool bar. Recently though I've found a few gripes that I'd blog about if I had a search-blog or something. Since I don't, I'll just vent here. 

I appreciate free e-mail, but ever since I've upgraded my webhosting to 'small-business', I have advertisement-free e-mail as well. This is a great service, though I expected it earlier: when I started paying for my webhosting in the first place (geocities pro). 

So here's how I expected Yahoo to do things, and how they actually do it with yahoo-mail.

how it is

how it should be (In my opinion)

A new e-mail account for the same e-mail adress. That is: I now have two accounts. The old e-mailaccount where my old archives are. New mail is sent to my new account, though there seem to be exceptions. Maybe mail sent to my old yahoo-e-mail adress is still sent to the old account. Before the upgrade to 'small-business', all mail went to the same inbox, whether sent to mail@ or to my yahoo-account. I liked that.

I should get all mail in the same inbox, unless I (a paying user) choose to have them in separate inboxes.

It is a lot of work to switch between both inboxes. Logging into yahoo-mail gets me to my old yahoo-mailbox (where no or little mail should be going now) and it is two clicks to my domain-name mailbox.

Make it default to log into the business account and make it only one click to the content of my yahoo-box (if two boxes are chosen).

A lot of settings are changed. The only setting that has stayed the same is the adress book. One does not have to start over collecting addresses.

Either keep all settings or make it very easy to import the settings from the 'yahoo' account into the 'small-business-account'.

The integration of the small-business account with the yahoo-tool bar is sloppy. There is an option to add a button for small-business, but the menu accompanying that button does not have a link to my small business mail. The button 'mail' does know when there are new messages, but does not send me to my business mail automatically. It assumes the yahoo-mail is more important (or something). There is a separate button for geocities (free webhosting), but now that I'm upgraded to small business and pay yahoo more, that link no longer gets me to my webhosting plan.

Make paying customers a priority and give them the integration of various services they expect.

The URL (website adress) of yahoo-hosting (or geocities) changes all the time. Even the yahoo-tool bar has trouble keeping up.

One would expect to find that the old URL's redirect automatically to the new URL's. Don't expect me to change my bookmarks four times a year.

A general complaint about yahoo is that it's helpfiles are not really helpful. They were useless for most of the above issues. 

For instance I've had trouble getting my webfiles online recently. I solved it, today, by changing my FTP settings. These were settings that I tried to find in yahoo help, but couldn't.

I expect yahoo-webhosting to inform me when their FTP-settings change, so that I can change them as well, in my FTP program. 

[this issue is not as bad as it sounds as there are several ways of getting files online in yahoo-webhosting. So if I can't use FTP, I can always do it another way.]

This one is almost too insignificant to talk about, but well: for some reason yahoo small business mail does not give one the option of customizing the colors of the mailbox. This is obviously not an important one, but still - I'm sensitive enough to color to appreciate being able to customize my mailbox.

As, again, I'm a paying customer I expect yahoo small business mail to have more, not less options for customizing the way my mailbox looks.

What most of these things have in common is that there is a lack of integration. There seems to be a rift between the payed e-mail service and the free one. The payed service has more options, which I appreciate, but the one missing feature is integration with the settings of the previous free e-mail account. E-mail is too important to have two clicks to get to my business mail account. 

With e-mail the trouble may be that I use webmail, whereas most paying customers send their mail to their computers through the pop3 options in the small business account. All my complaints are about the integration of options online - that's the one common denominator. 

Another aspect may be that my main motivation for switching wasn't a need for more disk space on my website, or more e-mailadresses. My reason for switching was that I wanted more web statistics. I may therefore be, as far as e-mail goes, too small a player. I have no need for a separate business mail account. My business is not as separate from my private life as is perhaps the case with other business people.

Some of the above difficulties are obviously temporary. I will get new settings for my small business account. Once they are set, that trouble is pretty much over. Still, it seems I will have to be switching between my free yahoo-account and my 'small business' account for a longer time. The fact that this is more than one click apart will bug me for a longer time.