America Online

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1.0 out of 5, based on 3 ratings and
113 reviews & complaints.

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Insensitive to Customers Needs
Posted by on
LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS -- I have had an account with AOL for many years. My husband died two and 1/2 years ago and the account was in his name. One week-end recently I was having problems getting on the internet and to my e-mail. I called in to tec support and thought the problem was solved so I hung up. When I signed on again I was able to get to mh e-mail but could not read it so I called in again. After few failed attempts to solve the problem the person I was speaking with said he would just start the process over. When we reach the need to put in the passwork, I didn't remember what it was because my husband had set it up quite awhile ago. Since my name is not on the account they would not reset it so I could use my e-mail and computer and they were to mail me a form to change ownership of the account. After a few days I called and ask them to either e-mail or fax the form to my work but they wouldn't do it because the form had already been mailed. A few more days went by and still to change of ownership form so I called again and explained to them that I used that e-mail for my business and was losing money because I couldn't get to my e-mail or even on the internet. Once again I got no were, even a supervisor was no help. I told them that they had to problem with taking money from my checking account that he was not on but wouldn't help me with my password. I am very upset, frustrated and angry with all of this and when I get that paperwork to change ownership I plan to complete it and return it to them and as soon as mu e-mails are switched to my new e-mail I will never use them again. I cannot believe that there are no provisions for situations like this. Surely I'm not the only widow/widower to experience this. They just showed my that they have no regard for their customers and couldn't care less. I wish everyone would drop them then maby they would care.
AOL is the WORST Company in the WORLD
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- I helped my mom sign up for AOL years ago. I cancelled my account in summer '05 and went through the same things written about here. But when my mom tried to cancel a few months later, the customer service, or lack thereof, was ridiculous.

She couldn't get through online via the keywords "cancel" and/or "billing" so eventually she just cleared AOL off her computer and set about trying to phone AOL to cancel her service. When that proved futile, she thought, "well, my card expires in April, so they can't bill me after that anyway." She was wrong. AOL was the ONLY vendor who she had automatically billed to that credit card who kept billing her on an expired card. Every other company contacted my mother and told her she needed to update them with a new expiration date in order for them to bill her automatically.

Finally - after trying to call them for months. We decided we would search on the web for a way to cancel AOL - assuming someone out there had gone through a similar experience and written about it. We were shocked to find this site and read so many stories that were eerily similar.

We used a phone number someone posted on here and did get through to Customer (lack-of) Service and were treated like complete idiots. They used phrases with us such as, "okay - once again - to reiterate, since I don't think you are understanding me" etc. They were so demeaning and rude my blood was boiling. They kept asking when we had tried to call before. I finally got on the phone and told them that NONE of that mattered. The history of us trying to contact them was insignificant, we want it canceled now. He then said, "Okay - well please listen to my instructions so you don't have to call me and scream at me again if your account isn't properly cancelled." Scream at him. Please...I was reserved considering how angry I was.

We were told that if we didn't listen to his "instructions" we might "accidentally reinstate the service and void the cancellation." What the flip does that mean? Finally - he started to hang up without giving us a cancellation number. When we asked for one - he THEN said, "do you want an immediate cancellation?" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! "YES!" So THEN and ONLY THEN did he start the cancellation process. I asked him how many months he was going to reimburse my mom for and he said that he was going to reimburse nothing because the account hadn't previously been cancelled. He told us it was OUR responsibility to get them the correct credit card information and the credit card company's fault for letting an expired card go through. He was so rude and condescending that I asked if I could speak with a Supervisor. He said, "well this call isn't "escalatable." I said, "oh really - well, I'd like to speak to him anyway" and he said, "well I can see if he 'wants' to get on the phone." WANTS???? OH MY GOD!

Finally a Mr. "Willy Williams" got on the phone and was ten times ruder than the first guy. He kept talking down to me, and acting like we are the only customers to ever have this problem - basically calling us idiots. He then said they would email us at the AOL address with a confirmation. I was so frustrated I said, "SIR! She hasn't used her AOL account in over six months - so emailing her there won't help." To which he replied, "well, I said it was going to be emailed there, I didn't say she had to read it."

Finally - he was so rude I grabbed the phone and told him all about this website and about the Attorney General's decision in New York which was to reimburse thousands of previous AOL customers millions of dollars for their cancellation schemes and tactics. I told him we were NOT idiots even though he was talking to us as if we were and I told him he could act like this is the only time this has happened with AOL and a customer but really AOL Is known for being shady and sneaky. I said, we will take up the reimbursement issue with our credit card company and I hung up. I am incensed. I understand that they don't care about us now b/c we are no longer customers, but that was beyond bad customer service. I can't believe those people get paid to talk like that. What jerks.

I've seen dozens and dozens of similar reviews on tons of different consumer complaints websites. It's truly sad that AOL doesn't care about any of them. The guy I spoke to was so rude and acted like I was crazy and was so patronizing. He acted as if this was the first complaint of this sort he had ever heard. Give me a break. AOL is never going to be my choice of any type of service provider. Period. You can't make up for this kind of horrible customer treatment. Too many company's appreciate my business for me to put up with how AOL spoke to me (and SCAMMED me AND my mother).
AOL makes it easy to sign-up but difficult to cancel without a price!
Posted by on
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!
AOL Impossible to Cancel
Posted by on
STEWART, TENNESSEE -- Today Feb 18 2006 I ONCE again have tried to CANCEL my service with AOL. We signed up with AOL in April 2005, we TRIED to use it with our MAC for the web cam, and it didn't work the way we wanted it to so we called and canceled it in June 2005. In Nov. 2005 I noticed that it was still debiting out of our account, so I called ONCE again to cancel it.... I was told that it was not canceled in Jun, that the screen name and info was NOT verified, BUT I CLEARLY remember having problems with them for over 45 min, and then after going through everything they cleared the info, and canceled the account. SO THEY SAID..... Well NO the account was still active and I asked them to look and see if our screen name and e-mail was accessed, they said NO. So I asked for a refund from Jun-Nov 2005, they said NO because "when you order cable and you do not watch it, you still have to pay for it" BUT I CANCELED AOL IN JUN! Well I looked on line at the MANY people complaining about continuous charges after they have canceled services, and decided I would call again to see about a refund. SO I called Dec 2005 and spoke to a nice Rep (so I thought) he told me that he would refund 60.00 back to the account, but he was going to reactivate the account, refund the money and CLOSE the account.... I was REALLY hesitant about this! BUT, I did it.... MISTAKE!!! He OPENED it, refunded the money... but did NOT close the account, SO AGAIN I was charged 23.90 for Jan and Feb 2006. I CALLED again to cancel and to ask, demand my money back from these SLIME BALLS, and they gave me an address where I am going to have to pay 39 cents and my bank statement and a letter stating that I canceled in Dec, and how I feel that I need my money back! SLIME BALLS!!!! I know that I will be billed AGAIN next month, I KNOW that I will never see the money that I am out, even after I pay 39 cents to mail a letter to them to tell me they NEVER received my letter will I STILL BE CHARGED!!!!! This company needs to be put to an END!!!!!!! TOO MANY people have the SAME complaints, and the bank drafts to PROVE this problem...... WHY doesn't anyone fix them for good??????
Then on ALL of your phone calls to them they keep you on for FREE for 30 days, and they are so nice when they tell you this and SO sad to see you go.... Well you can KEEP your 30 days or lifetime free to AOL and shove it up your A$$. I WANT MY 200.00 back!!!!!!! I WILL NEVER have AOL!!!!!!!!!
Cancellation Saga
Posted by on
Trying to cancel a trial membership over the phone turned into an extended sales pitch by the representative, Sam in Toronto, in an attempt to stop the cancellation.

Realizing Sam is only an employee who is trained to behave in this way by AOL, is progressively aggravating. I asked twice to speak to his supervisor and my request was completely ignored.

When I asked repeatedly for the cancellation confirmation number, Sam responded that it was necessary to follow a script 'procedure' before he could give me the number. And began asking me a list of questions.

I told him, I was extremely busy and I just needed confirmation that the account was closed. Sam then tried to make small talk and asked me about the weather where I was.

Again, I repeated I simply needed the confirmation number that is all. He proceeded to create a sort of 'guilt' trip scenario, saying that while I was waiting we could at least have a friendly conversation.

I'm sorry Sam, I don't know you, I don't want to have small talk with a customer service representative from a company that I no longer want to do business with.

Will AOL ever realize, that their customers should be treated with respect? Respect for their time and their choice in internet service providers?

I still don't feel confident my account was actually cancelled even though I retain a physical confirmation number. An automated voice assured me it was, after Sam and I were finished talking and that I should receive a confirmation letter in the mail shortly.

I'm posting my confirmation number: 06245442759 March 18th 2005 12 pm -- for possible recourse should AOL attempt to 'know nothing of the cancellation' and charge my card on file.

AOL has serious customer service, policy and procedural issues and still chooses to think they're a monopoly that can control peoples' free choice.

I highly discourage anyone from subscribing to AOL.

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Worst Service I Have Ever Experienced
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- After requesting over five years ago to cancel our membership, they continued to bill us. We finally contacted our credit card company and canceled with them. Once we did that. America online representatives began calling us daily. When we asked them to take us off their call list they continued to call anyway, Recently when we came back from being out of town, We had 8 messages from them.

Over the past four nights they have called every night. We have not used AOL in over 5 years and they still call us members because they have your credit card number and can bill you. They do not adhere to the Do not call request and I would never use this company. They are horrible and the greediest company I have ever dealt with.
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Still Waiting for Netscape Internet Help
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PORTLAND, OREGON -- My hard drive had a fatal error back in August, 2013. I was not able to recover my Netscape program from the old hard drive and have been calling every week for the past 5 weeks requesting Netscape/AOL send a start up CD.

I replaced my Dell hard drive with a newer, virus free, model but am still waiting for the ISP install disks. My son-in-law attempted to download and install it from their web site, but it wouldn't install.

I'm just using simple, $6.99/month, dial-up. I would say customer "no-service" is a -1. Each time I call, they say the CD's take 15 days to arrive, are they coming from China? I've been without my internet for 5 weeks and am not financially able to switch companies. Does anyone have advice on how to expedite this? Thanks!
Posted by on
Have been with AOL 20 years...Should have left long ago....They are automatically charging me every January Over $200....It is my fault, I have been too busy to change, but I will...It would be unthinkable for AOL to say "you are over paying".... Because I am busy (I am thankful considering what a mess this country is in and soooo many people are hurting) I wish to get on line and do the needed things, especially stock wise, and get on with business...Well as most people know, that is not the case with AOL and many times need to go else where to get my info.... This week AOL has taken another step backwards on their finance page...Get someone with a portfolio to design this page, please....At least the last page I was able to set up and follow...It seems that the case is when "we" get settled in, it's time to change for the sake of changing...Why is the chart for % change to S&P locked in??? Chart--- today or any period - price, vol, time is important... Quit asking me for update on id...That's an excuse for inability to get through....People are telling me to get away from AOL, I'm always complaining about it.... I am babbling...I need to get back to work, but will get time to change.....

I hope for a response ... You should be able to get something out of this complaint. I hope.



AOL Customer Service
Posted by on
For most of July, I have been having trouble with AOL service kicking me off. I finally was able to locate a phone number so I could contact them. On July 15th, I spoke with tech support because I kept getting a 1502 error. Tech support had me uninstall AOL, and we were going to reinstall it. I would have never unistalled myself. Anyway, we were going to reinstall it but something was missing so AOL couldn't be reinstalled. The tech person said that there was nothing we could do until I received a disk from AOL to reinstall it. There used to be AOL disks everywhere but not now. He told me it would take 7-10 days for the disk to arrive. I then called back because I was going to be unable to access AOL until that disk arrived. The customer representative told me to call back when I got the disk and get a partial credit. Now here is where my complaint begins. I got reinstalled on the 24th of July, unable to get online from July 16th to July 23rd. I called on Monday July 24th to get my account uncancelled and to get a partial credit. I tried to explain to the representative that I was unable to get online for 8 days and I would like a partial credit. She told me they didn't do that. I tried to explain that I couldn't get online. She asked if I was able to access tech support, I said yes but, she said that I couldn't get a credit. I tried again to say I was waiting on the disk, she again asked if I could access tech support, I said yes. She a) didn't listen, b) didn't understand, or c) just didn't care. I could call tech support all day long and they weren't going to be able to get be back online. The cust serv representative just wouldn't give me a chance to explain that. Just because I could "access tech support" didn't mean that they could help. I tried explaining that I wasn't able to get online the 16th through the 23rd. She told me that she was showing activity. It was unauthorized if there was because I couldn't get online. I only pay $11.99 a month, so that is about 40 cents a day. I guess a credit of about $3.20 would just break the bank. It is not even about the money to me, it is about the fact that I feel like without actually saying it that she inferred that I was a liar and stupid because I could access tech support so I should be able to get online. What is the point of having customer service if the representative is not going to listen or UNDERSTAND the customer? To me that is customer disservice. I am researching other internet providers, I just don't want one like AOL with bad service and bad cust service.
Poor service and unethical business practices of Netscape
Posted by on
I originally signed up for Walmart Connect ISP and that service was later taken over by Netscape. From the outset it was evident the service was actually being handled via AOL. The service was extremely slow. A fast connection speed would be 34bps, and often connection speed would be down in the low 20 range. This made searching the web extremely time consuming, and I was even unable to update my Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 due to the slowness of the connection. Microsoft would eventually drop the download due to the length of time being taken and the amount of download information. I tried another service (People PC) and found it even more objectionable and eventually got out of it. When I recently decided to try local LAN connection, and found it to be much more satisfactory, I began to try to get out of the Netscape ISP contract. They used many delaying tactics. First it was extremely hard to find the information on exactly how to cancel the service. Then when the page was found that had links to forms to used to email or mail in cancellation of service requests, I was met with page that said my account was denied access to these pages due to lack of authority to access those pages!

I then emailed a terse message to their e-mail address and advised I wanted to discontinue the service at the end of the current billing cycle that I had paid for. This brought a response that Netscape did not provide for "pending" cancellations and that when I notified them of cancellation that the service would be cut off at that time. Further disclaimer about this said to give them at least 72-hours notice. The last e-mail contact I had with them was within the 72-hour time frame. I decided I should call them on their cancellation number to be sure I was not going to be billed for another month on 1/28/08. Expecting them to take a day or two to cancel thus giving me time to retrieve any email messages I had not already gleaned from my archives, and expecting that it would not be cancelled until the end of the time for which I had paid for service 1/30/08, I came home to find that the service had already been disconnected. The night prior to this I had been unable to connect...probably due to their sabotaging my account, due to "no dial tone" which was absolutely wrong! There most definitely was a dial tone! Other problems with their service were deletion of emails, emails being unable to retrieve due to their deciding to no longer allow downloading or forwarding of messages being saved in archival files.

In short, I would not recommend Netscape to anyone due to poor service, unethical delays in providing information and cancellation avenues, and blatant theft of services already paid for!

It is a shame these big companies can rip people off in this manner. I see no reason whatsoever a large "computer" information company could not program a cancellation of services at the requested date thus allowing customer access to their files for the duration of time purchased. I guess this is fast becoming the AMERICAN WAY of big business ripping the public off!
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