Not Even Yahoo Employees Want To Use Yahoo Mail

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Not Even Yahoo Employees Want To Use Yahoo Mail
[ Technology]

You know how everybody has been complaining about Yahoo Mail since they redesigned it (and then complaining more since they redesigned it again)? It would seem that it’s not just Yahoo Mail users that aren’t big on the product. Even Yahoo employees have been refusing to use it.

Are you a Yahoo Mail user? Have you taken issue with recent changes? Do you think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Anytime a widely used product gets a redesign there are going to be some people complaining, but in the case of Yahoo Mail, it has been relentless. People have been slamming it all year with no real signs of letting up.

If the backlash has been this big from users in general, what does resistance to the product from Yahoo’s own employees say about Yahoo Mail as a business tool?

Kara Swisher at All Things D, who frequently obtains leaked internal memos from Yahoo, shares one in which the company is urging employes to switch to Yahoo Mail from Microsoft Outlook, after only a quarter of them made the switch since being asked to do so before.

Here are a couple excerpts from the memo from SVP Communications Products Jeff Bonforte and CIO Randy Roumillat:

Earlier this year we asked you to move to Yahoo Mail for your corporate email account. 25% of you made the switch (thank you). But even if we used the most generous of grading curves (say, the one from organic chemistry), we have clearly failed in our goal to move our co-workers to Yahoo Mail.

It’s time for the remaining 75% to make the switch. Beyond the practical benefits of giving feedback to your colleagues on the Mail team, as a company it’s a matter of principle to use the products we make. (BTW, same for Search.)

Using corp mail from the Y Mail web interface is remarkably feature rich. It supports booking conference rooms, folders, calendar, filters and global address book. Plus, you get built-in Messenger, smart conversation threading, powerful keyboard shortcuts, the new quick actions, attachment preview and our beautiful new rich themes. In the rare case you do need Outlook, like adding a delegate for your calendar, you can still fire up Outlook for 30 seconds.

But wait there’s more. By using corporate Mail, you’ll automatically get to dogfood our new features first. I’m especially excited about a new feature premiering in just a few more days: smart auto-suggest, powered by a platform from the still-have-that-new-acquisition-smell Xobni team. We have been testing this feature with select users in and out of the company and the response has been fantastic: “Whoa!”, “Amazing”, “Already in love with it. Woot!” and, my favorite, “So nicely integrated that it appears as if it’s always been there. I already can’t imagine it not being there again.”

It doesn’t look good – Yahoo is having to urge a whopping 75% to move to Yahoo Mail. It’s unclear exactly when they were first told to do so, but “earlier this year” makes it sound like it’s been quite a while. A long time to have that many people ignore the corporate wishes.

I mean wow. How bad is it?

The memo closes by noting that corporate mail is not yet supported on mobile. That’s probably not going to go too far in convincing those reluctant to make the switch.

If Yahoo is having that much trouble convincing its own people to use the product, what does that say about the prospect of gaining new users – especially business users?

If Yahoo employees don’t want to use it, and old Yahoo Mail users hate it, who else is left besides new users?

We haven’t seen any hard data about Yahoo Mail usage, but it’s hard to imagine that it hasn’t lost a lot of the old users, based on the hundreds of comments we’ve gotten from readers ourselves. Here are nearly five hundred on the last article we wrote on the subject alone (there are hundreds more on other articles). And we’re just one place users can vent.

People dislike it for a pretty broad range of reasons, which complicates things even more for Yahoo. It’s not as though there’s just one feature that is frustrating users. There’s no one feature they could add that would make everybody start responding better.

Although, one thing is clear from all the comments. If they just switched back to the old Yahoo Mail, they’d make a lot of users happy. I’m afraid I don’t see that happening, however.

Are you happy with the current state of Yahoo Mail? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Yahoo

Not Even Yahoo Employees Want To Use Yahoo Mail
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  • Spinifers

    I’ve been using Yahoo mail since the 90s. I loved its straightforward simplicity. I hate the threaded messages; often working with confidential content, I’m perpetually paranoid now as to who exactly it is I’m replying to. I miss the tabs terribly. The inability to adjust columns to see the entire message title is endlessly frustrating. Worst of all, it’s laggy and unresponsive more often than not. Though the thought of changing my primary email after more than a decade is nothing short of dreadful, at this point if I knew of a service comparable to the old Yahoo I’d do so.

  • http://Autopartsno1.com Denny

    Yahoo classic was one of the best emails out there now yahoo mail sucks totally I dont use it much any more they should of left people have the option to keep classic when you have some thing good some times its best to leave it as is & not change it now the yahoo mail is TOTAL SHIT! Thanks yahoo you f#%*ed up.

  • http://www.newvisionmedia.co.uk New Vision Media

    Some of my clients were happy using Yahoo but following the recent ‘improvements’ they’ve all asked for help and I’ve now upgraded them all to domain based email accounts!

  • http://Yahoo Navy Vet


  • Lisa

    I haven’t used Yahoo web based mail in years – I’ve used it through POP and my email client when possible. When I have had to use it I have found it quite ok. Maybe it’s just getting used to something that’s new and all the complaints may die down. But then again I don’t use it very much.

  • l rostetter

    As a Yahoo user of about 10 years, I have never seen anything approaching the constant problems of the last month or two. Quality had been a given. Now it is a surprise to get through a session without problems

  • Mary Cates

    I do NOT like the changes to Yahoo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    Have adjusted to send button etc. at bottom but prefer the old way.
    A “close” pop-up keeps coming on during typing of e-mal interrupting the continuity of the message. EXTREMELY ANNOYING. My emoticons never go where I want to place them any more. Not as many choices as to font usage. I used to easily type my answers between paragraphs of mail recieved and just use a color on my answers. Problematic now.
    For the average user, the old way was wonderful. Mary Cates

  • http://yahoomail R C

    Why must you people insist on making changes to a product that needed no changes. I hate the new format and am very close to quitting yahoo. You were put in charge and as such as the new leader you MUST make changes. After all, you are in charge!!!! Quit!!!! Your new product SUCKS!!!!!!!!

  • Glenn Swanson

    We have utilized Yahoo email since the company went online as the hot new search engine. We liked Yahoo email—-simple,clean, easy to use.

    Now, upon opening Yahoo email is like being immersed in a circus. we feel as if we’ve entered a confusing mass of data displayed in flashing, jumping ads, stories, etc. The page does not provide enough room to adequately display email messages.

    Additionally, week after week (when we can’t access our email) we receive error messages advising that they are reworking and having problems.

    Marissa Mayer may be getting some positive press, but if Yahoo loses devoted core supporters—-crash. Users may weather some irritation, but if it grows to more rejection the game is over.

    Today Yahoo is more like the federal health care website than like a smart Silicon Valley company.

  • Elaine

    I HATE the newYahoo mail!!!! I can’t say it strongly enough! I find it so confusing & difficult to navigate. It’s hard to see new mail & I canit keep track of old mail. I hate to switch email address after all these years, but seriously thinking of doing so!

  • http://newbies2profitclub.com/mp/DNP/jfDNPsqueezepageJK.html no-more-yahoo-for-you

    my very first online experience was with yahoo and over the years their constant changes have totally turned me off to using the 4 accounts i still have. gmail is best and yahoo as well as any others, might consider taking into account their user’s feelings when it comes to change. when companies do not offer the option or choice to keep things the way they are, really annoys me almost as much as politicians that claim to be doing things in the best interests of its citizens. as far as i’m concerned, we don’t need no stinkin’ yahoo-:)

  • http://laab.co.uk LaaB UK

    I still use Yahoo mail and most likely will for some time. I am not happy with their redesign as it just made good thing worse, and also the Yahoo Android mail app is somewhat buggy, not refreshing inbox, keeping e-mails in sent box for a while and it seems that even when I send an e-mail it takes ages for it to be sent from yahoo servers.

    Yahoo mail user since 1999

  • http://NA Frugal Fred

    If it aint broke, dont fix it, is where Yahoo needs to be.

    Whoever approved this unilateral change appears to have little business acumen or the will to make a productive tool even more efficient.
    Maybe its becoming an ever poorer revenue stream and this is the way to ensure its demise!

    Yahoo never thought about the practicalities..
    1. Multiple tabs open to reference and/or cut and paste text..
    2. Drafts not autosaving consistently
    3. Text management tools at bottom of page are a real pain, and not laid out in same sequence just detracts .from users productivity.
    4. There’s no quick reference key to the supposed powerful keyboard shortcuts
    5. It seems no longer possible to print out emails with distribution, date and time stamp.
    6. An incredible management naivety that dictatorially introducing change with no option to control when/if I want to upgrade, little/no added value for Mr Joe Average will “seduce” new users to Yahoo.
    7. The undertone of conversations in my social meetings further slams Yahoo’s competence as we each discover more aspects that we only use infrequently have also been changed.

    With, I think, close to 15 years with Yahoo, this looks like the last straw…

  • David Williams

    It is confusing, over complicated and the copy, cut and paste element from previous versions is hard to find.

  • Work Kebede

    I hate the new Yahoo email. It is torture. It is not a good business either. I have been with Yahoo email for many years and had been happy with it. Why change something that is working great? I don’t think that is a smart move. Now, when I write an email to someone I can’t even make a new paragraph in my message. Very frustrating to say the least.


  • http://nollamaraautumnclub.org.au Michelina

    I definetely prefer the old version of yahoo mail. Never had the amount of problems that I have with the new design

  • Sam Englehardt

    As long as Thunderbird will redirect all my incoming Yahoo mail to my new outlook.com account (I know, never thought I would recommend the Evil Empire), I’m happy to keep my Yahoo account open (though I now send everything from my new account).

    Ps. A friend forwarded some pictures to me from her Yahoo account to mine and it got stuck in an infinite loop somehow – I would receive 50 or 60 copies of the forward (until I filtered to them to automatically delete).

    She couldn’t figure out why this was happening, nor could I. And since there was no way to contact anybody at Yahoo, it just kept looping.

  • http://www.strategik.co.uk Strategik

    This does not sound good at all. If anything you would expect the employees to have a hand in the user experience of the product. It sounds like very few people like the new set up, which means Yahoo have quite a task to turn this around.

  • http://forexforprofit.net/ Rob Watson

    I have yahoo mail plus and due to issues with the so called upgrade I have had to revert to the previous version. This is actually worse than the free version so thank you very much yahoo for nothing. The version I was using was perfectly fine, but like so much in the tech world these days, every so called upgrade brings no improvement just more problems and a worse user experience!

  • http://greenstatehydroponics.weebly.com/ John

    Yahoo mail is awful. i’m shocked a company with the resources of Yahoo could produce such a piece of crap. It’s not as if e-mail is a new thing and we’re all doing it for the first time.

    I’ll be moving my web site soon to a web host that offers e-mail and stop using yahoo mail for good. I gave them a chance but it’s been months and the thing they created just has one problem after another and no end in sight.

  • matt

    The new design is a disaster. You can not tell if you sent an email or received it and from who? Everything they thought of is unnecessary and complicated. I have been a yahoo mail user for the past 13 years and about to quit.

    • Jenna

      That’s exactly it. I’ve sent several apology emails and clarifications because I have missed messages. I think I’ve sent some messages to the wrong people. I have no idea what I’m looking at anymore.

  • http://allfor1ministries.org jennifer

    Both Yahoo mail upgrades done in the last year have made it harder to use, slower and have made the whole thing glitch in a way it never had before. My mail has never been user friendly as a mobile app or mobile site and if they were going to make changes, I believe THAT is what they should have changed. Are they blind? Until people can use it on their smartphones, it is basically useless. Thank you

  • S. Alastair

    The day that yahoo required the switch, I closed my last yahoo account. I have had yahoo account since 1999. No more.

    I always kept several email accounts and used which ever one worked. Yahoo mail would stop working whenever they made changes. Same with hotmail and other webmail.

    I’m back to POP email. It’s nice. No adverts or other crap. I have my folders and my filters.

    I don’t own a mobile.

  • Dwan

    The changes to Yahoo email suck.

  • Boris

    Have been a yahoo user for around 15 years. All the changes recently introduced have been confusing and negative in effect. One of its best services, the yahoogroups, has been seriously compromised. And the problem seems to lie in the fact that they are substituting their programming language for a chinese version platform which is clearly incompatible with the western languages. They no longer respond adequately to user complaints and requests for revision of those changes that have caused the disruption of several groups and their influx of membership.

  • http://www.localpeopleworldwide.com Nigel Simpson

    To cut to the chase…
    The New CEO should go,with immediate effect, and loose ALL contractual guarantees
    For the misery, stress. loss of custom, revenue and God knows what else SHE has caused.

    I use msn, where ever I can but I have over 70 files of contacts on Yahoo … who I cannot guarantee to send or reply emails….

    (Yahoo fan!)

    Local People Worldwide is For Sale

  • PayTheUpfrontPrice

    Sounds like the “new” Yahoo mail was a product of an “old” IT mentality…build it in a vacuum, launch it and then tell everyone how great it is. If they disagree, well…there just a bunch of idiot users. Good design is a highly iterative process with end users heavily involved. Take a hint from the most widely used email system in the world…gmail.

  • http://yahooemail mina das

    It’s so confusing now. When forwarding a email rec’d i cannot
    delete the previous senders email address or messages that i
    don’t want to forward. The emails seem to be repeated 2 times.
    I see them when I scrool down. This is stopping me forwarding
    emails since I cannot protect my friends email addresses. When
    will Yahoo fix this, it has been too long. What about privacy
    for our email addresses!!!!

  • http://www.emailmanager.com/en Kris

    I used to have yahoo account, but do not use it anymore as it confuse me :( I liked the older version and I was used to it. Someone may like the new updates but unfortunately I don’t…The one good think about the “new yahoo” may be better protection from receiving spams to inbox.

  • Jenna

    I have had my account since 1998. I am SOOOO confused with this latest change. Messages are in a funny order, and replies to messages appear so subtly that sometimes I miss that I have a new message. FRUSTRATED.

  • Joe Ryan

    Yahoo mail keeps going down. Down… down… down. Just when I need to access my mail the most, here comes the “Technical Difficulties” message on the screen. What’s going on with Yahoo?

  • http://deliberatedumbingdown.com charlotte iserbyt

    Anyone who is not furious over these changes should have their head examined, unless they use Yahoo Mail simply for frivolous Facebook, GMail type conversation. I had my most important Folder (my business transactions) disappear. Out of 25 folders Yahoo managed to pick the most important one and whoosh, it’s gone. I cannot send group emails anymore…have to look up email addresses and type them in by hand. And so many other aggravating, absolutely stupid changes, but I don’t have time to describe all of them. Is it possible Marissa is trying to scramble our brains? I know she is big into artificial intelligence. Are we her rats for experimentation?

  • Tommy Brown

    I quit Yahoo when they stopped their Yahoo 360. That was a long time ago but Facebook took Yahoo’s 360 and ran with it and look at Facebook now. Yahoos has lost us all.

  • http://www.birminghamph.com Manila

    My client complain about his yahoo mail, cannot print continous conversation or see all reply all at once.

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    I have had yahoo mail for many years to use with yahoo based stuff but dont use for everyday use just forward to different none yahoo account.
    I always liked the simple earler interfaces better.just put back as it was and allow to work simply over all platforms.

  • Isaiah

    Attachments don’t even open now for the last few days. I get HTTP error code 302. I really hate to give up my address as it’s on a lot of media… It really sucked when they tried to imitate Gmail which I don’t like also.

  • http://www.chicago-plumbers.com jim747

    Absolutely hate it every time they change it. I just wish they went back to the old yahoo mail. What type of reasoning would compel the corporate heads to ignore all their loyal users?

  • karl

    don’t like the new format of yahoo…..period… bring back the old format…. my wife can’t stand it… she tries to get junk mail out of her inbox and it takes half of her personal emails along with it… thumbs up to the 75% who won’t switch… I’m dumping yahoo mail… so is my wife…

  • Roxana

    I’ve been using Yahoo since many years, it was the one I liked the most. But now it’s just horrible and “nerve eating”. I don’t like the “improvements” at all. Constant freezing, can’t close immediately (freezes or takes to me an ad placed behind the window where you have to click on log out)and I could write a very large list, fact is that I don’t like the “new Yahoo”.

  • Phill

    yahoo mail has been displaying malicious ads on the mail page which does not give me confidence that they care. The site sorts e-mail slower than before and is very sluggish most of the time. It has been setting off security alerts on the mail page and links don’t work most of the time. I have never seen it this bad.

  • Joe

    It’s clear that Mayer is a spy for Google and her objective is to KILL Yahoo mail and then run back to Sergey. She uses her cute looks and seductiveness to deceive everyone at Yahoo and simply destroy them. Google is a monopoly and I can’t understand why FCC doesn’t see this but then again prob Google pays the FCC top execs huge bonuses

  • Bryan Strong

    I’ve been using Yahoo mail for around 12 years. Initially it was simple and reliable. It is now complicated and un-reliable. Having worked in the corporate world it’s easy to see what has happened. The normal rule of thumb is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but in the corporate world promotion to a ‘better’ job comes along every couple of years and the new man (woman) taking over assumes that they have been brought in to ‘improve’ things. They spend some months working out the ‘improvements’, more months trying to make them work and then get promoted whereupon the cycle starts all over again with the product getting worse and worse.
    The problem from my point of view is that all corporations seem to work the same way, so where to turn?

  • yevin

    Ive been a yahoo mail user since about 1998 and i HATE the new ui!!!!!
    This is the first time in history i feel iMUST abandon yahoo and move to gmail, or another less disruptive place which CARES about the user experience and feedback.

  • glenn.schmacher

    I agree, the mail feature has become so cumbersome it is unusable for me. I cant sort by name, or pull saved emails from my inbox easily. I am now transitioning al my contacts to my new outlook account. the other thing I hate is mas quantity of advertisements I must endure to get to a new article I want to read. I am also making MNBC my new home page. Yahoo has NOTHING to offer anyone anymore!!

  • ruth wong

    I do not like the new yahoo email at all. I am thinking of changing to google, if they don’t redesign the present yahoo email. Ugh!!!

  • Jack Fogelberg

    The part about these “upgrades” that is so perplexing is that the developers seem to be completely out of touch with the user’s needs. How could they have missed the painful slowness they upgraded to? Do they expect us to just get used to it? How could they have believed that anyone wanted Yahoo! Mail upgraded to become anything like the Gmail? People use Yahoo! because Gmail is terrible!

  • Jhon

    Really this new Ceo wants to put yahoo out of the business. The only reason I look the Yahoo´s page is for the mail, and often I cant use it because lagging, errors and so on. I had not any problem in 15 years… I has moved to gmail.

  • Nona

    Yahoo mail now is TERRIBLE!!!!!!

  • John

    when wife was yelling from upstairs, “are you downloading stuff there again?”. I said “no, why?”. turned out she’s trying to check her yahoo mail.
    been with yahoo mail for 1x years but stop using it since they have “improved/upgraded” their site.
    I guess the reason it’s so slow now is because they have rewrite everything with java. tried with disabling java script speed up things a lot for my wife. (search for a browser add-on call quickjava to make life easier)

  • s coe

    I hate yahoo mail and will change my email provider. I have lost all control of how i reply or forward something – can no longer delete previous posts, emails sometimes get sent to my draft and after days of no reply I see is there, It’s ugly.

    What a bunch of geeks!!!

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