I was at one time, a BT customer.  They had the best deal for FTTC broadband in my area, so it made sense to go with them.  One of the things they offered at the time was a Yahoo account – which for some inexplicable reason you were forced to link to any previous account with the same email address.

I created one – with my usual online moniker of naxxfish.  What a mistake that turned out to be….

After I moved to another place where different broadband was available – and cancelled my BT account – that’s when the trouble started.  Suddenly, I could no longer get into my Yahoo account.  Every time I went to reset the password, I’d get redirected to a password reset page

And, if I entered my once BT email address (which I never used!), I got an error telling me to contact the BT helpdesk.

Helpful!  The link to “helpdesk” goes to the BT Contact Us page, which is utterly useless, as it assumes I’m a BT customer (which I’m not) and want to talk to them about one of their products or my bill.

After calling BT, they were completely useless over the phone too, saying that it was Yahoo’s problem not theirs and they had to access to that system.  If they had no access to that system, why did it tell me to call them?!

Yahoo’s customer support is practically non-existent.  You can’t phone them, and emails take about a week for them to respond saying something either irrelevant or unhelpful.  I am more than happy to go through whatever security they need to to prove that I am in fact the unfortunate owner of “naxxfish”, but I’ve not even had the opportunity to do so.

Giving up on the dream of recovering my old Flickr account, I attempt to create a new one.  I have to use the ID naxxghoti because any mention of naxxfish makes Yahoo balk and start pointing me back at that dreaded BT page again.  Annoyingly I can’t use my normal email address either, for the same reasons.  Any of my normal email addresses, because they were set up as alternatives on the dead account.

Just in case I wasn’t annoyed enough with Yahoo for buggering up my account, now they’ve ALSO annoyed me by making gender a required field, and making it binary. Come on! I thought that the Web got over this non-sense years ago; If you must make it a binary choice, at least make it optional.  Pretty simple stuff – nobody is asking for you to list all of the different genders that Facebook uses for example, but just don’t force users to conform to one of two genders when there is literally no reasonable reason why they should.

If you don’t quite get why this is a problem as someone who does identify as a binary gender, try this analogy.  Imagine you were asked “What sort of animal are you” and were presented with “Goat” or “Aardvark” – and were forced to pick one of the two.  You’re neither of those things, but you’ve just been forced to express that you are a Goat or an Aardvark even though you’re actually a Human.  If they didn’t require you to answer this question, it would at least be absent rather than outright wrong.

Even better, even don’t ask in the first place.