Situation Critical, User Feeling Suicidal!

trench owl1

You may remember Hilary Syddall; she was a user who lost her suicide support group last August. You can find her original story here.  Well, her story has escalated.

Not long ago, she disappeared from my personal  group and I had to manually put her back in, and no, she had not left on her own. I even discussed it with Jeff Bonforte on Twitter.  Now, it’s gotten much worse.  Here is our group & e-mail exchange from today:

Hilary: “I now use my Gmail address for my groups (those few I am still in), I get the messages BUT if I want to go into the group pages I HAVE to have a Yahoo Mail account (not going to happen! I have stopped using my yahoo mail as it was making me feel sick with the flashing ads etc, even with ad blocker via Firefox on)”

Shal Farley responded to her that she didn’t have to use the Yahoo e-mail account to get in her groups, only to access the group.

Hilary (responding to Shal):  “all well and good, but I am a member of this group and it doesn’t show up in my groups, I have linked this address to yahell (and NOT happy doing that!) and STILL my groups don’t show up, how much MORE can they feck this up?”

Then I wrote her privately:  “Do you still show as a member of Hollow Tree? One recommendation if you can’t see your group list is to bookmark them both.”

Hilary responded privately:  “It asks me to verify my address every time, then doesn’t let me join/enter do anything (oh it does take me to a page telling me this is the new and improved group experience!), I can’t even FIND Hollow Tree, I have burst into tears once today already trying to solve this, I deleted cookies, firefox is on the latest fancy dancy version – if they want me to suicide this along with the Government in the UK are going the right way about it :(”

I encouraged her to absolutely not do that and told her I was making a huge push for the media to hear us this week.

PLEASE help Hilary and those like her, and there are so many many more.  Please, someone in the media, tell our story. Tell the world about our blog and our Crusade and how Yahoo has been treating not just us, but the elderly and disabled!

Help us hold Yahoo accountable for their actions! We have faith in the media that the world will know of our plight very soon!

Nightowl >8#





I discovered Geoff’s situation in September.  I went back and read how he had been slowly  becoming more and more depressed and angry and how much damage losing his support group to Neo was causing him. I have been especially worried for him as time continues on with no relief in sight. Here is his story:


GeoffH  commented  ·  August 29, 2013 11:06 am  ·

Well, well well.

Just had one of my posts criticizing the new NEO deleted by Yahoo!

All the criticism must be getting to them, and shows just how pig headed they have become.

I’ve now given up on YahooGroups and the whole company.

Been with them since the early ’90s.

I just hope that the advertisers and shareholders are made aware of just how much damage Marissa Mayer has done by sanctioning this utter disaster.

Geoff – Yahoo is now history as far as I’m concerned!


GeoffH  commented  ·  August 31, 2013 11:09 pm

From the total and utter disdain that Marissa Mayer is showing us, Yahoo’s biggest asset, she and her team have dug their heels in, and doing to Groups what her predecessor/s did to Mail, and look what happened to them!

They are ALL a note in history for their abject incompetence.

It would appear that this CEO thinks that behaving like a politician by ignoring history is the way to garner friends.

I ditched all of my previous YahooMail accounts, from the early ’90s, when they where hijacked due to Yahoo’s total incompetence with regards to security.

Guess where I went Ms Mayer?

Google gained my custom.

I wonder why?

I’m up for change, but ONLY if it’s of any benefit for ME, and certainly not for some ego trip by some new CEO!

GeoffH – I keep hoping Yahoo sees the light, but I’m not holding my breath.


Mr. Bonforte,  (reposted by Owl 9/17/13)

Seeing that Yahoo is obviously determined to ignore what it has done to the Groups, I feel it is now time to tell the world about my circumstance and why I used the Groups. I suffer from an incurable form of cancer.

Although it is controlled to a certain extent by medication, the cancer WILL eventually KILL me, with the side effects of treatment having a disastrous effect on my quality of life. GOOD days and BAD days cannot adequately describe what my life is like now. Before NEO I WOULD use the specific cancer support group to give me the strength to battle on during my bad days.

Yahoo by implementing NEO, and by implication YOU, are now ACTIVELY DISCRIMINATING against me, a CANCER SUFFERER, by deliberately destroying my easy access to a support group! Something that I relied on has gone! Let your conscience be my judge.

Do YOU really WISH to go down in history as someone who not only supported, but actively participated in this type of discrimination?

I should mention that I use a different email address for the Cancer groups.

GeoffH – A moderately good day.


GeoffH  commented  ·  October 13, 2013 5:52 am

Owl and all fighting this NEO abomination, a little of my use until now of the Groups.

I’ve been fighting cancer since February 2007 and suffering from the usual side effects.

Just before Mayer destroyed the Groups with NEO, I started to get my energy back and was looking forward to making a start on building my miniature steam traction engine, for which I bought the castings in 2006, and HAD been using the ‘samson_builders’ group to help me plan what to do.

This Groups’ membership comprised of all those who have either made or are makinging this miniature traction engine and they have the knowledge as to how to set-up parts that require complicated machining, on either a lathe and milling machine.

Then along comes Mayer with her NEO, the result being that she has the honour of sending me into relapse as the one and only resourse that WAS capabable of helping me concentrate on something good, building the steam engine and taking my mind of the cancer, has now been DESTROYED together with ALL the other support Groups I used.

It makes me sad to think that a mother, with a young baby, can be so uncaring.

I just hope she does not treat her own child in the same way that she is doing with the Group users and employees, as that young child deserves better.

Keep up the work Owl and others fighting this tyranny, but I unfortunetely, doubt if the Groups will ever be the same again.

At least I had a kind offer of help from someone in Holland who offered to help after I posted why I had stopped using the Groups.

There ARE kind people in this world, but Mayer in NOT one of them.

GeoffH – A week lost, as unable to do anything.



I am increasingly worried for Geoff every day. I pray for him every night, and if I get a chance, I get down into the Feedback Trench and see if he posted or not. I so wish I could help him and all the others who are suffering from the way Neo has taken a toll on their lives.

Stories From The Trench #3

trench owl1




The letter I sent to over 30 media sites last night  – Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:59 pm

Yahoo Group Users Are Growing Despondent, Suicidal, Due To Neo!

The situation with Yahoo Groups has now become critical. With no indication of releasing their users from this revamped Neo Interface hell, people are now
contemplating suicide, and becoming terribly despondent.

After languishing in the Yahoo Groups Feedback trenches for over a month with no response from Yahoo, the Yahoo Groups Community is suffering great loss and heartbreak. Some are even talking about suicide.

Hilary, The Dragon, posted this in my group

“Re: [modsandmembers] New item for the list

Posted By: dragonsteeluk
… being disabled and stuck at home, unable to type some days (oh and Dragon Naturally Speaking doesn’t work with Neo *grrrr*) the groups are my lifeline and stop me being so suicidal that I will actually kill myself (easy to do I am anaphylactic to peanuts and tree nuts – so a bag of dry roasted peanuts and no
more me) ”
Bill Southerland, someone who is desperately ill with Neurofibrimatosis, put these comments in the Feedback Trenches “September 19, 2013 5:04 pm

This is the 3rd time trying to post a comment. This new format, and I’m sorry sucks. I don’t know what the **** I’m doing. Posting-every thing. I’ve lost all my members, Everything that was set up on the left side of the screen. Members, Postings, #of members in our group founded and so on. This *****. Iv’e lost everybody that I have gotten to know. People who help me in time of need. This is a debilateing disease. Sometimes causing death. How do you like that last word. ”DEATH”.

Look it up I dare you. It’s spelt NEUROFIBRIMATOSIS. … You say that you care about us, the users. Well let’s see for sure how much you really care about us!”
And those stuck in the depths of “We Care About You” Hell, are trying to comfort one another.

Laurence commented to Bill Southerland: “Bill, you have friends here. Yahoo has wreaked my two Groups. One of my members wants to shoot himself because I closed the groups due to NEO. The blood will be on Yahoo’s hands.”

OWL: I have been in these Groups Feedback trenches for days on end, trying to encourage these users, trying to help them tell their stories, and trying as hard as I can to get some help for these devastated people. All the while, Yahoo simply ignores us.
I am Nightowl >8#, the owner of the Yahoo Mods and Members Group, and we have been mounting an offensive against this NEO Group interface. Because it DOES NOT WORK. And that’s only one of its problems.

People who have been on Yahoo Groups for years have suddenly had their lives totally disrupted without warning, years and years of data irretrievably lost, or so Yahoo says, photos and artwork destroyed and replaced, and for what reason? Oh, we needed to change Classic Groups, they were broken.

BROKEN? Classic Groups have been going strong a long time, and even if they had their problems now and then, nothing justifies randomly Neoizing these users and throwing them helplessly into the depths of NEO Hell.

What happened to Beta Testing? Volunteers? Direction and warning? Nada. Nothing. They instead took random users, neoized them and forced them into guinea pig mode so that they would see the NEO interface, which does not work. Even worse, it would never be able accommodate disabled, elderly, ill, etc. And won’t even work on a mobile platform, despite being created for that reason.

These people deserved more! Yahoo Groups was a loyal community of users, that maintained their own little corners of Yahoo, and created Ad space and traffic. And all of a sudden, they don’t matter.

I think we are entitled to ask, no, to protest loud and long until, Classic Mode is restored for everyone long enough or them to archive all their photos, files, important data, connect with their members and friends and make other arrangements to contact them.

And I plan to screech loud and long for that right for everyone, until someone, anyone hears me.

Just imagine someone coming to your home in the middle of the night, and setting fire to it while you are still inside, and you managing to wake up just in time to escape but with nothing of yours that you valued in the way of memorabilia.

Yahoo NEO came to our “homes” It crept up in the night, it lit a blazing fire at the base of them and stood back and watched it burn, while people scrambled in all directions to get to safety.

With this heinous and unethical act, Yahoo devastated thousands and thousands of people’s lives, destroyed many’s life’s work, and ground it all under the shiny heel of Marissa Mayer’s Neo shoe.

We deserved better, and the world will know that. I promise you!

Nightowl >8#
P.S. You may reprint anything in this letter or from my group.

Stories From The Trench # 1

trench owl1


Anonymous commented

October 12, 2013 11:05 am 

Our group’s gone dark. Too much hassle, too difficult, unpleasant, people hate the degeneration in usability and the loss of what we had. There is equal hatred on many lists I visit of Yahoo Neo mail.

Yahoo Customer Care have a simply brilliant way to respond to my emails pointing out technical errors: I think it probably comes close to gaslighting as a technique. They reply with standard letters that in no way at all address what I said or answer my questions and have nothing whatever to do with my mail. When I finally get too frustrated to bother replying, I get the cheerful email saying ‘you have not replied in 72 hours, so we’re marking you status solved’. I have replied twice saying ‘no, not solved, I’ve quit in despair as you won’t actually talk to me’. I get another standard letter. If I don’t reply, they solve me again. I quit, this firm does not have an ounce of sanity remaining, they care about nothing but their statistics which are falsified – certainly my ‘solved’ is falsified and they know it.

Like Google, like Facebook, they chase the ad companies and are willing to do whatever makes them spend: this means shafting the users as hard as you can without conscience. As a user you can have no privacy, you can have no opinions, forget at no point that you have no rights and are cattle to be turned into money. There is no ethics anywhere in this. They do not care how you felt about your groups. They are happily ignoring these thousands of mails without qualm. They do not care about your communities in the slightest. They are irrelevant to Mayer and co. That tells me all I need to know about them.

I am not only giving up on my groups, I will never at any point ever touch again anything with Yahoo’s logo on it. The injury I might have understood had you been honest or attempted to take your users with you. The insult….. as a consumer, believe me, I will never forget this and neither will thousands of others. The only way I can retaliate is by making sure you never get another penny out of me.