After spending the day with family last Thursday I arrived home only to receive an email from Yahoo saying my Yahoo password changed. Since I had spent the day without computer access I was surprised to see such a message. So I tried to access my Yahoo account. Sure enough I couldn’t log in. My password wasn’t working.
Had I been phished? I doubt it. I never respond to phishing type emails. It’s best practice to never share your logins and passwords with strangers via email (or any other medium) just because they look like they are from the company with whom you have the account. If you ever receive such an email and thin it is genuine then go to the comapnies website in your web browser and look for the information there as opposed to clicking the link in the email. If the company really has a reason for that information it’ll be easy to find related information on their actual website. But I digress.
I went to Yahoo’s login help page and followed the instructions to reset my password. The process requires you to put in certain verifying information that you entered when you created the account and it sends you an email to an alternate, non Yahoo email address (which has been previously set in your account settings). Seems like a great feature but for some reason I never got the email with the new password.
On the same login help page there is a feature that triggers Yahoo to send you an email with your Yahoo ID to the same alternate email address. When I used this feature I got an email in seconds. So obviously there was a problem with the password reset feature.
After spending the bulk of my time over the weekend browsing around Yahoo and other sites for helpful information I had made no headway into getting the issue resolved. So on Monday morning I decided to call the companies main line. Since I’m on the east coast it was still early at Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, California but the outgoing message on the voicemail system gave me a phone number for support (408-349-1572, no 800 number so have your wallet open to pay for the long distance fees).
I called the number and got a native English speaking human on the phone pretty quickly. She told me that I needed to send an email to a particular email address reporting the issue. I should expect to get an automated reply within 15 minutes that would ask me for some specific account related information. I was to reply to the email with the requested information (being careful not to change the subject line) and then wait. It could take 12-48 hours to get a response, she said.
I followed the instructions and sent an email to the specified address. The email bounced. So I called the support number again. Another person said the process was right but the email address was wrong (duh). So I made this person wait on the line while I sent the email and waited another couple of minutes to be sure this one wouldn’t bounce. Sure enough I got the expected response and am now in hour 6 of my 12-48 hour wating period.
Part 2 coming soon.