Learning to Leave Lycos

By Edith Monk Hallberg
Friday December 29, 2006

I really wish that I didn’t have to leave Lycos. After all, it was my major source of information and was also a means of connections with family, friends, and political action for more than six years. From practicing on Lycos, I moved to a second account with Yahoo, and now a third account, also with Yahoo, as I must end this relationship with my friend Lycos, which is now my enemy. I had some problems with Lycos in the past. 

Once, they lost about 300 e-mails that were reinstated within a couple of weeks, and apologized profusely for it. Another time they un-alphabetized my Address Book and fixed that. But I only had 0.5 GB of space, and I was often at 80 percent of that because of spam. 

I didn’t want to pay for more space, so as time allowed I would print and delete (or forward to my other account) to allow room for more messages. In June I was informed that Lycos was becoming new and improved! Everyone would be up to 3 GB. at no cost, beating out Yahoo and other competitors. Yippee! I thought, and waited patiently as I went through the drill of delete, forward, print.  

Weeks passed and I waited and waited. Finally those GBs came through in late July, and then the horror began. I noticed that my Address Book was alphabetized by nickname (who remembers those?), and I had hundreds of spam to go through. I could deal with that, but the worst was yet to come. On Aug. 4 I got a message from Moderator Portside, a leftist information source. It said roughly; “We are unsubscribing you because Lycos.com has blocked us 34 times. We figure that if you can’t receive our messages that your other contacts are being stopped as well and you should look into the matter.” 

Shades of Chomsky and Zinn! I was seeing red at that point. But there was more. A good friend and I met every week for dinner, often at different times and places. So, I e-mailed her. We went back and forth as it turned out that my replies were turning up blank! So was forwarded mail and I usually couldn’t print, either. 

I called the Library and got a phone number and address, which I have since lost, and I called Boston at mid-day, only to find out from a recording that they don’t have Consumer Service. You have to get a help ticket. You are allowed two or three, and you are supposed to get an answer within 48 hours. 

I started with a timid question “Why am I getting so much spam while messages I want are being blocked?” The reply said to check the spam filter and reset the browser. (huh?) I tried again, this time more urgently and fitting 4 questions into one box; Why do my replies coming up blank? Why do I have so much spam? Why am I having trouble forwarding mail? How can I preserve my e-mails until I can either print them and close my account? 

The reply some days later was more gibberish ending with “If you leave Lycos you will lose data.” Well, I replied to this with “I don’t understand, please help me out” Their reply was “Sorry we couldn’t help you. Your reply came up blank!”  

I had my son-in-law open a new Yahoo account using the first name of my other Yahoo account, with the first name of my Lycos account so I have become ediecatladee@Yahoo.com. I like it, but Lycos wouldn’t let me forward messages to that account, but then it also wouldn’t allow me to forward mail to my other account at Yahoo. 

My son-in-law also copied my Address Book and realphabetized it and sent it to my new account. I think he missed a couple of names but most of it is intact. I have most of my contacts and I can move on, except.... I still have about 200 messages that I need time and paper to print out because I am so busy deleting hundreds of spam even though the filter is on.  

While only a few in my Inbox are from contacts that I don’t have addresses for, I can’t reply to or forward them so I must wait until I have time to copy them down to answer from Yahoo. Of course, I sure wish it was possible to answer job offers, freebie offers and to perhaps enjoy other tantalizing offers of romance, but of course I have no time to open a small number.  

This experience with Lycos has made me afraid to do any business on the Internet for fear of Identity Theft and scams. So, for a while, I’ll still delete and print until Lycos is almost gone. Then, two questions remain; How do you close an account? Do you think Lycos would appreciate this feedback If I can find their address?