America Online Complaint - AOL is the WORST Company in the WORLD
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).