problems with yahoo groups

The Problems with Yahoo Groups as Told by a Former User

The problems with Yahoo groups just keep getting worse. Basically, this platform for hosting group discussions grows more restrictive and error prone as time goes on. And, it’s also, you know, Yahoo. A site which I haven’t look at, except for my spam email box, for more than half a decade. So should you start a group mailing list on Yahoo groups? Nope, nope, nope.

But don’t take my word for it! One of our new clients is moving their list off of Yahoo, and they had quite a lot to say about the problems with Yahoo groups. Here’s what a representative from Kitchener-Waterloo Christian Home Educators Association has to say about Yahoo groups problems:

One of the questions that you asked was why we didn’t like Yahoo.
Boy, I could write a book on that.
Probably to sum it up concisely, I would say that people find it very difficult to use.
They have trouble getting connected.
They get confused about having to make a yahoo email address so that they can use yahoo groups.  It originally was that you had to make a yahoo id, but you could use your own email address.
Then it was changed to having to make a yahoo email address, but you could change the mail delivery to your own email address.
Now that is not possible for new users.  So we have people on all three ways and when they have a problem with something, it is really hard to give them direction when they ask for help because the rules keep changing.

It used to be that when you invited a person to the list, you could add a personal message, but now you can’t.  What this means is that quite a number of people see the message from yahoo and think it is spam and then delete it.  Then they contact me and say that they can’t get on.   I have some people that have been trying over a year to get on and every few weeks, they contact me to say that they still can’t get on.  I know it is simply user error, but even giving them direction, they still have trouble.

We don’t allow attachments on the list because we have quite a number who live in the country where they have very slow internet connections and attachments are difficult for them.  And then there are the cell phone users who find attachments difficult as well.

So people can upload their attachments to the file section.

But, in a recent survey that we did, 44% say that accessing the files is too difficult.

The past years, Yahoo has decided instead of having the address of the person writing the email showing, the address comes from the list and people can’t seem to find how to reply other than on the list. The information is there, but most people can’t seem to find it. This results in replies that should be personal end up on the list and that irritates a lot of people who then complain by writing me.

Anyway, that is just a few of our issues.

To sum up the problems with Yahoo groups:

  1. New users can only join the group through a Yahoo email address and receive group messages at a Yahoo email address.
  2. Older, old, and new users are now accessing the list in different ways, making troubleshooting difficult.
  3. No personal messages to invites anymore, so invites look like spam.
  4. If you don’t use attachments, getting to uploaded files is difficult.
  5. The address shown on emails is the list address, not the original sender’s address. Confusing!

And of course, there are, as Debbie wrote, a whole book of other problems!

What should you use instead? Well, check out our post about alternatives to Yahoo groups for some ideas.

Have a story about your problems with Yahoo groups? Pour out your tale of woe to us!

P.S. There’s a happy ending to this story. Here’s what the client has to say about their new electronic mailing list provider after a month: “We are very happy with our experience so far and all of our committee is saying that it is working so well.  We have had very few questions or problems by our users.”

Miranda Regan

Miranda Regan

Freelance Writer & Editor at
A freelance editor who also writes about people, tech, English grammar, and anything else she can cram into a paragraph, Miranda's been hopping around online communities since she was 11 and wasn't allowed to play Neopets.

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Miranda Regan

Leave a Comment:

Bob says January 25, 2017

Yahoo support has ended for Groups. There is no actual way of contacting anyone for technical support anymore. Not as far as I can tell. Your inquiries to the “Contact Yahoo” multitude of selection forms leads to just more kbase pages, or a redirection to the community. However, near as I can tell, unless you have a Yahoo email, and not a login inherited from the old eGroups, you simply cannot participate. It won’t allow you to log in.

tony ciramella says June 9, 2017

I use yahoo mail. I set up various groups for my real estate business. When I went to send an email to the groups, most of them had disappeared. I tried to track it down and instead of refam1 it was just some gibberish characters. Is there a way to recover from this or is it a total loss

Jenifer Ransom says August 20, 2017

I have been in Yahoo Groups for about 15 years, was in a lot of groups, and am a moderator of the Tibetan Five Rites group. Well, I _was,_ Recently I had to sign in. I found the whole process had been changed, and not for the better. Long story short, my former membership is gone. I can’t login with my former password. OK, so maybe I forgot the correct one. Clicked on “forgot password” and they sent a code to login, but did not give an option to create a new password. In order to access my own group that I moderate (or did), I had to send a membership request, but of course that doesn’t work because Yahoo no longer recognizes me as the moderator and I can’t approve myself! I have never encountered so many problems with Yahoo Groups before.

And there is no recourse, no one you can contact to help unravel it all. I was even wondering if there is some kind of conspiracy to get people off using Yahoo Groups! It is certainly true that Facebook is mostly where it’s at these days, but I still would like the option to keep the list group on the Five Rites going, and to use my other groups for research.

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