Making A Mission Out Of Unsubscribing People From AOL

from the get-out-now dept

The old joke was that “friends don’t let friends use AOL”. It’s no secret that there are a large number of people out there who hate AOL – and many of them are former customers. Here’s an article profiling a guy who, for seven years, has chronicled any bit of bad news about AOL, while also helping convince people to unsubscribe (while also giving detailed directions – since AOL doesn’t make it easy). Some people have hobbies, but this seems more like a vendetta at this point. He claims that for every 700 AOL subscribers, he has one reader – so, clearly, his crusade has room to grow.

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Comments on “Making A Mission Out Of Unsubscribing People From AOL”

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LittleW0lf says:

Re: strange

Nobody I know has EVER had *ANY* problems cancelling AOL whatsoever.

Quite the opposite experience here…I have quite a few friends who have tried to leave AOL, and have had nothing but problems. I, myself, tried to unregister myself from AOL years ago (back in 1991-1992, when the “world wide web” was a pipe dream and AOL was an extravegant BBS,) and went with AOL charging my credit card for 6 months after I had successfully (or so I thought,) unregistered. After a number of phone calls, and finally a phone call to the credit company, I was able to get the charges reversed, and my credit card company promptly notified me that they were in the process of suing AOL for damages, and that I was not to talk with any lawyer from AOL without involving them.

Even recent attepts by friends to unregister has been quite difficult, you cannot do so on the service itself, you are given a 1-800 number to call, which is answered by some of the rudest folks on the planet. And they don’t make it simple, for you are asked a series of questions and grilled on why you are leaving their service (which they seem to think is the best service in the world which everybody who is anybody uses.) Then, they tell you to send them a letter via mail, which states that you want them to drop your account. I think they suspect people, when faced by these requirements, would much rather stick around.

One of my friends, a timid and shy woman, got off the phone in tears and asked me to call AOL back and deal with them for her, since she couldn’t manage to deal with them again (after already purchasing an account with Earthlink.) Needless to say, I didn’t have to call them back, I just showed her the format to send back to them via snail mail, and she took care of it (and luckily she wasn’t charged again, yet?!?)

Maybe this guy was just too clueless or from the sounds of it, just plain rude & obnoxious.

Or maybe the fact that you worked for Netscape somehow clouds your mind. Some folks may be rude and obnoxious, but nobody deserves having to deal with these folks this way…everyone else I’ve dealt with has rigidly defined ways of leaving, documented and ready to hand to folks when they ask, but AOL doesn’t, I wonder why?

thecaptain says:

Re: strange

You are lucky. My parents, an uncle, a couple of friends.

ALL of them had problems cancelling AOL.

My experience 5 years ago…I signed up for the free month. I cancelled after two weeks (definitely hating the service). I didn’t cancel online or by fax, but by phone. I was charged the next month….

What followed was a string of weekly and almost daily phone-calls while being charged for the next FOUR months…and every time I spoke to anyone, be it a supervisor or a tech-support guy the answer was “No problem…I have cancelled your account in your file, you won’t be charged again”..

It was even worse trying to get BACK that money…

My friend’s solution (from around that same time) when he saw this was simple…when he saw he was charged the first extra month after cancellation…he didn’t even bother…he called the credit card company, got a new cc issued.

Cher says:

Re: unsubscribing from aol

OH MY GOD have I got a story for you all!!
I actually used to work for AOL. I was in the “Saves” Department. It was the sh-ttiest job I have ever had. I DEFINITELY did not approve of the manipulation, lies, and misrepresentation that AOL FORCED us to use to keep accounts open. Many workers of which were SUPPOSED to cancel accounts, then purposefully left them open to collect their commission for leaving the accounts open.
My Mom tried to cancel her account today. (She now has DSL.) AOL first tried to keep her on using the BYOA for $5.95 a month. There is NO SUCH THING! They charge you $15.95 a month. Then, they tell you to go to certain websites to fill out surveys, get coupons, etc to send you a REBATE & save you the money to AFFORD AOL! (There is NEVER any change in the billing.) This first guy, left her account open (of course) after her already asking to cancel. He TOLD her she would only be billed $5.95. NOT TRUE AT ALL!! This guy was a liar, and a jerk. He lied to get his commission.
Then, I get on 3-way with her to call and cancel again. This guy was even more of an A–HOLE!! He was cocky from the get-go!! He starts arguing and lying AGAIN about this BYOA $5.95 from this “survey” website. She has already said numerous times that she wants to cancel!! I then get on the line and say, “AOL has already been sued before. You were supposedly supposed to make this easier now. Why do we have to call so many times? Why do we have to answer so many questions? Why do we have to go thru so much trouble? We just want to cancel the account” He then goes on and on, “it’s easy” yada yada. I then say, “I used to work for AOL. I know all about the manipulations about keeping customers on to earn a commision”. He interupts me to ask, “What was the name of the Department Maam”? He kept asking in a very rude, snotty tone. I then said, “SAVES”! He shut up really quick!! Lol!! After that, he is getting us the “confirmation number”. (Which by the way is a number, but your account is still left open until your next billing date. AOL is NOTORIOUS for still leaving the accounts open and you getting billed again even after cancelling.) My Mother laughs during the “you may still be charged for any special charges”. And, the a–hole says “Is there something funny Maam?” Since when can you be so condesending and rude to customer? I end up getting completely pissed off and say “Jesus Christ just give us the confirmation number!” He then says, “That is what I was trying to do”! I said, “Fine! Just give it”!!!
Bottom line is, these guys are bottom feeders. They will tell you anything to keep your account open & get their “bonus”. You might have even thought you account was cancelled, but it was not.
You must say NO 3 times before they will cancel your account. (Or, when they are SUPPOSED to cancel it).
To cancel (GOOD LUCK)!!
Call: 888-265-8008
Fax: 904-232-4879
Mail: America Online
PO BOX 17100
Jacksonville, FL 32245-7100
You must include the reason for your request.
Primary contact’s full name, billing address, phone number, and handwritten signature.
You must also include either a primary contact screename, last 4 digits of payment method, or answer to account security question.
Don’t let them manipulate you. Get the “Saves” representatives name, the date of the call, the confirmation number, the actual “last date of billing”, and then follow up on the credit card bill to make sure your account was in fact cancelled!!

Bonnie says:

Re: Re: unsubscribing from aol

Thank you so much for posting this information. I, like your mother, just subscribed to DSL. I couldn’t figure out from the AOL site how to “Check Out”. Aside from your information about how to go about getting out of this, The University of Oregon is the only other site that offers information. Thank you again for your useful insite.

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