Yahoo!'s family accounts still stink

It is amazing how bad Yahoo!’s “family account” experience is. I want to make an account for my six year old daughter to use to upload her photos to Flickr. Googling for Yahoo! family accounts and flickr finds this text:

Yahoo! Family Accounts allow a parent or legal guardian to give consent before their child under 13 creates an account with Yahoo!. A child is someone who indicates to us that they are under the age of 13. […] Your child may have access to and use of all of Yahoo!’s products and services, including Mail, Messenger, Answers, mobile apps, Flickr, Search, Groups, Games, and others. To learn more about our privacy practices for specific products, please visit the Products page of our Privacy Policy.

(Emphasis mine, of course.)

I had to search around to find where to sign up. I had to use the normal signup page. I filled the form out and kept getting rejected. “The alternate email address you provided is invalid.” After trying and trying, I finally realized that they have proscribed the use of “yahoo” inside the local part. So, was not going to work. Fine, I replaced yahoo with ybang. Idiotic, but fine.

After I hit submit, I was, utterly without explanation, given a sign in page. I tried to sign in several times with the account I just requested, but was told “no such account exists.”

Instead, I tried to log in with my own account, and that worked. I was taken to a page saying, “Do you want to create a Family Account for your child?” Yes, I do! Unfortunately, the CAPTCHA test that Yahoo! uses is utterly awful. It took me half a dozen tries to get one right, and I’ve been human since birth. Worse, the form lost data when I’d resubmit. It lost my credit card number — which is excusable — but also my state. Actually, it was worse: it kept my state but said “this data is required!” next to it. I had to change my country to UK, then back to USA, then re-pick my state. Then it was satisfied.

Finally, I got the account set up. I was dropped to the Yahoo! home page, mostly showing me the daily news. (To Yahoo!’s credit, none of this was horrible scandal rag stuff for my six year old. Less to their credit, the sidebar offered me Dating.) I verified my email address and went to log her in to Flickr. Result?

We’re sorry, you need to be at least 13 years of age to share your photos and videos on Flickr.

So, what now? Now I create a second account as an adult, upload all her photos there, and give her the account when she’s older, I guess. Or maybe I’ll use something other than Flickr, since right now I’m pretty sick of the many ways that Yahoo! has continued to make Flickr worse.

Written on August 22, 2013