Yahoo Ditches Premium Service Package; Did Anyone Notice?

from the hello?--anyone-in-here? dept

A few years ago, when Yahoo was still struggling a bit to figure out what its business model was, it decided to try to be a bit more like AOL, by offering a “premium package” of services that people could layer on top of whatever broadband package they already offered. It was like AOL’s “bring your own” program — except that Yahoo never really did much to explain what the actual benefits were to paying. Instead of just recognizing that they could attract more users (and more ad revenue) by making better services available to users, they hoped that some higher tier would attract some paying users. It would appear they were wrong. The company has now ditched the service, noting that it “was not an essential service for Yahoo users.” In other words, there were very few people using it. Of course, if Yahoo had simply offered these higher level of services for free, and continued to sell ads, they might have been able to keep more users away from the competition. When you set up a tiered service like this, the incentives are rarely good. You want to keep the “really good” stuff in the premium package. That’s great… except if you have competitors who are focusing only on offering free versions. Then, hiding your best features behind a pay package means that your users simply go to the free competition, which is likely to be better than your free-but-not-too-good version. There are cases where a tiered version makes sense — but only when it’s obvious why the tiers cost more money (i.e., the customers can see the additional cost associated with the tiers). Simply charging more for extra “features” will almost always backfire — often driving the customers you want to your competition.

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Comments on “Yahoo Ditches Premium Service Package; Did Anyone Notice?”

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Peter Blaise Monahon (profile) says:

"Premium" Yahoo = more pay for more pain!


I also paid $20US/year for Yahoo “premium” email. My reasons? (a) I had a well-established email address so I didn’t want to loose it but I wanted more features, and (b) I wanted POP access, which is available for Yahoo outside the US, but not here – surprised? Yahoo! Mail disabled free access to its POP3 service o?n 24th April, 2002. What a pain. With POP3, I can ignore the bulk/spam bin and download only my inbox. Yahoo accurately saw this as missing seeing the spam/advertisement they so depend upon for income. So I’ve spent ~$80US so far since 2002 for my annual re-subscriptions to POP3 within Yahoo email.

I may revert to the wonderful Yahoo Pops/YPOPS, free at that loads POP3 drivers on my own computer for POP3 access to the free version of Yahoo email, and stop spending $20US/year for what? Get YPOPS from SourceForge

or from

Yahoo so-called “premium” spam filtering for me is a joke, often repeatedly putting email from me and my own replies in the spam/bulk bucket, forcing me to have to browse the spam/advertising daily anyway.

Then Yahoo turned off the otherwise useful email search feature from being able to search through the spam/bulk bucket for the few good emails that I was after, again forcing me to browse the spam/bulk bin daily anyway.

Why bother?

Yahoo service people have been snide on the phone, threatening to do harm to my account if I criticized the service I was paying them for. Be forwarned – IF you can even find a way to call them, THEN be polite and subservient and grateful. Apparently they treat their employees as poorly as they treat their (supposed) customers, er, “end users”.

Let’s get real – Yahoo’s customers are the mass advertisers, NOT the millions of end users of Yahoo/GeoCities/YahooGroups/Maps/YallowPages and the other formerly independent free services Yahoo has purchased over the years.

Until Yahoo turns around and pays greater attention to the services upon which it sells advertising, it will continue to struggle as an also-ran. Sadly, they mistake being a behemouth for being successful.


PS – I know this is “the Internet” and people often share mere one-liners (as some have shared above), but some of us are also not only capable of reading longer thought-pieces, but also of writing them.

Ricci King says:

trouble signing in

I have tried for days to sign into Yahoo for my mail and can’t get in..under numberous e-mail names, old and new. I can’t get signed in and can’t find any way to contact them for help. I’ve even removed the program from my computer and re-downloaded with no success. I have used them for years…guess that will change since I CAN’T SIGN In!!!! This is totally infuriating>>>>

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