Yahoo Mail suffered a one-two punch today as the free Web-based
email site acknowledged it had been arbitrarily bouncing incoming messages
and that its servers were on the blink.
"A confluence of events late this week, both internal as well as external,
impacted our message delivery," Lisa Pollock, senior producer for Yahoo
Mail, said in an email interview. "Some people sending to Yahoo Mail have
intermittently had difficulty sending messages to Yahoo Mail users. We're
currently making adjustments so that message delivery returns to normal,
which should be very shortly."
Pollock also acknowledged complaints that "a number of users" were having
trouble accessing their accounts Friday morning and promised a swift
resolution to that problem as well.
In the case of the bounced incoming email, account holders were unaware
that messages were not getting through to them.
"I've had this happen to my account without even realizing it since I was
getting most of my mail," one Yahoo Mail account holder wrote in an email
interview. "I had no idea I wasn't getting all my messages till a client
called me and told me that their messages bounced."
Yahoo Mail normally returns incoming mail to senders when a destination
account has exceeded its 6MB storage limit.
But in the cases in question, the service was accepting some messages while
rejecting others without regard to the storage quota.
"Even with plenty of room, I have heard from three or so folks that their
emails to me have bounced, which is somewhat disconcerting since it's my
only email right now," said another Yahoo Mail account holder. "I've
subsequently set up a Hotmail account as well just in case."
Free email services on the Web, which include Microsoft's Hotmail and
offerings by every major portal site, have long been plagued by service problems. Yahoo
today defended its position and ascribed some of its recent difficulties to
"We're one of the largest email systems in the world and continue to grow
at an incredibly rapid pace," said Pollock. "We've recently been making
architectural improvements to our system."