Yahoo ISP + Yahoo Web Hosting = Mail Nightmare

I thought I had researched Yahoo Web Hosting thoroughly and hadn’t come across any potential pitfalls. But things went downhill as soon as my domain was set up. Part of the problem was probably self-inflicted as I was using the Yahoo Mail beta software.

What I didn’t know, and what wasn’t documented, was that the Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting service does not yet support then mail beta. In my defense, even now that I know what problems I had I can’t find any reference or warnings in the Yahoo information.

I’m convinced my problems are due to the fact that I was on the beta mail and the new domain would be on the original mail.

Spam, Spam, Spam and more Spam

The first problem I encountered was in my spam mail (72 pieces previously moved to my spam folder on Yahoo) was all delivered to my e-mail client. A bit tedious to clean up but not a huge problem. Luckily most of my mail goes through another spam filter before hitting Yahoo and I didn’t have the hundreds of spam e-mails I could have.

As another observation I was a bit surprised how much e-mail didn’t get detected as spam by my Mac Mail client. It usually caught what slipped through so I figured it was pretty good.

But anyway, back to Yahoo. I went through the Yahoo mail options and found the setting to hold mail in the spam folder and not deliver it to the POP e-mail client. Problem solved, kind of.

Then I found that more spam was getting through. Looks like the Yahoo mail spam filter got reset. I’ve been marking mail as spam in Yahoo and hoping the filter improves.

You Didn’t Need Those Email Addresses (they are disposable so we disposed of them)

Yahoo Mail has another feature called disposable addresses. These allow me to create unique addresses @yahoo.com. I pick a prefix that’s common to all and then I can create unique addresses. For example, thisisme-1@yahoo.com and thisisme-2@yahoo.com. I make extensive use of these, never giving out my primary e-mail address.

Luckily I sent myself an e-mail address late Friday and it bounced with a “no account” error. I figured it was related to the domain change so I immediately changed the e-mail address my e-mail forwarder uses. This forwards e-mail from the address I give to real people. When I went into Yahoo mail setup and picked the disposable addresses link I got an error.

After trying to find a solution and failing I click on the link and fill out the form. By now I’m pretty sure I’m stuck and won’t have disposable addresses. So I start heading out to the important websites and change the addresses I’m registered under. All of which took the better part of an hour.

I set up aliases in my new domain as a stopgap solution. I’ll probably go in later and re-assign those aliases to another mailbox or go back to the spam filled e-mail addresses I’ve used in the past.

Yahoo Customer Care doesn’t get high marks either. I filled in the form the link took me too, and included a copy of the bounce error. I soon got a auto-generated e-mail that said “the wheels of progress are in motion” and gave me a link to online help (which I’d already been through).

Two business days (and one weekend later) I got a longer e-mail, but which was a form letter, that gave me info for e-mail support, chat support and phone support. I’ve already worked around the problem and probably wouldn’t switch back even if aliases were restored. I tried sending an e-mail (via the form link in the e-mail) but after completing the form and clicking OK I was told there was an error and the request couldn’t be processed. I really don’t want to have to deal with tech support only to be told the feature can’t be used with Web Hosting since Web Hosting doesn’t support the mail beta. But, sometime when I’m in the right mood I’ll try again to get an answer.

On the positive side, the rest of the setup went without a hitch.