I have been doing SEO for almost 12 years now. In that time I’ve done dozens of Yahoo! Directory submissions under an embarrassingly large number of Yahoo! Ids (remember when the SPAM solution was just to change IDs?)
But my credit card number has remained the same. So each year, $299 charges appear for Yahoo directory submissions I did after they started charging for it (I have dozens that were grandfathered in.) The trouble is, I am unable to identify which URL they go with – and in a few cases I used my clients’ Yahoo! ID for submissions. I realize now what a horrible mistake that was.
None of the charges appear on my Yahoo! billing screens for any of my current Yahoo! ids. I assume that the most recent charges were done on a client ID, but somehow my billing info was used. So I call the billing department…..
Me: Hi, I have these $299 charges on my card for Yahoo! directory submissions I did.
Yahoo: Can I have your Yahoo! Id?
Me. Sorry. The charge doesn’t appear for any of my Yahoo! ids. However, I do have the charge card information and can PDF you the statement to review.
Yahoo: Can I have your charge card number.
Me: Sure, [I give it]
Yahoo: Ok, I see the Y! directory entry.
Me: Great! [I'm thinking the call will be short and sweet]
Yahoo: Do you know the alternate email address?
Me: I just need to know the URL so I can determine if it should be in the directory or not, and that will probably tell me which client Yahoo! Id I need. I’ve changed email addresses since the late ’90s a few times and in a couple of cases used my client’s Yahoo! ID for submissions. I don’t have access to the old one. But here are my current email addresses [I list them] and my current Yahoo Ids.
Yahoo: Sorry, none of those match the ones on these Yahoo! directory submissions.
Me: Probably not – it’s an oldie. Can you move them to my current account? The billing information should be the same on each account.
Yahoo: Yes, it’s the same
Yahoo: But we cannot use that information.
Me: [growing concerned] So, even though I’m being charged for this Yahoo! directory entry you cannot tell me which URL it’s for if I don’t have the old Yahoo! id that was used to submit it?
Yahoo: That’s correct.
Me: Doesn’t this seem a little out of whack to you? You have tons of evidence at your disposal to see that it’s me, including my phone number [I offer to have them call me back] and my billing information.
Yahoo: Sorry, that won’t work. I can cancel the Directory listing for you and give you a refund.
Me: [feeling out of options - I don't want $300 charges for clients I don't have anymore]
In the end. They would NOT tell me which URL the charge was for. I ended up having to cancel the listing, possibly affecting the SEO performance of my client and waiting to see which one vanished from the directory.
The URL of a charged directory entry is not a security risk. There is no good reason not to tell this to the party who is being charged.
dead end sign by David Joyce used under Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License