These days even a 15 minute email outage prompts hand-wringing from hyper-connected people. So imagine the panic among the many Yahoo Mail users blocked from their email for the past two, or even three days.
This week, many attempting to access Yahoo's email service received a message saying the service is down temporarily for "scheduled maintenance." But on Wednesday, after online rage grew to a boiling point, Yahoo finally admitted that the outage was caused by more than just regular upkeep.
"Some of our users have not been able to access their mail since 10:27 PM PT on Monday night, due to a hardware problem in one of our mail data centers," Jeffrey Bonforte, a senior vice president at Yahoo, said in a statement. "The issue has been harder to fix than we originally expected."
He said that the company hopes the issue will be resolved by 3 p.m. PST.
Dan Buckley, a regular Yahoo email user, told The Huffington Post that he is contemplating a switch to Gmail.
"I last received email on the 9th," said Buckley, who works in the financial regulatory industry in Texas. "It is my primary account and not having access really impacts me personally," His bank, doctor and creditors all use his Yahoo email to reach him. Several others express their frustration to HuffPost as well.
Yahoo Mail has about 289 million monthly users worldwide, second only to Gmail at 304 million, according to comScore. However, the service long ago lost its luster with emailers looking for the latest and greatest service. One can imagine a deluge of media coverage if, say, Gmail went down for a few hours. Indeed, the press only began covering Yahoo's outage on its third day. The company desperately needs its email service to succeed with users -- having people regularly log in to check their email is essential to driving traffic to other online services and to gathering data for targeted ads.
Just two months ago Yahoo angered email customers when it unveiled a redesign, prompting some to beg Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to bring back the old version of the email. This latest flub can't be helping matters.
A cursory Twitter search yields howls from even more angry customers:
Yahoo still down for me. @yahoomail 2 days now everywhere all devices doesn't matter if its at work, home etc. what's going on?
— Nick G. (@NicholasGolden) December 11, 2013