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.


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Comments on “You're In Good Hands… With AOL?”

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25 Comments
Just Me says:

(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.

xxl3w says:

*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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Edwin says:

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.”

Peet McKimmie (profile) says:

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.

BillGod says:

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

Brandon Rusnak (user link) says:

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.

Anon says:

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.

LOUIS HEADLEY says:

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.

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