Monday, August 29, 2005

Cancelling AOL

There is an absolutely hysterical article in the NYT today on the tribulations of those people who tried to cancel their AOL accounts.

Here's the best bits:

May 18, 2004

Posted at tinmanic.com

I was beginning to worry that AOL cancellation was really a myth and that they actually didn't have a cancellation process and that I'd get stuck in AOL purgatory or they'd threaten to kill my firstborn if I didn't keep my service or something.

But no. I managed to hold my ground and make it to the end of the obstacle course. ...

If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything - even cancel your AOL service. Hallelujah.

Feb. 2, 2005

Posted at utterlyboring.com

I told them my house had burned down and I no longer had a computer. The customer service rep then suggested I keep the AOL service and use it at a library or a friend's house.

Feb. 15, 2003

Posted at cementhorizon.com

After 10 minutes on hold:

"Hello. Thank you for calling AOL customer service. My name is James. How can I help to make your online experience a magical one this morning?"

"Well, James, I would like to cancel my magical online account."

"Heh. O.K. Let me just pull up your information. ... Can I have your reason for canceling service with AOL this morning?"

"I'm giving up the Internet. ... I'm moving to a commune in Minnesota, and they don't have access there. ..."

"Wow! That's a first for me. That's a ... really? A commune? Wow! ... Why don't they have access?"

"Well, it just kind of runs counter to the whole belief system."

"And, so, what's the belief system?"

"Oh, you know, getting back to nature, Thoreau, eating lots of dairy. Except the vegans, obviously."

"Right. Right. Right. ... Look, are you sure about this commune?"

"Oh, yes. ..."

"O.K. O.K. There's no checkbox for this in my 'Reason for Cancellation' section. ... Just, O.K. Well, I have your cancellation number ready. And look, if you change your mind, you can always reactivate your account, O.K.?"

"Sure, thanks. ..."

"You know, I'm not going to even bother asking if you want to try our new phone news service."

"That's probably best."

April 20, 2003

Posted at blog.megacity.org

I don't know what the big deal was. I'll admit I had to sit on the phone for 1/2 an hour until a customer rep came on the line, but I just told [her] that I was getting rid of my computer because I couldn't keep my kids from looking at porn. I was off the phone in 2 minutes.

May 13, 2005

Posted at j-walkblog.com

My sisty signed up for AOL and had me help her get rid of it. Canceling the service wasn't that hard, we had the bank stop the payments. The hard part was getting their damn software off. It's like some kind of tenacious fungus that just won't die.

Aug. 24, 2005

Posted at techdirt.com

Just violate their terms of service by going into a chat room and threatening to kill people. After spending an hour on the phone and being unable to cancel an AOL account, I was able to terminate an account in about 3 minutes this way.

July 19, 2005

Posted at utterlyboring.com

If you want to cancel your AOL then simply call and cancel it. It really is not very hard. I called in and spoke to a very nice customer representative and told them that I had switched to a high-speed service after they asked me why I would like to cancel. They then asked me a few questions that I responded to politely. ...People just don't realize how far common courtesy will go these days.

June 10, 2005

Posted at banjk.journalspace.com

I plan on just telling them ...

I want to cancel my account.

I want to cancel my account.

I want to cancel my account.

And I'll throw in one more, just to be safe.

I want to cancel my account.

Aug. 19, 2005

Posted at gripe2ed.com

My wife had AOL. I got things running under cable modem, and we canceled the service. We also had the credit card compromised (our oldest set of twins had memorized the number and the expiration date) which also partly had to do with AOL. We would set up limits on their accounts. They would log in as my wife, and reset the password with her card number, and then reset their accounts back to full 24/7 access.

Aug. 23, 2005

Reply posted at gripe2ed.com

I'm sure you know that AOL is not your biggest problem. I hope you are dealing with the situation with your children.



Source:
Canceling AOL? Just Offer Your Firstborn
TOM ZELLER Jr.
NYTimes, August 29, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/29/technology/29link.html

Posted at 12:52 PM in Humor, Web/Tech | Permalink

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Comments

Reminds me of my stint in AOL's retention queue...fun job. Pay sucked though.

Posted by: Jon | Sep 25, 2005 4:01:07 AM

Cancelling AOL used to be easy, but I think that they are making it more difficult because of the 1000 free hours of cds they send out every year. People use those hours and cancel, until they get the next cd.

Be that as it may, I spent 30 minute trying to get the guy to cancel my account last time also. The would never say okay and do it.

I forgot what I did, but I either wrote a letter, faxed or emailed the company and threatened legal action and demanded any charges credited back to my card. That ended that.

Of course violating their TOS on a chat line or email, definitely could help, but I doubt it. You really don't want to threaten to kill or do any kind of violence to anyone just to get cancelled. You could find yourself in a bunch of criminal trouble.

Telling the prosecutor that you did it to get your AOL cancelled won't be good enough.

Posted by: Will | Jun 21, 2006 11:53:16 AM

aol screwed me some years ago. i tried to hook up with them and they said my computer was bad so i had it checked out paid $40. plus 7 tax nothing wrong contacted aol and they refused to give me my money back said they would give me free service for 2 months. i wrote the ceo about this and they never answered me. is there any way i can collect froom aol plus interest and myh time?????

Posted by: dick pabst | Jul 18, 2006 6:13:49 PM

I just want to cancel my account and I don't want anymore flack about it. I've been nice but I can get naqsty if I have to. You were supposed to take out one month at a time but you took ythe whole amount and I can't afford that. I hjave more pressing bills that nee3d to be paid.

Posted by: Patsy | Oct 4, 2006 7:59:09 PM

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