Yahoo! is really aptly named
OK, so I'm on the phone with Yahoo! customer service now...on hold in between trying to explain a problem to a customer service representative. In fact, I've typed up almost this whole entry while listening to the music-oh-hold, while my rep "researches" my issue. It also turns out that they're not allowed to leave you on hold for more than 2-3 minutes, which, I have to admit, isn't a bad thing.
One thing I should mention: I did put in time in the front-line customer-service ranks, I was a student consultant in Columbia University's student computer labs back from 1986-1988, and I also was responsible for email and phone support in Spanish at a previous employer for a while, so I know a little bit why they call it "helldesk".
I am trying, ostensibly, to figure out how to deploy Yahoo!'s domain keys for a client's domain.
The twist is: the domain in question is managed by Yahoo!, even though we've moved web and mail services away from Yahoo! itself. DNS services and domain registration are still through Yahoo!.
Are you still here with me? Because I haven't gotten to the good part yet.
It turns out that Yahoo!'s interface won't allow you to add the TXT records to the DNS you need -- at least, not through their web interface -- as a first step towards deploying domainkeys. OK, so off I go to call up Yahoo! customer service to figure this out.
Yahoo! does not make it easy to find their contact numbers (like Amazon.com), but the trick is to log in and search for "866" -- that leads you right there to the customer support numbers.
Now, I finally get to speak to a rep, named M_ (names obscured to protect the clueless). I explain my problem to him, two or three times, until he's finally beginning to get some small notion of my problem: we're sending mail to Yahoo! users from outside of Yahoo! and the mail is ending up in the Bulk folder. (As an aside: it's amazing that Yahoo catches these rather innocuous emails, since it lets through so much other stuff that is so blatantly spammy that one wonders if they play games just to anger the non-paying users. But I digress.)
M_ asks me, "do you have a link that talks about this [domainkeys] feature?" Yes, yes, I do. It's at http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys. (Another digression: I'm not going to get into whether or not DKIM is a good idea or not, it's been beaten to death in places like NANOG and SPAM-L, and I'm just not that interested in rehashing the arguments pro and con here. Suffice it to say, it's somewhat controversial.)
"So what's your problem?" Well, you see, I need to implement this, and it requires tools I don't have. "How do I find that link on the page?" Well, you search for the text "How do I deploy" on the page.
"How do I do that?"
OK, going through my mind is now: HOW DO YOU #%!#@% SEARCH FOR TEXT ON A WEB PAGE? Don't they teach you anything? I cannot believe that you had to ask me that. By the way, M_, when it says "lather, rinse, repeat", you don't have to spend forever in the shower. There is an implicit break statement in there.
"Well," I respond, "you hit 'control-F', then type in the text 'How do I deploy', and hit return."
OK he's back. It turns out that "it's a server issue" [DUH] and "you don't have access to that" [DUH] and he can't help me. "But it's Yahoo!'s solution!" I cry. "Well, maybe you can tell your users to specifically whitelist your address."
That might work, if we knew who all of our users were. Or we can say "quick, before you finish and we send you a registration email, go to your email provider and whitelist support@[domain here]".
Can you connect me with someone who can help me? "No, I can't." OK M_, let's talk to your manager.
"But the manager isn't technical!" Yes, I understand that, however, I do want to mention about your inability to search for something on a web page...
OK, I'm talking to the supervisor J_ now.
First: "I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with M_. He's new." Well, maybe you should "how to use a browser" in training before releasing him onto newbies -- especially since this particular support number is for their small-business domain control panel, etc.
He goes on: "[You] might -- and I emphasize might -- be able to get this changed via e-mail support." However, the e-mail support team just moved from near [Houston] to "places unknown". Most of the clueful people in the e-mail support group went to customer service.
How very disappointing. "To be blunt, the people on the other end may not understand what you want...and it's very unlikely that they'll be able to help you." But if they do understand, they'll get your request to the engineering team, who, while they are clueful (and I can attest to that; my experience with Yahoo! engineers has been uniformly positive) are busy and inaccessible.
It is refreshing to hear this type of bluntness and honesty. Kudos to J_.