As Yahoo’s embattled email service suffers through a slew of bad news, some users are finding it hard to leave.
Automatic email forwarding was disabled at the beginning of the month, several users told The Associated Press. While those who’ve set up forwarding in the past are unaffected, some who want to leave over recent hacking and surveillance revelations are struggling to switch to rival services.
“This is all extremely suspicious timing,” said Jason Danner, who runs an information technology business in Auckland, New Zealand, and is trying to quit Yahoo after 18 years with the email provider.
Yahoo Inc. declined to comment on the recent change beyond pointing to a three-line notice on Yahoo’s help site which says that that the company temporarily disabled the feature “while we work to improve it.”
Like forwarding postal mail, email forwarding makes sure users don’t miss important messages as they swap one address for another. The feature has been “a basic concept for 15 years for just about every email provider out there,” said Brian McIntosh, who owns a small technology business and first alerted The Associated Press to the issue.
“All of a sudden it’s under development,” McIntosh said in a telephone interview. “And only at Yahoo.”
Yahoo’s users have been hit by a one-two punch of disclosures. In September the company revealed that hackers stole the personal information of half a billion people in 2014 , a record-breaking theft that appears to have gone undiscovered for some two years. More recent revelations concern reports that Yahoo opened its users’ emails to government surveillance .
Although it’s unclear whether either issue will lead to a real exodus from Yahoo, several people told AP they were leaving or had already left the service because of the negative headlines.
“Being an American, I think there’s a certain amount of expectation that…