AOL's gotten me before. "Hi, I'd like to cancel my account, which I signed up for with a 30-day free trial disk only yesterday." "Oh goshgollygee, don't cancel! Why would you want to goshgolly cancel? Let us give you thirty more days of our awful service for free!" "Nope, cancel." [Repeat a dozen times or so.] "Okay, you're canceled!"
Fast forward one year and two months later I'm billed. Unfortunately, I'm billed at a very very bad time - a time when other minor emergencies have caused my bank account to be low, a time when a $25.90 fee is going to cause an overdraft fee. Aw **! I borrow a few bucks from a family member to cover the difference so I don't overdraft, then I call AOL.
"I figure you guys owe me sixty bucks." "Oh, okay, maam, you are saying we have billed you for sixty dollars?" "Nope, you've billed me fraudulently for 25, but you're also going to cover the overdraft fee that your fraudulent charge caused me." "Just a minute maam. Oh, no, you have an account you never canceled!" "Nope. Not possible. I'd never keep an AOL account. The disk is good for getting online when my real ISP is down, and the next day, I cancel." "Okay maam, I will fix you right up! You are canceled! Have a nice-"
"No, no no. That is NOT 'fixed up'. 'Fixed up' is when you refund my twenty-five bucks and cover the overdraft fee your company caused." "Okay, let me see...ah, I have now refunded your twenty-five dollars and ninety cents! So thank you for doing business with-" "Wait, wait wait. What about my thirty-five?" "Oh, maam, there is nothing I can do about that." "Okay, give me someone higher up." "You want to talk to my supervisor?" (He sounds utterly shocked.) "Sure do." tick tock tick tock tick tock.
"Hi, how can I help you?" Repeat much of previous conversation. She says, "Tell you what. I'll refund you double, so instead of 25.90 it will be [long pause] 51.80." "Okay. I can accept that." And AOL doesn't win just for once!! (Of course, I'm still watching my bank account to make sure they follow up on this!)
This could be how NCO gets your information: AOL Billing Information update request is a hoax and part of a phishing scam... This spoof AOL email is the same in content to our other report of an AOL Phishing Scam and refers recipients to the same bogus AOL domain. The domain AOL-cs1.com (whilst not a domain owned by AOL) is being redirected to AOL's genuine home page- its not clear if AOL have instructed the hosts to do this, or the fraudsters themselves have.
One would hope that it has been done after the discovery of the scam and by the domain administrators, but this would not be a good practice since it may convince AOL users that similar looking domains are genuine, and the email link does not work properly.
If you have received this email, please remember that it is very common for these email scams to be redistributed at a later date with only slightly different content or the same but with the fake page(s) hosted by a different provider. Also, once you have received one of these hoaxes, it is also common place to receive at least another one and usually a day or two after the first, although not necessarily from the same apparent sender.
VERO BEACH, FLORIDA -- I've had AOL for almost 9 years. I've been fairly pleased with their 'idiot proof' type of interface and, until they farmed out their tech support, with their help service. I stopped upgrading at 8.0 plus because I got too many complaints about 9.0 and the guys who built my computer warned me not to run it if I wanted a fast system. However, increasingly my internet surfing is slow, I keep getting dropped, the browser will mysteriously not browse, causing me to close and restart and my video players load much slower and often will not work right.
I understand that AOL has stopped pushing the dialup service, but now I'm beginning to wonder if they're deliberately slowing it down to force customers to get DSL or cable. I've examined their assorted offerings for DSL and cable - but all mention the 'special starting price' which goes up to the 'current price' after 6 months, but never list what it will be. On the cable, it is unclear if AOL will be charged along with the cable fee or separately. If separately, it's more costly.
I'm on a fixed income. I don't like being jerked around. I dumped the AOL provided McAfee virus scan, which clogged up my system and installed a cheaper, better one recommended by my computer guys. As I was searching for different providers, I discovered that AOL's personal filing cabinet and Favorite Places are on priority software - meaning you can't copy them to your desktop and use another browser. (I managed to download a bookmark manager which allows me to store and open them, but I have to copy and paste each one into the browser because it will not connect with the AOL version of IE6.)
Plus, for some reason, it now takes forever for AOL to close when I want to shut my system down. I remember when it used to be quite fast. I like all of the bells and whistles AOL has, but if I'm going to have to switch to DSL or cable, chances are I'll select another ISP. Besides, I don't like the idea of paying almost $100 a month for cable service. That price is a prime example of fleecing the public because they can (the cable provider, that is).
KINGSTON, PENNSYLVANIA -- I had an account with AOL and I cancelled it. A short time after that a friend of mine noticed that someone was on AOL using my screen name and account with my personal pictures and all at different times of the day and night. I called AOL customer service and got the call this number, call that number, talk to this person. What was sort of amusing but yet was not funny, was when I would call their customer service number and talk to their agent, he or she would argue with me and say, "No sir, your account has been cancelled. It is not possible for you to be online with your AOL account." I would then instruct them to go online and see for themselves.
After a brief period of time, they would come back on the line and tell me that indeed someone was online with my account. I was told that the problem would be resolved within 24 hours. I went through this scenario a couple of times and after that I had had enough so I contacted the CEO's office at AOL, spoke with someone in his office, faxed and emailed them my information and informed them that if my problem was not resolved within 72 hours I would contact people I know at every level of the federal and state government.
Also I would have to contact an attorney to protect my interests if anything happened to me as a result of this person being on line with my screen name and account. Needless to say whoever was using my screen name and account was no longer on AOL within 12 hours after my contact with the CEO's office. My complaint was resolved to my satisfaction as a result of my contact with the CEO's office.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA -- I don't have an AOL account, but helping a friend to leave AOL to Comcast. I am helping this friend transfer his email address book. To do so is an absolute mess, a mess by design. I transferred my own AT&T email address book to other email accounts in minutes. I am in the computer business for 30 years and work with fairly sophisticated applications. So, when you go through an overly complex procedure to perform something you know should be simple, there is usually an underlying motive. The motive is that you'll stay with AOL if you see before you the effort involved in re-entering your address book for another service.
I've tried everything and haven't yet done the conversion. But, I won't give up. It's sad when a company's business strategy is to hold on to customers through technical intimidation rather than superior service. I still don't get why one even needs AOL and their overpriced service.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- I used my Visa debit card and signed up with AOL's "RISK FREE" 90-day service on 1-18-2007. Unbeknownst to me, I was at "Risk" of being billed $25.90 thirty days after using the service. When I called AOL to complain I was on hold for over 25 mins only to be disconnected.
When I finally was able to speak with ** (I'm sure this is not his real name) in their billing dept. he explained that their 90-day "Risk Free" isn't really FREE! That this "Free" service would actually cost me $25.90 per mo. Then and only then if I'm not satisfied with their service I could call and cancel and I would be refunded my $25.90 X 3 mo, which equals $77.70, but only if I cancelled within my 90-day "Risk Free" trial period. What the hell, is AOL that desperate for customers that they have to stoop to word trickery????
Hey, I'm from Detroit and if you set something on the curb and put a "FREE" sign on it that means it's free. Not that you can use it for a while then I'm going to knock on your door one day and say," Remember that old couch I threw out on the curb? Well I know I said it was free, but not really. You owe me $77.70 for using it the last 3 mo. My bad."
I found this service to be VERY slow. Although, the company makes a claim that their "Web Accelerator (allows) for up to 5x faster web surfing". That is a lie. It was slower than my "Plain Jane" service. Today, I was trying to cancel a subscription with Netscape Internet Service. After being transferred to appropriate department, I was informed that if I cancelled my subscription, I would be charged an $89 cancellation fee. I asked why and was told I had a 12 month commitment.
Also, I was advised that if I disconnected the phone call, I would immediately be charged the $89 cancellation fee. They went on to tell me they had to read me some legal notice of my rights. What rights? You just told me I don't have the right to cancel. Be very careful before signing up with this company. They will not get any further business from me.
The problem with AOL is that it doesn't like to lose even in a game like hearts. The games will load you with clubs 90% of the time - this ensures that you will get the queen of spades 90% of the time. The queen of spades has a 13 point value in a game of 26 points. The object of the game is to get the least number of points, the first player to reach 100 points is the loser. You can play hearts for hrs over days and not Win one game. The game knows exactly everyone's cards and plays accordingly.
There are four player - 3 run by the game and the human player. This of course guaranties a winning rate of better that 90% of the time. This game absolutely cheats. I have gone so far a writing to the FCC in this regard. I am also contemplating writing letters to their sponsors now we know why Time Warner dropped AOL.
I recently went online with AOL to change the billing on my account to be paid with a check - debit card instead of the credit card I had used for years. Among other personal information, I was REQUIRED to give the password to my debit card along with all the other vital information. A few weeks later, many unauthorized debit charges hit my checking account. They were originated from overseas and made to a foreign company. My card has never been out of my possession and I am the only user.
I provided AOL this information with great reluctance and now my worst fears were realized. Your system is NOT SECURE. My very private and personal information has been leaked and compromised. I ABSOLUTELY HOLD AOL responsible for this. A very angry AOL customer.
AOL has shut down my accounts, which I use for my business and will not respond as to why. I have submitted the info for sending emails to MY customer base. After sending out emails a week ago my accounts were shut down. All I can get is that I need to send a written letter via US POSTAL to the CAT. I have been a member for nearly 15 years. All I can ever talk to is foreigners that I cannot understand. I sent them a letter via mail, paid for next day delivery by noon.
A week later and still have no response. They get my payment every month yet I can not get any satisfaction. I have a lot of saved business material on my accounts that I can not retrieve.... How legal is that? I have always "followed the rules" and when I got a notice of a TOS I responded to ask what I did to no avail... NO RESPONSE - Imagine that. I guess they think they are so big that they can screw over their customers.