Not too thrilled about my Yahoo mail

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Christopher Elliott

Dennis Tucker’s premium Yahoo mail account has been closed, and he doesn’t know why. Yahoo won’t answer his calls. Now what?

Question: I have a Yahoo small business email account for which I pay upwards of $100 a year. Several months ago, Yahoo closed my account for unknown reasons.

After trying many times over several weeks, I got them to restore my email account. Then they took it down. I called, and they restored it. Now, for the third time, my account has disappeared.

This is my primary email account, and I am heavily dependent on it. I have more than a week’s worth of emails that are stuck in an account that I can’t access. I urgently need to have my account restored with no loss of data. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

Dennis Tucker, Stockton, Calif.

Answer: Before I get to my answer, I should probably fill in a few details: This isn’t the first time you’ve asked for help with your Yahoo account. Several months ago, which was the first time your account was mysteriously closed, you asked for help and I connected you to a senior customer service representative at Yahoo. That seemed to work — at least it did for a few weeks.

It’s highly unusual for the same problem to return for a third time, so this time I decided to get involved. It’s hard to know what, exactly, went wrong the first time — or even the second time — but one thing is clear. Yahoo is well within its rights to close your account, even if you’re paying it good money.

Just have a look at your terms of service to find out how much Yahoo can get away with, when it comes to your “premium” service. Check out sections 4.2 and 4.3, which, among other things, give Yahoo the right to immediately terminate your service at its sole discretion if it determines you’ve “false information in connection with your Yahoo Wallet, are engaged in fraudulent or illegal activities, or are engaged in activities that may damage the rights of Yahoo or others” or “for any failure to follow the agreement by you.”

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That could be anything.

I don’t know what you did to get your account terminated. You don’t know what you did. Who knows, maybe you mocked Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s star CEO, on social media, which certainly would have been perceived as damaging to Yahoo?

You could have pushed this request to someone higher up for a third time — I list their emails addresses on my site. Or you could try switching to, uh, Google.

But seriously, it was time to bring in the big guns.

I contacted Yahoo on your behalf. You received a “very courteous call” from Yahoo promising a call later in the day from a technician to help resolve your email account issue. Your account was restored and you also recovered the 10 days worth of emails that you thought were lost.

Is Yahoo! Mail worth it?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, Forbes and the Washington Post. He also publishes Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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