by Mike Masnick

AOL's Cheap Computer Hides Expensive Service?

from the good-work dept

How desperate is AOL getting in trying to slow down the rapid decline in their subscriber lists? Knowing that Wall Street will freak if they dare to lower their dialup prices to anything even remotely more competitive, they're now trying to sell a cheap computer to hide the high dialup costs. The way it works is you get a very basic computer for about $300, but you need to agree to a year's worth of AOL's $24/month dialup service. The difference between that and a cut-rate dialup pretty much wipes away any "savings" from this cheap computer. However, don't tell that to AOL. They're insisting that the most expensive dialup service around, that's bleeding customers at faster and faster rates isn't expensive at all. They don't have any reason for it, other than they say so: "I categorically deny the service is expensive." Well, that's convincing. I hate to break it to AOL, but it's not people inside AOL who determine whether or not your service is expensive. It's your competitors who consistently price well below what you offer, and your customers who see greener (cheaper, faster) pastures elsewhere.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Aug 12th, 2004 @ 9:57am

    Free PC's

    What happened to the free PC's that were offered in exchange for ISP contract baggage?

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

  2. identicon
    alternatives, Aug 12th, 2004 @ 11:13am

    Re: Free PC's

    Why don't you go use a search engine and find out for yourself. Given you post to techdirt, you MUST believe you have the skills to do your own research.

    Or if you lack such compentancy, then hire say TechDirt's corporate intelligence...assuming Mike would take your dinars.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2004 @ 11:39am

    No Subject Given

    Harsh. Hey, AOL is like the rest of the phone companies that are losing subscribers. Face it, dial up at any price is dying. They are just trying to stem the bleeding until the can either come up with a solution to replace this line of revenue or figure some way to sale off this portion of the company ... Hard to believe these guys bought Time Warner ... harder to believe that someone thought that would work.

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

  4. identicon
    AOL Drone, Aug 12th, 2004 @ 12:10pm

    AOL Value

    I reluctantly admit to being an AOL customer. AOL is not just dial up. The value is in free "stuff".
    CNN Streaming video ($10/month on
    NFL game summaries
    Every Baseball game streamed ($60/year on
    1000's of videos and concerts
    Radio@AOL, way better than free radio
    Spam Protection
    Firewall Protection
    PC Check Up
    Parental Controls for the kids

    I like having it all in one place.

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

  5. identicon
    thecaptain, Aug 13th, 2004 @ 5:13am

    Re: AOL Value

    CNN Streaming video...ON DIAL UP? Ugh.
    Not worth 10 cents a month...ditto all the rest of the streams...
    Spam Protection? mmmmm free with any number of products out there.
    Firewall protection??? Also free...possibly more solid too.
    Parental controls...well I can't compare or argue, I don't have kids, but I have the belief that the ONLY and MOST RELIABLE parental control is a parent actually being there.
    PC Checkup??? Well I guess if you don't know...
    Just so you realize it doesn't take much to do that don't have to be an uber-geek really.
    Radio@AOL, I'm actually curious about this one, how is it better? (I am not saying it isn't, it very well might be...I've dabbled a little with radio online but have very little experience)
    I like having it all in one place
    Ok, I'll relunctantly give you that one...but I'll put forward the opinion that there are better places than AOL :)

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

  6. identicon
    drag queen dorpus, Aug 16th, 2004 @ 12:03pm

    Re: AOL Value <-- Oxymoron

    Aohell is like a training bra,

    Eventually I grew out of mine.

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

  7. identicon
    steve, Feb 24th, 2005 @ 3:45am

    Re: AOL Value

    your an Idiot!

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

  8. identicon
    old AOL user, May 11th, 2005 @ 1:02pm

    Re: AOL Value

    dude i agree that u dont like aol but trust me its worth alot more. u really need to try out all the features to really know what it is worth. the firewall is far beyond permeable. second best 7 layers the first is FBI 8 layers. can any other service beat that right now NONE.

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

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