AOL Cancellation Hell

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Adding more logs to the “Why I’ll never subscribe to AOL” fire:

(okay, full disclosure: I actually used to be an AOL member, way way way back in the day when I didn’t know what broadband was, and it was incredibly expensive to get. Before I knew that the high speed connections that were available in my dorm room in college were available to my house, I thought AOL was the best people at home could do. When I found out about cable broadband, I was all over it. And when I cancelled AOL, they didn’t give me any hassle at all. Mind you, that was probably somewhere near 8 years ago. So things have admittedly changed.)

The first story is of a poor guy who actually recorded his call to AOL to terminate his account. All the poor guy wanted to do was cancel, and he said it over and over again. The customer “service” rep on the other line had the audacity to get snippy with him over it, and even lash back a few times and try and call him a liar and get him to keep his account active and open. It was a nightmare, and I understand how both parties on the phone feel; I’ve been in both situations, although to be honest, in all my time working phones for IT companies, I never got that ridiculous with someone; and script or call-times be damned, if someone wanted x and I could deliver x, I’d give them x; no looping through y and q and r on the way around to x, it’s “here you go, x. Have a nice day!” Because in all honesty, I didn’t want to be on the phone any more than the person wanted to be on the phone with me. Let me go back to my game of minesweeper or that awesome viral video I just saw.

But anyway. Vincent’s call to AOL, complete with audio to make you cringe:

[ Consumerist :: The Best Thing We Have Ever Posted: Reader Tries To Cancel AOL ]

But the story doesn’t end there. Vincent recieved numerous apologies from AOL, and a littany of statements that the offending CSR is no longer working at AOL. To be honest, it’s likely that the CSR never worked for AOL and instead for a contract company, so who knows what “no longer with the Company” really means. Regardless, after Vincent’s story made it big and millions of people on the net spread his story, AOL was forced to press the PR response and say that this was an uncommon fluke for them and they’re not in the business of treating people this way. A recent run in with AOL by Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General for New York, says otherwise, however.

So AOL apparently agreed they’d make it easier to cancel accounts. Right.

So why is it, then, that a DEAD WOMAN can’t cancel her account? You read that right-a woman dies, and her daughter calls up to cancel her AOL account. What does the AOL rep do? Blow past the point that she’s DEAD, and insist that the dead woman will have to call and cancel the accounts herself. What does the poor daughter do? Well, nothing, aside from cancel the credit cards to which the AOL account was billed, and let the rest take its course. But still, that’s ridiculous, and indicative that AOL hasn’t changed its stripes-or its policies-one bit:

[ Consumerist :: AOL Wants to Sell “Internet” to the Dead ]

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