AOL makes it easy to sign-up but difficult to cancel without a price!
SOUTH HILL, VIRGINIA -- I should have followed that inner feeling which almost "said" that I should not bother with AOL, but there I was with a brand new laptop,my first laptop after having had several desktops, including a good looking eMachines desktop which blew out, about a week after the warranty. OOps! that is ANOTHER story.
Back to AOL; there it was beckoning me to give the FREE FREE FREE trial subscription to its internet services( blah, blah) a try. I could have resisted the temptation, but I did not. I went for it, although I have been "around the block" so many times and for sooooooooo many years that I know (?) that the word "free" usually means that if I fall for it, I will most definitely get a bite in the butt or in the pocketbook! And after all that KNOWING and YEARS of experience with "stuff" I still got caught.
Anyway, shortly after signing up with the FREE Free trial, I realized that I did not want AOL. It was too aggressive, took over my computer, it seemed. Made decisions for me. I even wondered if it would make the payments on the laptop. (meow) I wrote, emailed, that is, customer service and indicated that I did not want AOL- the FREE trial after all. I got a nice email back extending my trial usage if I wanted to stay with it a bit longer: blah, blah, again. I thought what the heck and said that I would try it a little longer and maybe it would grow on me. A couple of weeks later, I knew that my first decision was right-get rid of AOL! I tried to cancel online, using whatever information they provided for cancellation, all to no avail. Finally, found online a snail mail address and fax number, both for cancellation. Mailed a snail message to address provided; sent a copy by home fax and sent email to customer service at AOL. Next, found myself another ISP and went about my merry way until Monday when I went to the bank to check my ATM balance and discovered that my account had been reduced by almost 26.00 on that day and I had bought nothing, nor had I used the ATM and I had ordered nothing online. So where did the almost 26.00 go, I asked my bank customer service. To AOL came the reply.
I spent hours explaining and explaining and listening to AOL tell me that they had not received the Fax or the snail mail or the customer service email because all the numbers and addresses I used were not REAL AOL information,even though I got the information from AOL sites.
By the by, I had only used the FREE FREE FREE trial for 60 HOURS-all total. But because they claimed that they did not know I wanted to cancel the FREE TRIAL,since they did not receive any of my correspondence, they assumed I was keeping the account which by now was past the FREE FREE (ha!)stages although it had not been used since late December 2005 or early January.
Like some other disappointed consumers, I,too, closed my account for fear that I will not get the cancellation confirmation number AOL promised, but instead they will get more of MY money! I could not sleep that night for thinking about what they could do. Needless to say, the next morning, bright and too, too early, I was waiting at the bank to close my account.
What frauds! Another lesson reminding me to listen to my inner voice even when I do not understand. And for anyone else who is vacillating about signing up for AOL, DON'T!!!
Spread the word about AOL-a personification of deception!