You're In Good Hands... With AOL?

from the becoming-a-tech-insurance-company dept

Since AOL went free last month, hoping to build up its ad business, there have been questions about why anyone would even bother to keep paying for an AOL subscription. It seems that AOL hasn't totally given up on the subscription business, though. The difference now, though, is that rather than buying access to AOL content, apparently you're really buying identity theft and computer damage insurance. That's the latest "giveaway" for continuing subscribers. However, since all the content is free, it's hardly a giveaway. It basically seems like the only thing your subscription fee actually buys is that insurance policy. Now, if only they'd add iTunes or file sharing insurance, it might get interesting.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    VPR, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 8:53am

    It will be a cold day in hell when I knowingly add anything AOL on any of my machines.

    Who doesn't have AIM these days? You're looking at one.

     

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  2.  
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    Aaron, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    for the record, proud to say I'm another NON-AOL, NON-AIM user ...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:10am

    Why not?

    There are lovely alternatives, like Adium, GAIM, Trillian, etc. that all use the AIM protocol, but not the AIM ads.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:19am

    Gone are the days of isolated BBS type portals. Even though AOL opened up to the Internet they still tried to get thier users to stay within there domain for everything. They were fine during the Modem era but now they should really rethink their business model.

     

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  5.  
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    Scott, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:21am

    PUKE!!

    Anyone who falls for the whole AOL line of shit should be put on an island where nothing but AOL is available, and they only update their cached "Internet" once per year!!!!! Screw AOL, they should suffer a mushroom stamping from Long Dong Silver!!

     

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  6.  
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    matheus, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:25am

    aol latin america

    aol had to get out of latin america, by selling the LA parts, because it was too dumb to understand the difference of local markets.

    seems like aol is losing share in US as well.. whats the future of aol?
    i also dont use AIM, as msn messenger is the most popular here in brazil.(and in the world).

     

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  7.  
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    Daniel (profile), Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:27am

    Beautiful Irony.

    You GOTTA find this funny! First, they spill personal details of thousands of people by releasing their search histories to the world, then they promise to "protect" you!

    All they have to do now is make the argument that paying them is really "saving" you money...

     

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  8.  
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    Bad Mark, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:37am

    AOL Hell

    I am still waiting for the day that AOL is no more, how much longer before this inevebility occurs? Weeks, months, perhaps a year or two.
    They have outlived their use and it is time to retire "You've got mail" sound byte.

    Anyone remember AOLHell ?

     

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  9.  
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    Grandfather Time, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:41am

    ...

    yes it is funny. no, i am not an aol user, nor have i ever been. no, i didnt just eat a burrito.....

     

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  10.  
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    Just Me, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 9:58am

    (AOL eq SPYWARE) AND (AOL eq SPAM)

    I was once an AOL user...and regret it to-date. At the time, I had all sorts of problems, mainly connecting to the Internet (which defeats the object of paying for the subscription) and not being able to stay connected.

    There were other problems as well. If I am browsing the net, the computer crashes after 20 minutes from connecting to the net. The only way for me to get around the problem was to diconnect every now and then, just before 20 minutes have elapsed in order not to reboot the computer. In the end, I just gave up, and moved on to another provider....and that was the best decision I made in 2004.

     

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  11.  
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    xxl3w, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:06am

    *sigh* AOL bashing continues

    has anyone noticed if anything makes a large amount of money technology-wise, they get bashed to hell and back? IE: microsoft, aol. what's next WoW? i've used aol many times at my in-laws house and i've never had a connection issue/etc. most connection issues are due to your raggedy phone lines that your local telephone company strung up. i think it's a pretty good idea for internet n00bs. i agree with the guy that said they need to change tactics because of broadband, but will the bashing of AOL ever stop? AOL is swarmed by new users, that's why their service "sucks". it's not their fault people cannot follow instructions. and i thought it was AOHell, not AOLHell, get your bashing techniqures up to par.

     

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  12.  
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    xxl3w, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Back to the topic

    I can't figure it out, but my parents still pay $9.95 for an e-mail. I must inform them about this, because apparently AOL didn't.

     

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  13.  
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    Edwin, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:10am

    AAY-OH-AIL Snail Mail

    Agh... I finally decided to cut any services from them like 6 months ago. They had me on one of those"free six months" plans (consecutive) like 2-3 years worth... I was like, Aw, hell Screw this life line. Let me just chop it here!

    Only reason I had it was to check email that was in there from back in 2001' and others that would email my old account.

    I have declared it "DECEASED."

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:13am

    Re: AOL Hell

    Oh come on Mark, get it right: AO HELL. At least that is what us nerds in our town labeled it as.

    Cheers.

     

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  15.  
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    Just Say No, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:15am

    Hell No

    As an IT manager who regularly hires computer techs the first thing I look at on any resume is the email address. If it's loser@aol.com the resume immediately goes into the round file.

    Enough said.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Grandfather Time, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:16am

    hehe, ao(hel)l,..whatever its called...this company has a history of charging people after they cancel subscriptions, just like people pc does,.......the service is lackluster from what ive heard and read.....and there is virtually no security.........why would anyone want to use it anyway?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:25am

    Re: *sigh* AOL bashing continues

    What crack were you smoking in the early 90's? Damn, you would be extremely lucky just to get a connection on your third attempt because the modem pool was scarce, and even so you would get drops. And then the whole AOL ad driven interface on dialup.... ummm yeah that was real nice and fast.. sure. Just the AOL bloatware prevents you from running other apps on top effectively without having network glitches and problems.

    has anyone noticed if anything makes a large amount of money technology-wise, they get bashed to hell and back?

    First of all, anything that makes a large sum of money is generally a popular item, therefore you will hear more criticism about it. Therefore you will not hear critics targetted at low yield products because you yourself probably are unaware of such items. And btw, there are critics for WoW as well, I am not one of them, but they are there.

    AOHELL truly is a less than standard service, IE the price you pay for the return. In fact, even now, I have an extremely difficult time understanding why someone would pay extra for AOL if they already have broadband. The only good reason I can think of is if they were like me in my last job and had to travel frequently through the states, but that is hardly an issue anymore these days either with the proliferation of wi-fi and internet cafes and built in broadband in the hotels.

     

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  18.  
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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    I was forced into using their services...

    I hate AOL with a vengance. I had quite a career in the late '90s repairing machines that had effectively been rendered useless because their owners "couldn't see the harm" in loading up an AOL "1000 hour free trial CD". :-(

    Then they went and bought Netscape. I wasn't too concerned because the only Netscape peoduct I use is a free email address. I use it a *lot*, though; I've had it since 1998.

    Now they've "upgraded" my account to "AIM Mail". That means I still get my emails, but they're hidden in the middle of a pagefull of flashing ads, and because they created a "free" Messenger account I also get alerts that people are trying to AIM me while I'm on-line. I don't use AIM; the only instant messaging system that I condone is IRC...

    It's really depressing that AOL seem to be going out of their way to force themselves onto my computer and slow down my browsing experience. I had to resort to an ad-blocking proxy, which doesn't just affect them, but removes the ads from more legitimate sites that I would otherwise have left there. Nice one, AOL.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    BillGod, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:53am

    What are all the old people gonna do?

    Man I was on AOL back in 96 or 97 just to use the free 20 hour trial since the BBS i dialed into went down for a week (anyone remember TELIX?). It sucked back then. I could not understand why anyone would pay more for AOL than a local service. Since then I only knew old people and dumb people that used it. Now since MOST people have figured out how to use this computer thingy. There is no need for AOL. AOL was a crutch to get eveyone up to speed. Eventually all crutches are un-needed. I think that time has come

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 10:57am

    The best thing AOL has to offer a parent of younger PC users is the parental controls.

    It's almost enough to make me forgive them for letting inexperienced newbs wander the usenet for free back in the early 90's.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 11:01am

    The best thing AOL has to offer a parent of younger PC users is the parental controls.

    It's almost enough to make me forgive them for letting inexperienced newbs wander the usenet for free back in the early 90's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    WebmanGA, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    I think AOL is living on borrowed time......I agree that it was a crutch for new comers to the internet. It is time to throw AOL out with all the rest of the trash!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Brandon Rusnak, Sep 12th, 2006 @ 3:49pm

    AOL = 1999

    AOL is so 1999. I remember a time when I used to get about 4 AOL trial cd's a month in the mail. I'd usually use them as coasters or frizbees.

    The sign that AOL is dead will be when new PCs actually come WITHOUT AOL BUNDLED!!! It seems like every single new PC still has that evil little Try AOL icon on the desktop, or even worse, that stupid AOL search box on the taskbar.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anon, Sep 13th, 2006 @ 7:08am

    AOL had its uses

    I was perfectly satisfied with my free trial for a month CD (UK based). It took 30 minutes at the start of the trial to switch off all the AOL related gibberish so I could browse freely. It took 30 minutes to find the cancel my subscription link at the end of the month. In the middle a perfectly usable and free dial-up connection. This was way before broadband access was available to the general public in the UK.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    LOUIS HEADLEY, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 4:04pm

    FRAUD

    IN NOVEMBER 2007 I CANCELED MY AOL, BECAUSE THEY OPENED A SECOND ACCOUNT IN MY NAME WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE AND BILLED MY CREDIT. I CANCELLED BOTH ACCOUNTS AND CREDIT CARD IMMEDIATELY, AND NOW TODAY 1/23/2009 IF GET A BILL FOR 103.60 AND ANOTHER ACCOUNT HAS BEEN OPENED 11 MONTHS AGO. THIS IS THE FIRST BILL I HAVE RECEIVED THREATENING COLLECTION PROCEEDINGS. I'LL SEE THEM IN COURT FIRST, DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW HOW TO GET HOLD OF THE CEO, OR WHATEVER THEY THEM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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