Dear Yahoo:

As requested, this week I decided to merge my Flickr old-skool login with my Yahoo account. The process was painless and trivial to do, as advertised, and despite the massive how-dare-you-make-us-merge freakout that’s been flowing across the web, no part of my soul died in the process.

Once I was back in the folds of my Yahoo account, I decided to check my email and found that my account had been deactivated due to disuse. (This is not too surprising, seeing as how that account became a spam vacuum within moments of me opening it however long ago I did so.) What was odd to me was the way in which you offered me the various reactivation options — you did so without warning me in any way, shape, or form that one of the options costs money, and you provided me with no links to pages which might help me discover this fact. In many ways, this felt purposeful, as if you might want people to be lacking this bit of information while making what otherwise would be an obvious choice.

Yahoo's deceptive reactivation options

(Wily as I am, I managed to defeat your Jedi mind tricks by opening another browser tab and using Google to search for the truth before making my choice. And yes, the use of Google rather than your own search engine was purposeful; after all, I figured that not providing the information right there in the context of asking me to make the choice was a clear indication that Yahoo might not have the information to begin with, and thus it was unlikely to show up in your own search engine.) And therein I learned that opting for the first of the two choices would cost me 20 smackeroos, a fact that definitely shifted the balance a bit.

So I guess my point in all this is: while I was certainly glad to give you all the benefit of the doubt on the whole Flickr account merge issue, it didn’t help when you betrayed that trust by trying to trick me into a premium email service by withholding information at the precise moment I would need it in order to make an informed choice. You were this close to having a customer who was solidly baffled by the group of folks who question their ability to trust Yahoo with their Flickr accounts; instead, you managed to make me question whether it’s reasonable to trust you as a company. If you notice me keeping you at arm’s length for the next little while, even as you release cool new services I’m sure I’d love to play with, I hope you understand…