Yahoo sign-in problems
September 2, 2007 6:48 PM   Subscribe

After 10 years on Yahoo!, I'm suddenly locked out of my account. My perfectly valid user name and password are rejected. (Long question...)

"Wrong account name or password" is the message I get when I try to log in (my account language setting is not English, I don't know what the word-for-word error message would be in English).

(Just under that error message, I'm being told to "please try again" and to write "the text that appears in the image below" but there is no such image below.)

This problem has been a chronic one. It started intermittently at the end of June. I would get an error message, wait, then try later and it would be fine. But at some point I got locked out definitely.

I wrote to Yahoo. They unlocked my account. My username and password would work again. Then I got locked out again. I wrote again. They unlocked my account again. No specific explanation; just a generic message in my inbox saying what I have to do in order not to lose or forget my password (something along those lines)! But I had not lost my password, my password was fine!... After that, my account got blocked a third (fourth?) time. I wrote again but this time nothing happened.

I've been locked out ever since. This includes Flickr, of course. Even though I'm the legitimate user and I have a valid username and password.

I could maybe solve my problem if the alternate email I gave upon registering, 10 years ago, still existed. I could have Yahoo automatically send my password to that address. Another way would be to answer specific questions --birthday, name of childhood pet, etc.-- but I don't know what to answer because when I registered, I did so carelessly, writing anything (I didn't think Yahoo would become my main email)... But wait, the whole thing is crazy, because I know what my password is, I don't have to go through these questions, I did not lose my password and it hasn't changed!

This is strange. What happened to my account?

What can I do to get the attention of the support people? I've written in detail at least three times.

posted by amusem to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
write "the text that appears in the image below but there is no such image below."

Is adblock or some other filtering program blocking the captcha? You should be able to see the image if they're prompting you for it.

Also, once you get in, you should be able to change your password, your security questions, and your alternate email address. Do this as soon as you're able, instead of bemoaning the situation another time.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:09 PM on September 2, 2007

I don't have much advice for you generally, about contacting Yahoo, but one point you made stands out as odd:
(Just under that error message, I'm being told to "please try again" and to write "the text that appears in the image below" but there is no such image below.)
This sounds like an issue with your browser; are you sure you have JavaScript enabled and are using a modern/compatible one? Maybe your passwords are being rejected because you're not seeing the CAPTCHA, or maybe you can get further if you resolve the problem that's causing you to not see it.

Also, when you get back into your account, the FIRST thing I'd do is change the backup email, and the second would be to change the password (maybe you've been hacked or something is happening to keep locking you out).
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:10 PM on September 2, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks.

I'm not seeing the CAPTCHA whether I use Explorer or Firefox. It doesn't even look like a captcha graphic has failed to load. There is no room for an image there.

I'm not using any adblock program; ad banners appear everywhere.

The last time Yahoo briefly unlocked my account, I tried to go into account information and change my basic coordinates. I couldn't because gaining access to that section requires an authentification and I got blocked there too!

My password has to accented e's. Maybe that's a source of trouble. I don't know. ...
posted by amusem at 7:24 PM on September 2, 2007

You could try calling them rather than emailing. From this site I got a number of (408) 349-1572. I called it just to verify, and it does seem to be a Yahoo number (jingle and everything).
posted by cabingirl at 7:39 PM on September 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: *two accented e's
posted by amusem at 7:39 PM on September 2, 2007

Response by poster: Wow that definitely could be where I'll find out more and solve this. Thanks. I'll post an update.
posted by amusem at 7:42 PM on September 2, 2007

Two accented e's? Check the encoding your browser's set to; also check the encoding for non-unicode programs in Control Panel -> Language Settings. Make sure both are set to "Western." Don't know if it will help, but it's worth a try. Also, when you get your account back, change the password to only have standard characters.
posted by pravit at 7:48 PM on September 2, 2007

is it possible that someone else is accessing your account? Is it possible that someone might know your secret answer and be changing your password and reading your email? Any reason to believe that someone might be doing this?

This would mean that they would access your account by giving your secret question answer, change your password so they could get in, and therefore the password would have changed. They wouldn't need your password to do this, just the answer to your secret question.
posted by miles1972 at 7:59 PM on September 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I think I'm ok on that front pravit; I was thinking maybe it was Yahoo that stopped accepting my accented e's for some reason. But that seems implausible. miles, yes it is possible my password got stolen somehow... My secret question answer? maybe... It doesn't seem possible... At this point, I just don't know what happened.
posted by amusem at 9:03 PM on September 2, 2007

My 5+ year-old yahoo account was mysteriously erased earlier this year ("username does not exist"). Yahoo, of course, responded to my queries and complaints as if I were crazy, even though I could show them copies of mail from that account. They suck. Their "support" is basically meaningless... if your problem isn't in their scripts, they'll just stop responding. Sorry this is not an answer, but maybe knowing you're not alone may help you feel better.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:37 PM on September 2, 2007

Hey there, do me a favor: check my profile for my work email address, and send me your Y! account name along with a way to reach you -- it's labor day tomorrow in the US, but I'll forward the info somewhere that might help.
posted by davejay at 12:02 AM on September 3, 2007

Response by poster: Sorry, I know it's been an eternity but here is an update. I have regained access to my Yahoo account. There is still a glitch: I can access my account but I cannot change my password and my basic infos. All in all, things are better. I will write to them again when I find time. Thank you again sevenyearluck, I can see your intervention was helpful.
posted by amusem at 10:46 AM on September 18, 2007

Response by poster: Well, here I am again. It's early october. My regained access did not last long. I was locked out yet again.

A family member came to my help and solved this for me.

It's a browser issue that has to do with the accented e's that are in my password. I didn't think it was a browser issue since I had tried in vain getting into my account via Explorer AND Firefox.

In my Firefox "View" menu, I change the caracter encoding to "Western ISO-8859-1". At this point, the page reloads. when it is reloaded, I check to make sure it is still set on "Western ISO-8859-1". Then and I am then able to log in my Yahoo account with my usual user name and password. Yay!!!

I reckon similar steps can be taken using Explorer.
posted by amusem at 2:58 PM on October 3, 2007

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