Yahoo! Search Marketing Customer Service - Ugh!


Heather is so upset and frustrated with YSM (Overture) Customer Service that she's mapping out their phone extensions the hard way just to get to speak to someone...

After much frustration with Overture, I used a method I learned back when I was in sales to build up a phone book of Overture.

(I also learned through this method that overture reps don’t use their real last names, and they do this because they’ve had livid advertisors screaming in the phone at them. Overture’s technique to dealing with those people is to tell the angry advertisor that “so and so” doesn’t work there anymore, and transfer you to someone else. Like I said: Horrible Customer Service.)

What she's doing, is an old telesales technique used on large firms where it's hard to get a decision maker on the line. The idea is to get past the "gatekeeper" (usually front desk or a P.A.), who are trained to keep you from getting anywhere useful, by dialing random extension numbers.

Once you do get someone on the line, it's a matter of "oh! wrong i extension! i wanted Mrs Jones, do you have that extension?" - Once you're inside the company, it's a lot easier to get where you want to go.

What on earth is going on over at YSM CS?


Actually done that before myself

...mapping out the extensions and tryin' to get the right people.

REALLY glad I don't do a lot of PPC anymore. Overture/ YSM customer service was a very painful experience at times.

I was SO pissed a few times when I just wanted bulk upload capability and they wouldn't give it out.


- old account with little activity that has no bulk upload because of grandfather rules.

-need a specific spend for bulk upload

-hate overture interface and need bulk upload to meet spend requirements efficiently

...and so the circle goes...and the spend went to G

3+ hrs. tryin' to get someone who would just try to buck the machine on a little thing didn't help efficiency any either.

Ugh...people who just "do what they're told" drive me crazy.

Makes my eye twitch thinking about the experience.

Social engineering on the other fun:)

Some telco in the UK right

Some telco in the UK right now have a wonderful radio ad campaign running where they say that 90% of all customer service calls are answered by the person that pics up the phone.

There is nothing more frustrating than being passed from pillar to post by morons.

Just PM'ed you

Heather I just PM'ed you to see if I can help.
Stuntdubl I think I remember helping you get the bulk upload tool a while back.

Tell ya' what Tim

since you're in a helpful mood we have a couple of members here getting very frustrated with minimum spends and redirects. They'd probably really really appreciate a PM too :)

Yes...great example of only remembering the negative.

Yes, you did Tim...and a big thank you for that. Was a painful memory, and that was unintentionally left out. Your customer service skills are definitely top notch...but there is only one of you. They need to clone ya.

You are a great example of knowin' when to make exceptions Tim. Empowering some of the CS reps to make decisions on occasion may be a good step as well. Even if it is only little decisions. Making occasional mistakes is better than having folks that alway have to call ya back or pass the buck. As I mentioned, I don't do a lot of PPC anymore, so it very well could have improved since I've last done much.

Short story:
One of my first jobs was for a family owned restaurant that served family style chicken dinners, and was more of a tourist destination than it was a restaurant. It was a place people though of for special occassions mainly due to the atmosphere.

They always preached "empowerment" of employees...meaning...if it was someone's birthday, you could make the decision to comp a larger birthday cake from the foodstore...or grab a cookie for the kids, or other desserts/ appetizers etc. This was a company where the customer service made the difference between them and KFC. It was a lesson to me in customer service that definitely stuck. It's all the little things. People will remember the negative...and when someone goes well above and beyond (which I obviously forgot about this time)

It sounds a bit silly, but it WAS empowering to be able to raise my tips by going the extra mile, while raising their brand at the same time.

Yahoo definitely has made some big strides in communication, and the fact that you showed up here is a good testament to that Tim. Start empowering those CS reps a bit, and you'll have much less of these type posts, and more people jumpin' to YSM's defense when they do. The big guys always get good treatment, but one of the takeaways from that above mentioned job was you're only as good as you treat your worst customers (believe me, it was no fun listening to people who were constantly griping EVEN when they had a free dinner).

Please give the reps a little more power than just allowing them to take a message or transfer to someone else. When a policy is screwy, or there was a disconnect...let them fix it. We are a demanding bunch...but having someone there when you need it is what makes a company's CS exceptional.

Horrible CS...I agree!

I just re-read the thread and see the main issue was with Overture and not YPN (Yahoo! Publisher Network). Sorry if anyone feels the post is not relevant...since it was discussing the poor CS for Overture. But..I do think it is worth discussing that the YPN CS is seriously lacking as well. first I thought the customer service was an actual human, who acknowledged my issues with YPN..and actually corresponded with me for a few days. This was about 8 weeks ago...and ever since...the CS has been horrific.

Not only that, getting very minimal response. Some people are taking 5-10 days to just acknowledge me.

During this time, I have had 2 people call me and ask about YPN...wanting my feedback on the product as a whole....I let them know about issues I had with the product as well as with the CS.....guess it didn't help any....the CS is still horrible. Heck, the person who called for my feedback promised to get back to me on one of my issues within 2 days....Well to date I have never heard from her!

I am having some serious issues....still. First major issue was the fact that YPN was displaying my own ads..even though it was on my blocked domains list. This went on for about a 4-6 weeks. I was so angry...asking anyone who would finally acknowledge me at Yahoo! if I could expect a refund for clicks I was paying for that originated from my own site. The answer I got was that YPN was in beta, and they were still working out the kinks...yeah..working them at out my expense (literally). ads are no longer displaying, but other domains on my blocked list are now being displayed. I complained..and took about 2 weeks for someone to come back to me and tell me that I am basically *forced* to display these ads...because I have too many domains in my blocked list...and if YPN blocked them all...they couldn't target any ads on my site. This in my eyes, is ridiculous...I know I am limiting what ads can be displayed, but I know my space/niche and there are plenty of ads that can be displayed from domains that I am not blocking.

I desperately wanna use YPN and not AdSense....but they are making it very hard. Besides these issues, I have found their targeting to be seriously flawed....I found Google's targeting to be a 1000x better....and Google managed to serve me these targeted ads with the same domains being blocked.

I planned on calling Y! this week to discuss the "you have no choice but to display these ads because you are blocking too many domains" issue.....but had some computer probs this week and have not managed to call.....which..prolly is no big deal....since I wouldn't get a human to acknowledge me for 2 weeks anyway.

I ran AdSense on my site for years, and I am really trying to give YPN a chance. I am running their ads throughout my entire site (no AdSense)......but if I can't get them to address my a timely manner....Y! will force me to go back to AdSense.

Like to Play Devil's Advocate

I've seen huge leaps in Overture's customer service over the past year. In fact, it's gotten to the point where I'm surprised if I don't receive a returned phone call within the hour.

Granted, part of this is due to budgets, however, I've also heard good stories from gold ($5k/month) advertisers as well.

While I'm sure there are some horror stories, there always are, the sheer number seems to have decreased over the past year.

They can still use some improvement, mostly from the 'contact us' link from within the account; however, I really think they're on the correct track overall.

I've had great experiences

I've had great experiences with Y!SM Customer Service. I just call until I don't get a bonehead and then write down their name and extension, build a relationship, compliment them, tell their superiors how pleasent they are to work with (if that is the case), and everything's fine & dandy.

Shucks, I've always thought of Y!SM's Customer Service as a selling point.

Can't really say that about Google.

Nick, would you really call this a scandal? I mean come on, there's no heavy breathing and groaning going on on the Y!S&M side.

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