Yahoo Small Business Customers Take Web Host to Court

Yahoo Small Business Customers Take Web Host to Court

A class-action suit has been filed against Yahoo Small Business and its parent company Aabaco by a customer who alleges that the company took down his website, which it hosted, without notice or warning, while continuing to charge him for hosting it.

Photographer Ronald Meyer filed the charges (PDF via The Register) in a Northern California District Court last week, and is demanding a jury trial seeking damages and “declaratory relief.” The total amount Meyer is seeking is not specified, but the filing alleges “the amount in controversy exceeds” $5 million.

Yahoo Small Business has yet to respond to the allegations.

“Defendants’ Terms of Service governs the relationship between Defendants and customers who pay for Web Hosting,” the complaint reads. “The general relationship is straightforward; money in exchange for services. Unfortunately, however, many customers are paying Defendants for Web Hosting and are not receiving it. When this is brought to Defendants’ attention, nothing is done. Moreover, many customers attempt to cancel the Web Hosting according to the Terms of Service but are unable to.”

Meyer purchased a $9.95 per month website hosting plan from Yahoo sometime around 1998 to advertise and sell his photography and children’s books, according to the filing, and in October 2016 discovered that his associated email accounts were not working. He subsequently discovered his other hosting services had been terminated, and was unable to reactivate them after several phone calls to the company.

The complaint also points out that customers with deactivated accounts cannot cancel their service online, and alleges widespread reports of similar experiences by internet users.

Earlier this month Rackspace asked a Texas court to throw out a lawsuit from one of its former customers, alleging a rather different set of circumstances from the plaintiff.

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