I’m going to Boycott Yahoo!

I have been getting an average of about 50 spam emails a day, most of which goes to my spam box, but since occasionally other things go there that shouldn’t, I have it set to empty it manually. Since Windows Live gives the provision to block either just the sender or the whole domain, I always right click on the emails and look at the properties before I decide, for fear that I could block whole groups from a common email address.

In other words, I pay attention to where they are coming from. I have found that a good 73% of these spam emails are coming from senders who use Yahoo email services, as indicated by the Yahoo.com after their name.

First of all, it’s no secret among professional marketers that Yahoo email is not their first choice. In fact there have been a couple of cartoons going around about how the different public email services rank as far as professionalism. Yahoo is not at the bottom of that list, as there is at least one even worse, but it is far from the top.

But credit needs to be given where credit is due. Yahoo has a lot of good things going for it. For one thing, I don’t know of any other service that equates to their Yahoo Groups, and I know many of  you, along with myself use that service. In fact I am a moderator for one of the groups. No, I didn’t start the group. Someone appointed me.

So before this turns into a “Yahoo bash”, please be aware that I am ONLY boycotting their email… specifically their inbound email coming to my inboxes on other services.

I have spent hours trying to find out who to report their spam to, and although they give plenty of instructions on how to report spam if you are using a Yahoo address, they give you the run-around in letting you know how to stop their mail from coming into another address! In other words, they don’t want you to report it to them, because then they may have to actually DO something about it!

Most professional companies have an email address to report spam to, and they make it very clear. They have addresses like abuse(at)(domain) or “spam(at)(domain)” where they monitor and act on such problems. Even eBay and PayPal have their “spoof” email address to report those kinds of things to, and they are very good about customer service in that they do respond to them.

And I know there are other places, like SpamCop and the FCC’s spam(at)uce.gov, where you can forward suspicious emails, and to make it very clear, I DO report EVERY spam email I get to the proper authorities… when I can find them. They all have an address to send them to… except Yahoo!

And by the way, I’m sure most of you don’t know it, but there is a protocol that you have to use to send them. You can’t just forward them. With the email open, you have to right-click on “properties” which then opens a window that has two tabs on it. One of those is “details”. THAT is the headers for your email, and you have to highlight and copy everything in that window, and then paste it back into the top of the body of the forwarded email message being sent to whomever you are reporting to. That is the ONLY way they will act on it, because if you simply forward it, they cannot see all the details of where it originated!

And also for those who don’t know… any time you hit reply, or forward, it automatically puts the email into edit mode, so please stop forwarding all that garbage that shows everyone’s email addresses in it! If you have to forward stuff, at least delete all the email address headers off it first! It’s no one else’s business who is on that list, and the spammers just love to get ahold of stuff like that!

It’s also a good reason why you should have more than one email address, and NEVER use business email for non-business use, or vice-versa!

For those of us who use an email “handler”, like Outlook Express, Windows Live, Eudora, or some other program to pull all emails into one spot, we have no “spam button” to automatically report suspicious emails. And apparently Yahoo only worries about other people sending their clients spam! I have never seen all these spam emails come into my Yahoo account. But I can’t see that they have made any attempt to stop the spam that goes out from their own accounts! In other words, Yahoo is HELPING these spammers by not policing their own outbound emails! No other account that I know of will let a user send out thousands of emails a day, all with the same subject and/or content… without investigating it… because they all know better!

I’m sure many of you have gotten emails from Canadian pharmacies, Dr. Maxman, and many other places where you wouldn’t want your children to even read the subject line, let alone the email itself! I have tried to do my due diligence in stopping this crap from happening, and yet theses spammers use software to crank out a never-ending line of nonsense email addresses, so blocking just one doesn’t do any good! They will simply keep sending more under other names!

Maybe one person can’t make a difference, but the more people that are aware of the problem, the more we CAN make a difference! From today forward, I am blocking the domain that these emails are coming from, which means that any of you who send me personal emails from Yahoo email addresses will also be blocked! I have nothing against you, and would love to hear from all of you! Just find a better email carrier to send it to me… that’s all I’m asking!

Oh yes, I also have a Yahoo account, because I am also a member of some of their better services, like Yahoo Groups. But I WILL NOT send from that address, and what little bit I get inbound is usually from Yahoo itself! Belonging to their other services is the ONLY reason I have an account with them!

As an alternative for those who have Yahoo accounts who have a reason to keep them, you can leave a comment on the blog, use my contact forms on any of my web sites, or simply use a service who cares about the quality of the service they provide to the ENTIRE public… not just their own account holders!

So who holds the top position among recommended email services? It has been voted by a wide margin that Gmail has the most professionally managed email services, and that most businesses who do not have an email account built into their sites (free blogs are a good example) prefer to use Gmail over any other public account. And Hotmail ranks second behind them. I won’t mention how far down the line Yahoo ranks!

So what does this decision affect?  Only the inbound email to any of my other accounts that originates from a Yahoo email account. I will still be sending mail and notifications TO any Yahoo accounts that are subscribed, and of course they can still comment and send in my contact forms. And yes, I will still be watching my trash mail for anything that doesn’t belong there, except now I have less sorting to do and one click will empty everything.

Of course, none of that garbage mail shows up on MY Yahoo account, because like I said, they filter mail for their own clients. They just refuse to police the outgoing mail from their servers to anyone else! So until they decide to act responsibly to the entire general public, I have no choice but to block all of the mail from their services to mine… except my own Yahoo account, which works fine… so far.

OK, let’s hear your thoughts, and yes, you may have to look below the “social button” bar at the bottom, to the little gray link that says either “Leave a comment” or “x comments” (the x being a placeholder for the actual number that will show up there). You may have to either click on that link or go to the recent post title in the right margin in order to access the comments. Sorry, but I haven’t found a way to change that…yet. Come one, be honest, now… I know that at least a few of you didn’t know that! So there’s no more excuses for not commenting!