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AOL makes it easy to sign-up but difficult to cancel without a price!
Posted by Shcomu on 04/07/2006
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 afterall. 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!
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Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-04-07:
You have to call then and be very, very, very persistant about cancelling. You have to make sure that you get a cancellation confirmation code. They only take notes when it suits them, so make sure you get the time, date and whom you spoke to, make them spell it out if you have to. I haven't had AOL for about a year and my computer runs better than ever. The last time I subscribed to AOL it only lasted for about 4 days. There is no more 90 day free trial but a 90 day 'risk free' trial. You will pay first and if your not happy within that time period you can get a refund. It took mine almost 3 months. AOL software caused my computer to crash twice. I even reformatted the hard drive and it still crashed the system. Even with all of there (useless)protection systems, I still got viruses, spyware, adware and pop ups. And the kicker was when I tried to uninstall AOL, my computer STILL crashed. Even though I reformatted my hard drive to get rid of all traces of AOL, it keeps popping up here and there in little files. You have to keep an eye out for AOL even if you don't even subscribe to it. It'll wrap itself around your computer and it will practically take an act of God to get rid of them. I know I have been with them off and on for over 6 years. I finally got internet service through my cable provider and I love it.
Posted by Shcomu on 2006-04-13:
Thanks for responding. Oh, I am usually no doormat when I say NO! It's just that I wanted the "Best" for the then-new laptop and with all the hoopla about AOL, I thought I would give it a try. But, I did not use it more than 60 hours as verified by them. And yes, I have already checked about my confirmation number for the cancellation and I do have the "name" (?) of the person with whom I spoke, blah, blah. As an extra precaution, as I said preiously, have closed that bank acct so there is no money for AOL or any other "A"!
I am awaiting the snail mail with the confirmation number and I have have taken every thing related to AOL off my computer and refused the gratuitous use of the limited service which they wanted to extend to me for FREE. I guess I do appear to be duncelike to them, but told the person I never wanted anything else to do with AOL. And wouldn't you know-got some new mail from a lovely relative last evening and she uses AOL!
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customer service
Posted by on 12/17/2003
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT -- I called to cancel AOL because i went to a cable modem connection from another company. The first,second and third person in AOL Customer Service(?) I was connected to kept pushing me to sign up again for their system. I said no but then was told they were "giving " me paid up months for email service free thru February because I was such a good customer for so many years. Days later AOL sent me a letter saying that they were glad i did sign up for more service at 4x the cost!! My wife called them and the arrogant b*stard busted her chops before finally giving her a termination confirmation number. AOL YOU s**k the big banana for brow beating good clients who are just looking for a real savings in a price conscious world.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2003-12-18:
I hear & agree with you all the way on this one.Twice AOL tried the free month thing and the keep your account active for E-Mails crap.They just dont want to take no for an answer and it seems as if they pass you around the office phone system so youll get sick of it and agree to it.I'll bet AOL gives a bonus commission for a certain amount of saved acounts and a demerit to those who fall under pressure from a customer.What ever happened to the "hello I would like to cancel my service.__OK I'll handle that for you right now sir." AND BE DONE WITH IT.
The thanks you get for being a customer these days.
Posted by MJOHN33212 on 2004-01-30:
I have enjoyed AOL for at least 12 or more years. However, I am sick and tired of your Bush Bashing. Everytime I sign on I see nothing but the Democrats yelling and screaming. I am considering a change in service.
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Hassle to Cancel AOL Service
Posted by Charles123 on 04/09/2006
Attempted to cancel AOL service after being a customer for several years. To my surprise they refused and continued to bill my card monthly. Believe me it was a big hassle and was finally able to cancel after 2 months of being billed and countless phone calls to the company. Unless you plan on being a lifetime AOL customer - take my word and don't subscribe to AOL. Very bad business practice.

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Posted by spiderman2 on 2006-04-09:
When you call to cancel say no to the free months, no to anything they offer you and get a cancellation number from them.
Posted by miketech on 2006-04-09:
Spiderman is right. I have a few more in depth tips from a past experience.
1. Pack a lunch, plan nothing for the whole day. Pull out your favorite movies and music. Get ready.
2. Don't use a cordless phone the battery will go out after only a few hours. You are looking at 6 to 8 hours of pure work. Get comfortable.
3. Dial the toll free number and tell them you want to cancel. Then just keep your mind on task. They will offer you free months, transfer you to tech support, hang up on you, rinse and repeat. They will be nice, mean, rude, indifferent, offer you phone $&x and everything under the sun.
4. After hours of this they will fianlly give you the cancelation number for cancelation.
5. Call your bank and cancel the card you used to sign up and any other card you have used with them.

There it's over and you are done with AOL.
Posted by viperpa33s on 2006-04-10:
AOL should be called AOHell. The way they treat customers in unbelievable. Besides that, there software is crap and buggy. Had to do a reformat of my computer cause when I uninstalled AOL, the program decided to delete some Windows files.
Posted by FrigidaireHater on 2006-06-12:
What Spiderman said above. I had an awful time when trying to cancel after several years, and after 35 minutes of questions from the CS rep I had to scream at him to just cancel the account! It was clear to me that AOL penalizes these reps if they don't try to save a customer, but more importantly - they have to keep the customer on the line for a certain amount of time... hence all the stupid, stuttering, repeated remarks the rep made which made me scream at him to just cancel the account. It can be pretty awful what companies are making CS reps do these days.
Posted by Kingston773 on 2006-06-23:
Always, always, always get a cancellation confirmation number, the name of the rep and note the date and time you called. Also consider closing or changing the # of any account info they may have had for you. I cancelled my account which took well over 6 hours worth of phone calls. 3 months went by and those sneaky sneaks billed my credit card!!! It was no picnic getting the money back. It took nearly 3 more months and getting the Better Business Bureau involved before they refunded my money!
Posted by BountyHuntress on 2006-07-04:
Spiderman is correct-I worked in AOL's billing dept. in spokane washington, and had call after call of people telling me they cancelled their acct-after looking in the history, I asked cust. if they were given cancellation number, sometimes it was no-In that case I would say that the cancellation did not go through-consumers-PLEASE REMEMBER THAT AOL IS LIKE ANY OTHER COMPANY-READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE AND MAKE SURE U UNDERSTAND IT BEFORE COMMITTING!! I could not stress that enough to my members-I was an excellent customer service rep and was voted as such in 2003-I always went the extra mile for my members.
Posted by BountyHuntress on 2006-07-04:
Also, I have the benefit of being a former aol employee-in billing and Saves, because I tell them I used to work for the same company and I know all about the process they go through to cancel an acct-my account was cancelled immediately.
Posted by footballguru on 2006-07-16:
I have run into the same problem as Kingston 773 both with AOL and MSN. However, the importance of closing out the credit card associated with your bank account can't be understated. I had to write the Attorney General and the CEO of MSN to get my money refunded. However, I never got a refund from AOL. I was told by my bank that to stop AOL you will have to close the credit card account associated with the payment. Something to consider before signing up for their service.
Posted by abacab on 2006-10-14:
I cancelled my account and they continued to Bill me! Mistake perhaps? The same thing happened to my parents a year later!!!
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AOL - Beware of their billing practices
Posted by Rgrin1 on 11/04/2004
I am not an activist. I have never been the type to complain or expect something for nothing, but I am amazed that AOL is allowed to openly steal from people. I bought a house in an area that did not have any high speed ISP options, so I decided to try AOL. I signed up using the so many free hours trial. After thirty minutes I saw that I could not live with dial-up speed. I contacted the chamber of commerce for my new town and learned of a new high speed ISP using radio. I called AOL the same day and cancelled my service. I was online a maximum of thirty minutes total. Now I am being billed by AOL. I have called several times. I have sent them emails. They are rude and very evasive. I would never consider doing business with them again. They are nothing but theives. I am in the process of emailing my bank and see if I can place a block on my account to prevent these scam artist from stealing more money from me.

And one footnote: I did not call them with a rude or demanding attitude. I first assumed they had made a simple mistake. I can easily see now that this was done by design and they have no intention of making this right.
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Posted by TXRoadTrip on 2004-11-04:
Your not the only one -= they always bill you – even though you had free access and afterwards – called and canceled – they still charge your credit card, it’s been their on going practice for years now.
Posted by TXRoadTrip on 2004-11-04:
And it sounds like you gave them your bank account info – that is not a good idea. Don’t do direct withdrawals from your bank accounts with anyone.
Posted by trinitie on 2004-11-10:
AOL is a day-robber, the best lesson that I learned is not to do anything with AOL, even a look at their ads, posts...AOL is only one in this world who gives sth free but that so-called free costs us a lot of money and frustrating time
Posted by Juile on 2004-11-17:
I had AOL one time and called to cancel. I was not in any way unclear about my desire to cancel the account that day. The person I talked with said that I had two paid weeks left in the billing cycle and I told her that I didn't care and wanted it shut down immediately. The next month, I had another monthly charge on my bill so I called to get the story. The person who looked up my account said that there was a note in there that I had wanted to hold the account open as I was still considering whether or not to close it. Just a blatant, flat out lie as I never said it or left the door open for continued service.
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your connection has been lost
Posted by on 08/01/2003
"Your connection has been lost." If I see these words one more time I am going to throw my computer out the window. I would never reccommend AOL to anyone. I have had enough. They have lost my business due to their inadequate service and their total disregard to any requests for help online.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2003-08-03:
AOL stinks. Just look at their company rating on this site. They were successful in the past because people didn't know any better. Now that consumers are more web savvy, they'll be flocking AWAY from AOL as soon as they can.
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-08-25:
I strongly agree with the assessment of AOL. Their practices are tantamount to fraud. Stay away from AOL...period. They are a joke.
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-09-10:
AOL is for morons. I have no sympathy for you
Posted by SummerRose2000 on 2004-02-22:
I agree with the writter here
I constantly get the same problem
thought it was my old computer, here i was ready to stick dynomite up its hard drive grrrr well guess what, i just bought a brand new 1,350 dollar top of the line computer , guess what ? I still have the same problem, freezing, getting booted and lotta over all problems. im searching now for a new provider. Any suggestions ?? Rose at SummerRose2000@aol.com let me know. thanks
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AOL V 7.0
Posted by Jet318 on 12/02/2001
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN -- I currently use Version 6 on AOL. I recently downloaded and installed 7.0. I found that it did not work very well; it could not enter some very popular websites such as Google and others. I immediately tried finding several of these unavailable sites using v 6. It entered each of the sites in question without any problem. I have now uninstalled v 7 and am using v 6 again.

I believe that AOL should stop advertising v 7 until it is debugged and fit for distribution.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2001-12-13:
I had the same problem with 7.0. AOL tech said it had something to do with my computer (Hewlett-Packard) so I called HP tech help and after charging $25 for tech help, they concluded that AOL was the culprit. I immediately uninstalled AOL and re-installed AOL 6.0. Everything is fine now but I don't think they'll be de-bugging 7.0 anytime soon. My email is Shan83181@aol.com if you want to email me back on this issue.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-04-25:
A little hint...NEVER use the newer versions of AOL until they have been out for at least 6 mos. to a year. Until then, they don't have the bugs worked out and you are just a guinea pig. Plus, their tech support is useless. Calling them wil get you into more trouble - not less!
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Theft from my account :(
Posted by Deeders on 08/21/2005
I have had AOL as my internet provider for more than two years. And I have never had a problem with them until recently.
I had unlimited dial-up for more than a year, at $14.95 for unlimited use.
Then I added a high speed modem from my local cable provider.
In May I bought a house and no longer could use my modem, the cable company does not serve this area.
I called AOL and told them. They told me that by cancelling only my Broadband connection I would still have unlimited access to dial-up for $14.95 a month.
More or less that my bill would pick up where it had left off ... $14.95.
So in June I found on my checking statement that AOL had taken $50 from my account.
So, I call AOL and get the issue resolved, they refund my money .... 10 days later (it didn't take them 10 days to take it).
My July bill was okay, $14.95.
Now suddenly I get my checking statement for the month of August, and they take another $50. And the unexpected $35.00 they took, caused me to bounce a check... $25.00 to the bank... $25 to the company I wrote the check to.
So I call and get a lady that I can't understand and who obviously does not understand me. But she finally got tired of me talking slow for her and decided to give me my money back.
So today I get online w/AOL support and tell them I no longer want them to take auto withdrawls from my account and I want to be billed to my home (as I have before).
The support person then tells me that I have to keep letting them take money from my account because they no longer allow payments from any other source.
What crock !!
So now they say they are willing to give me back my $35.00, but that now doesn't cover the other $50 that I have been charged for that bounced
check. And Aol sure didn't want to pay that!!
I have already talked to my credit union and will have to file an affidavit stating that I've told them.
I printed the IM correspondance between myself and the tech, and will be going to my credit union first thing tomorrow.
I know of at least one other person they have done this to recently and she never received her $95 back that they scammed her out of.
They have done this to so many people for too long somebody needs to file a class action lawsuit against these jerks and make them pay for the damage they are causing people.
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Posted by Ponie on 2005-08-21:
I've heard so many horror stories about AOL, and I fail to see how they get away with it! Although a bit pricier, I'm with Comcast. Cable TV and ISP totals $84/mo. ($40 cable, $44 ISP) Since I work out of my home, when that computer is turned on in the morning, it stays on until I go to bed at night. Had humungous problems with them the first 6 weeks they moved into our area, but that was because they bit off more than they could chew and I wasn't charged for those annoying 6 weeks.

I'd certainly do some shopping around for a better ISP. Good luck!
Posted by Ms.Consumer on 2005-12-24:
AOL's billing practices are horrible. Throw away all those CDs they keep mailing you. It's not worth it.
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Cancellation Scam
Posted by Dallahreese on 02/02/2004
HILLSBORO, OREGON -- When I called to cancel my AOL service, the representative advised me to keep my account active for 2 more months so I could transfer my address book and clean up any loose ends while switching to my new on-line service. He said that he would hold the charges on my account during that time, but I would need to call back to complete the cancellation at the 2 months end. What I didnt know is that he was holding charges on my AOL Account only, not the DSL charges of my account. I didn't even know there was a distinction. He clearly knew that I would continue to be charged the DSL fees which added up to $70.00 for the two months. When I called about this I got transferred twice and then finally to the DSL Department. There, the rep told me that since I had agreed to the two months extention, that the DSL charges were standing. When I asked to speak to a supervisor he said that the issue was not escalate-able and that I could not speak to his supervisor. He refused to give me any numbers I could call to complain about this situation.

Ironically, I knew the reason the first rep wanted me to continue 2 months was to give me time to change my mind about leaving AOL. I thought the promise of "no charge" was a good faith gesture on AOL's part to try and keep my business. Now even if I wanted to go back to AOL I wouldn't. Screw me once shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me!
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Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2004-02-03:
It's infuriating the way many companies do this. You can't just call and cut off service for anything w/o someone trying to harass you into either staying, or upgrading your services. I'm sure they're instructed to do that, and I understand why. I guess we, as the consumer, have to learn to say "no Thanks" (even if you have to say it twenty times). With this situation though, I would have told the rep that I've already got all my 'loose ends' tied up but thanks for being so concerned about it.. (Yeah right) Hindsight is 20/20, though. Sorry this happened to you. Nothing is 'un-escalatable' - You shouldn't have to, but I would start calling back again and again until I got a mgr. I would tape rudeness and when I finally get a supervisor, I'd show him how I was being treated. If the mgr adopts the same attitude, I'd tape that too. Make sure you're very polite and don't lose your cool - make sure you're the one that sounds reasonable at all times. If they still don't help you, then make copies. Lots of copies. I'd distribute the copies to the BBB, your State AG, and anyone else you think might be interested; Put it in a wav file and send it out to AOL members, AOL admin, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.
Posted by Charly43 on 2004-02-09:
Please write AND email the BBB and your state's attorney general. They won't really help, but being able to prove to AOL that you have at least made the complaint will motivate AOL to help you.
Posted by charlino99 on 2004-02-12:
Friends of mine have been trying to get their AOL cancelled and account refunded for the past 6 months, and they were given the same line that you got.
Posted by ckorr2003 on 2004-03-06:
I have to agree. AOL makes it painless to sign up for service with them, but that make it extremely complicated to cancel service. First of all, you can sign up for AOL any hour of the day; 2 AM if you wish, so long as you have a bank account or credit card. To CANCEL your account, you cannot cancel online, and you cannot cancel at any hour. You must call, and you must call during normal business hours. Also, if you cannot recall the phone number you gave when you signed up for the account they will refuse to cancel your account. I had moved from Florida and it had been months later that I tried to cancel, but could not recall my old number when I called to cancel. They absolutely refused to cancel the account. Finally I simply gave up and used the account for 5 more months until they FINALLY closed the account when they realized I was not going to pay another dime. My credit sucks b/c of it, but I am very principled, and they will never ever see one dime of those charges. AOL ranks right up there at the very very top along side AT&T in terms of extremely poor customer satisfaction (so far as this customer is concerned).
Posted by alltruckedup on 2004-03-22:
The same thing happened to me. I thought I was cancelled and when he said I still had DSL, I thought it was my mistake. Those snakes!!No wonder they are rich now. Wait until this all catches up with them. I cancelled in Oct of 03. I hopefully just paid my last AOL bill today March 04. $23.90 a month for nothing!!!
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AOL Address Book Transfer
Posted by TravelinBern on 08/17/2007
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 a absolute mess, a mess by design. I transferred by 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 a 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 reentering 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.
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Posted by MRM on 2007-08-17:
My thoughts exactly... why does one need AOL and their overpriced service when there are clearly better internet providers out there.
Posted by Jop on 2007-08-17:
Please tell me the better ones. I have tried several and found AOL to be at least as good as any other. I had a hard time getting rid of them so for that reason alone, I hesitate to go back to them. I have Juno now and it is less than satisfactory. I have had experience with several IPs and find over all, they are about alike. AOL provides the best tech help.
Posted by MRM on 2007-08-17:
Verizon DSL $14.99/mo. Try it and you wont go back to dial-ups.
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AOL is the WORST Company in the WORLD
Posted by LonghornGrl on 07/11/2006
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).
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Posted by Doc J on 2006-07-11:
Clever little SOB's at AOL. MSN no different. Believe me, I've hear enough horror stories about all of them.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-07-11:
I don't see a scam here. It 'is' your responsibility to give them a current CC. But I agree with you on everything else. I had AOL for 5 years and really enjoyed them. Towards the end I got Mediacom and no longer needed AOL. I called to cancel and got a 30 min sales pitch. I told him that I don't need it and it isn't on my computer anymore. I reforatted my hard drive to get rid of them.

To me they are like roaches and termites. They get into your system and cause alot of damage and are hard to get rid of. I would not take back AOL if you gave me a free lifetime of AOL.
Posted by Brenda Leah on 2006-07-11:
I somewhat disagree with the complaint. It may be a pain in the ass to cancel AOL but it doesn't take months. I called to cancel and yeah I had to listen to them try to keep me but in the end I was able to cancel on that very same phone call. One phone call. About 30 minutes of my time.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-07-12:
Willy Williams, wasn’t he the mayor of SF? I see a scam here that is common place now a day. It was not your responsibility to give them a current CC and a good thing you didn’t or they would never leave you alone. There pitch is to get you to stay what every you want, you can get the “service” for 5 bucks a month if you put up with this kind of crap. You did good and now you can relax, it’s over….
Posted by Jop on 2006-07-12:
I cancelled my AOL, when I finally got to talk to someone, I asked him if he minded if I record our conversation. He never said it was ok but he talked nicer to me after that. This has been recently so I don't know yet if they will continue to bill me. I know of other IPs that are the same as AOL when trying to cancell.
Posted by Sparticus on 2006-07-12:
That's a good idea Jop. I may try that in the future if I'm having trouble with a company.
Posted by LonghornGrl on 2006-07-12:
My mother did try to call for months and she did try to use the AOL keyword "billing" thing but it NEVER worked. When she/we tried to call it rang and rang and rang and she decided to try later. The number we had from AOL never was answered.

The only way we finally got a number that worked was by doing a search online and that's where we not only received a number that went through but also saw that there were tons of similar complaints.

Also - it was not my mom's responsibility to give them a new credit card number. Because she couldn't get through to them, she assumed, like every other legitimate business who had her credit card number, they would have to contact her and get a new number or new expiration date. No other vendor would just go ahead and use her old card and make up their own new expiration date. AOL is the only vendor of hers that did that. That is shady.

What they should have done is stopped trying to collect from a card that was expired and try to contact her to tell her they needed updated information. Which, they didn't do.

Everyone has an opinion - and if some of you think the credit card was truly the issue, I respect your opinion. But, the treatment I received from AOL when I did get through was so rude, that I don't know how they are still in business, especially after reading so many other stories about them.

And this is not the only site online with customers venting about their bad experiences. It's everywhere. Kinda revealing if you ask me.

Oh - and for the user who said they took everything AOL off their computer - SO DID I! I got a new laptop and it came with AOL even though I asked them not to include it. So I just took off everything AOL that I could find on my laptop.

It's nice to get responses, so thank you to everyone who posted one.

Posted by Anonymous on 2006-07-12:
"Note: AOL does not allow members to cancel their accounts online." http://clarkhoward.com/shownotes/category/8/332/334/368
Posted by footballguru on 2006-07-16:
I was told by my Bank that Aol is the hardest company to stop automatic payments from being withdrawn from your account on even if you cancel over the phone. I was told the best thing would be to close my bank account and start again. Thats to give you an idea of what a nightmare it can turn into trying to cancel this service and stop them from taking further payments. My advice is to 1. Call and cancel the service via telephone get a cancellation number if possible. 2.Put a cancellation request into writing include the date you called and the cancellation number in the letter and make sure you specify that a copy of this letter is being kept on file for legal purposes and send via certified mail with a return receipt.
Posted by Dr. Kraft on 2006-07-31:
Look up the guy that recorded his efforts to quit aol...http://insignificantthoughts.com/2006/06/13/cancelling-aol/ his website is loaded with other people reporting the same. Msnbc carried the story, so did kfi radio. It took me over 5 months to cancel! It may not happen to everyone BUT IT HAPPENS OFTEN ENOUGH TO BE A SERIOUS MATTER!

I started getting merchandise in the mail from them that I never ordered but they charged it to my card. (No kids at home, just me and my husband who does not know how to use my computer.) Each time I would send the item back and demand that they stop. They charged 3 digital cameras to my cc! I can only guess that they thought I would keep one instead of going to the trouble to send it back. So I cancelled my account.

The next month they were still charging my account...not only the $9.99 for the accounjt I cancelled ( I had my own ISP) but for ANOTHER ONE at $24.99. ( had forgotten about this part when I went to Vinnie's blog)I called and told them I had cancelled and that I was mad enough that they were STILL charging me for that account, but had ADDED one! This kept happening month after month..I would cancel, they would charge, I would cancel again. I finally just reported my cc as stolen in order to get rid of them! And they even had the nerve to call and try to get the new number from me!

Try speakeasy for dsl and voip...they have incredible service and people...lots of extras!
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