Do Not Use YAHOO! Web Hosting and Do Not Use YAHOO! Domain Registration

This is a warning about Yahoo! Web Hosting and about Yahoo! Domains. This is not about any other aspect of Yahoo!.

First, a brief explanation of my two websites that Yahoo! previously hosted and shutdown and whose domain names Yahoo! registered and then barred me from controlling:

Neither website contained any illegal, immoral, unethical, controversial or problematic content and nothing was changed on the websites during the 3 years that Yahoo! hosted the sites.

Both websites are currently hosted by another hosting company. Nothing has been changed since moving to another hosting company so you can still check them both and see exactly what was hosted by Yahoo!.

On the morning of September 27, 2011 I was unable to reach either of my websites. After one day of problems, I sent my first email to Yahoo! Small Business Support.

When I failed to receive a prompt response, I tried to phone Yahoo!. If you search, you can find a phone number for Yahoo! support. But you'll get no support. If you call you'll hear a recorded message that tells you to send an email. That's clever. They promise, "24/7 phone, email, and online support". But there's no phone support unless you consider a recorded message telling you to send an email, phone support.

That is something everyone should consider if you use, or are considering the use of, Yahoo! hosting or domain registration services. There's no phone support.

But I did get an email response (automated) from Yahoo!. The email explained the problem was, "In looking at the account we are seeing that the account was closed for a violation of the Terms of Service which were agreed to on opening the account." (Yahoo!'s full email response is here.)

It turns out there was no TOS violation. It was an error by Yahoo!.

Well, anyone can make an error. It's the way Yahoo! handled their own error that should concern everyone doing business with them.

  1. Yahoo! violated their own TOS. Specifically, section 5.3 of their TOS states,

    "Termination by Yahoo!
    Yahoo! may terminate these Terms at any time upon notice to You."

    Well, they did not notify me when they terminated my account. They just arbitrarily shut down my websites and locked me out of Yahoo.com so I could not log-in which prevented me from accessing my email, my control panel and my domain names. Only when I noticed my websites weren't working and after I sent them an email did I get notification that there was a problem.

  2. Read section 5.3 of their TOS. The last half of section 5.3 is laughable and ominous at the same time. Yahoo! claims they can confiscate your domain name and do anything they want with it. That's so over-the-top ridiculous, no comment is needed.
  3. Yahoo! did state in their email to me, "If you wish, we would be happy to look into this for you, to see if we are able to reactivate the account."

    What the heck? Didn't Yahoo! already "look into this"?? Or, do they have some automated process that terminates customer sites and noone checks on that process? I really don't know.

  4. But I responded by asking for the reason gladstien.com was shutdown and the reason kglad.com was shutdown. They asked for information, from me, which I supplied. To date, I've not heard back from Yahoo!
Using Google, I searched for other people that have had problems with Yahoo! (There are plenty.) I found that Yahoo! isn't a domain name registrar but acts as a reseller for a real registrar in Australia, MelbourneIT. Fortunately for me, I found the fax number to MelbourneIT and (condensing a long story), after one week, got my domain names transferred to a registrar that allows me to control my own domain names. I changed domain servers from Yahoo! to my new host and, after a lot of wasted time and aggrevation, I was back in business.

Changing registrars normally is not difficult. But Yahoo! goes out of their way to make it as difficult and time-consuming as possible and even threatens (in their TOS) to confiscate your domain name.

In the best of circumstances, changing domain registrars and web hosts is not pleasant. But doing it before you get hosed by Yahoo! is preferrable to doing it after you've been hosed. I strongly recommend everyone using Yahoo! Web Hosting move their hosting elsewhere and everyone using Yahoo! Domains change registrars. And, in no circumstance, should you allow Yahoo! to handle both web hosting and domain registration like I did.

I used Google to find a top-rated registrar (dotearth.com) and web host (inmotionhosting.com). Surprisingly, to me, they were both less expensive than Yahoo!. In particular, web hosting using inmotionhosting.com was significantly less expensive than Yahoo! and their control panel and help files are superior to Yahoo!'s.

Oh, and they both have phone numbers prominently posted on their web sites that actually work. And neither uses an exclamation point in their names.

POSTSCRIPT: I finally got a response from Yahoo!. They left a phone message letting me know it was their mistake and they left a phone number for me to call for more information. I called that number and asked for more information. I was told their error was regarding kglad.com, not gladstien.com. They would not tell me the cause of their error nor why they failed to notify me nor why gladstien.com was shut-down nor why i was banned from logging-into Yahoo.com nor why i was blocked from changing registrars.

I was told there was no other phone number I could call to get any of that information. I was told I could send an email for this information. But noone could tell me where to send the email.

In short, the Yahoo! people I spoke with were all sympathetic, appologetic and pleasant. They all understood why each and every issue I was having aggrevated me.

But it seemed like they had no ability to do anything helpful because of Yahoo! policies. None of them even tried to defend any of the actions by Yahoo!. And, in fact, they all seemed to agree with me, Yahoo! sucks.