Yahoo Apologizes For Ad Management Problems; Issues Case-By-Case Refunds

I wrote last week about how a weekend upgrade to Yahoo’s ad management system went
awry, making things sluggish or keeping some advertisers locked out of their accounts for several days. The company did another upgrade last night and so far, I’ve spotted no
complaints. The company also sent out apologies to advertisers impacted by the problems.

News Analysis: Yahoo! Search Mostly Fixed; Reputation Needs Repair
from MediaPost looks at how Yahoo Search Marketing president Ted Meisel sent an email to advertisers last Sunday apologizing and pledging that any further interruptions will
be minor as further tweaks are done.

Want to see the entire letter? Sebastian over at our SEW Forums has posted it, along
with a paragraph-by-paragraph annotation. I’d link over to an unannotated version, but I haven’t seen one posted anywhere. Yahoo did post a similar
apology over in our forums, along with an email contact address.

The MediaPost article also says that Yahoo will consider compensating advertisers on a case-by-case basis if they feel the outage caused them to incur charges.

One reader I heard from told me he’d turned off his account last Friday — verified by him in that no ads were visible — yet charges continued to the tune of over $500, by
his calculations. He was told that he’d be credited for overcharges in the next few days. He also said in his email:

What scares me now is not just the fact that I was charged over and above my daily budget amount but the fact that I was being charged for clicks on ads that we’re not even
being displayed. With this being a systemwide occurrence, there must be thousands of advertisers that were affected that aren’t even aware that
they were overcharged.

MarketingVox reports similar complaints from
advertisers about overcharges, as well as no proactive calls to advertisers about the problems.

Want to comment or discuss? August 2005: Yahoo Search Marketing Down in our SEW Forums covers the
outage that happened this month. 10 Reasons Yahoo Should Kill Direct Traffic Center is another thread
covering ongoing problems with the ad management system. Details On New Yahoo Direct
Traffic Center
is a thread that covers an entirely new system that Yahoo has in the works.

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