Photo illustration by Sarina Finkelstein for MONEY; Getty Images (2)
By Christopher Elliott
September 30, 2016

Dennis Tucker’s Yahoo mail is acting up again. This time, messages are missing. What’s more, no one seems to care. What can he do?

Question:

I pay Aabaco—formerly known as Yahoo Mail—a monthly fee for a small-business email account. Here’s my problem: They have deleted hundreds of emails from my “sent” folder.

When this happened the first time a couple of years ago, they were able to restore all my missing messages. However, I have been having the same problem for the past several weeks.

I have called Aabaco many times and spent hours on hold. Despite many promises, my emails have not been restored. On the contrary, additional messages have disappeared. Can you help me get in touch with someone at Aabaco who can help?

Dennis Tucker, Stockton, Calif.

Answer:

This isn’t your first problem with Yahoo and Aabaco, nor is it the first time I’ve written about your email troubles. Back in 2014, Yahoo even closed your account and you contacted me for help reopening it.

You would think that after all that, you might have second thoughts about doing business with Yahoo and Aabaco. But no, you were a loyal customer.

Let me pause for a moment to admire that kind of devotion. You pay $9.95 a month for email and a suite of other small-business products, and you have for years. Presumably, it’s because Aabaco offers services you need. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that it didn’t have to cajole you into this with a gimmicky loyalty program. (If it had, imagine how much more difficult it would be to let Aabaco go!)

A look at Aabaco’s terms of service reveals several noteworthy clauses. According to its limit of liability, the company is not liable for “any indirect, punitive, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages” you may suffer as a consequence of using its services. That covers a lot of damages, and it basically lets Aabaco off the hook for your emails.

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It’s hard to say how much Yahoo has veered from its original mission as “a leading provider of comprehensive online products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide”; the company’s original mission statement, which alluded to these values, is scrubbed from the website, replaced with platitudes about being “focused on informing, connecting, and entertaining our users.” Suffice is to say that the company is not living up to the motto pictured on its “About” page: “Be Awesome.”

You might have reached out to one of Yahoo’s executives to remind them they aren’t living up to their promises. I list the names, numbers and email addresses on my site.

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When you reached out to me previously, I recommended that you consider a new email service that would be less likely to lose your messages. Not to repeat myself, but I would really suggest that you switch providers.

I contacted Yahoo on your behalf. A senior-level representative contacted you and separately, a company representative emailed us to say it will fix the issue. The problem? Somehow, you had managed to block your own email address, which meant that your outgoing mail was caught in a spam filter and systematically deleted.

Unfortunately, that meant your missing emails could not all be recovered, but Aabaco fixed the bug and is taking steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused,” the Aabaco representative said.

Christopher Elliott is Money’s reader advocate. Email him at [email protected] or get help with your problem at his consumer advocacy site.

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