Bindermichi

Photography, Cars & Technology

You have to be fucking kidding, Yahoo!

By on 1. Februar 2011

Today I was a bit surprised when trying to log into my Flickr account. It didn’t remember I was logged in, but asked me for my password, knowing who I am. Then I was asked to „create“ a Flickr account.

Strange, because I already had an account … for the last 5 years with about 4000 pictures in it!

The it came to me. I did report on a user account that had added me as a contact on sunday only containing obviously stolen material and complaints about having an older deleted account with similar content.

I checked the email I received from the Flickr staff. It only stated, that the account will be checked for irregulations, so I asked if they, by mistake had deleted my account.

Well, it turned out, they actually had:

Hello,

Unfortunately, I have mixed up the accounts and accidentally deleted yours. I am terribly sorry for this grave error and hope that this mistake can be reconciled. Here is what I can do from here:

I can restore your account, although we will not be able to retrieve your photos. I know that there is a lot of history on your account–again, please accept my apology for my negligence. Once I restore your account, I will add four years of free Pro to make up for my error.

Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do.
Again, I am deeply sorry for this mistake.

Regards,

Flickr staff

It is kind of nice, getting an additional 4 years of service subscription for free… but I already received free Pro subscriptions for the next year just by taking part in some events and competitions.

So how can this really compensate losing close to 4000 „linked“ pictures from my web albums? I have to recreate most of these links manually, which will take weeks, if not months of my free time! Not to mention, external websites that had linked these images (including some official Yahoo! and Flickr blogs).

In my day job I actually work as an IT Architect. I do designs on complex infrastructures, delivery processes and related stuff. Going from an activ account to a deleted account is pretty much a NO-GO in any enterprise environment, because of these consequences. If you do something wrong your can’t undo it again, without recreating every single setting from scratch.

That’s why it’s VERY common to first „DEACTIVATE“ accounts and repeat an evaluation… in this case: Me noticing a problem and contacting support to fix it.

Since Flickr had deleted the account an all the related object, they cannot reactivate anything more that the account itself, leaving me with an empty shell of what I did during the last 5 years. This would be acceptable, if I had a free account. But since I’m a paying customer, I would expect a bit more that a „Again, I am deeply sorry for this mistake.“

I expect at least a process that can undo this kind of mistakes. For any other kind of compensation, I will take some time to consult.

BTW

Please help me thank the people who pushed this story

The Shorty Awards 2011 – A short tweet of thanks to you



21 comments on “You have to be fucking kidding, Yahoo!

  1. If this was me, I wouldn’t be going back. Flickr have time and again proven their incompetence in this area. It’s time they had some decent competition.

  2. Wow…just wow! I think your point about deactivate first, and then moving to deletion is, at the very least, a responsible change. I agree that an offer for four years of Pro account status is a nice gesture, but how does $100 possibly compensate you for the time and effort you put into uploading, and curating sets? I said not much at all. Again, I am SO sorry to hear about this ridiculous and completely irresponsible action by Flickr. I hope you will update us on how you move forward — read, whether you decide to stay with Flickr.

  3. Sorry but why are you not hosting your own photos – especially if you are paying for the service?We would love to help you to discover how you can host your own content as easily as with 3rd-party services using free and open-source software, but with YOU in complete control of your content.info@ikonique.net

  4. If they really wanted to, they could retrieve it from the Google Cache and/or Archive.org. Wouldn’t be too difficult to give them the same ID, either.

  5. The truth is I’ve never relied heavily on Flickr. I have a Pro account there, I use just for storing images, but I have them all supported on an external drive and my laptop. Hopefully, the same happening to me! I very much regret what happened, really!

  6. your living a lot of people their nightmares. Wow… Just simple stunned they do not deactivate first and await a response of user. Thats real cruel. U lost 5 years, nothing can pay this back when they cant retrieve your info.

  7. Wow, what a nightmare. I can’t imagine how it must have felt to realize what had happened. Best of luck getting everything sorted out!

  8. Hi I am the co-creator an online portfolio site named electrofolio.com and we are still a small company but we keep two copies of each one of our user files for speeding up processing but I have used them as back up a couple of times. The problem comes when one of the admins forces a delete of a user and all the scripts will erase all files, including backups. They should have a better system that erase backups after a month of something….Keeping all user files means a ton of Terabytes. And backing up them is doubling the amount of data!For yahoo-flickr shouldn’t be a problem but for other smaller companies storage can be an issue…I feel sorry for you , but the trauma of the yahoo worker is probably a lot higher…Fairly enough he didn’t design the shitty system and he is suffering the consequences. I’m sure he will be suffering for days or weeks… That is punishment enough! (Buddhism thinking)So, yahoo should keep a backup system, and improve their security steps when erasing accounts… I hope they really have back ups man. or maybe they can undelete or recover them from redundant storage.good luck man,Jaime

  9. I think you should consider legal action. Surely you are owed some compensation for all the hardship. What they are offering you is quite simply – not good enough.

  10. Join the club on being screwed by Yahoo/Flickr! I too had a Pro Account with just under 6000 photos. Prior to my renewal date in Dec., 2010, I went to make payment with my AMEX. Yahoo kept rejecting payment even though AMEX issued 8 approval codes(confirmed with AMEX). Opened a Yahoo complaint via email and refused to communicate with me by phone. Even though they make it difficult, I was able to find a phone number and talked to both customer service rep and a customer service supervisor. Both on the phone and in emails, they repeatedly blamed me or AMEX for the problem. IT WAS NEVER Yahoo’s fault. I even went so far as to get a special phone number at AMEX for them to call but they cut off the call before even attempting to resolve. While this was all going on, they reduced my account status to a standard account and only allowed 200 photos to be viewed. My photos too were linked to websites and forums and most links no longer worked. I was forced to move all of my photos to another hosting site and I deleted all my photos from Flickr.I filed complaints with AMEX for Yahoo’s violation of their Merchant Agreement by telling me that I had to use another credit card and also with the San Jose Better Business Bureau. The BBB complaint generated a response from someone further up the „food chain“ at Yahoo. Their first offer was 3 months free and that was followed by a one year free offer. Considering that I had already moved my photos elsewhere and deleted my Flickr photos – there was no way either offer was of any interest! Ironically, shortly after this incident, we went searching for a host for a new website and we never gave Yahoo a consideration. They will never received dime one from me again!

  11. This is just absolutely amazing. Also from the IT industry. The idea of delete without recourse, for paying customers, for a hosting service is just… it’s a non-starter.. and if implemented, it is bad design at best.A while back, I had considered whether to go with FlickrPro or SmugMugPro and got a pro account at both. Today, I’ve got 6000 photos on SmugMug. They are just absolutely amazing. On FlickrPro, because of the image rights issues and the amount of porn, I’ve hardly ever uploaded anything and primarily use it for commenting on friends‘ photos and/or participating in some events. I still maintain a Pro account at Flickr, but that will change, due to this recent incident. This is just unbelievable.

  12. MsKathleen:Who got their photos restored? I think you may wish to re-read. Flickr staff sucks/Yahoo staff sucks. Why do you think they are laying off all those employees at a time when Google is hiring?

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