Some Skeptical Musings on the AOL CSR Statement

When AOL said that part of their zero tolerance asshole employee policy was “swiftly honoring [customer] requests,” we all pretty much rolled our eyes into the back of our head and spent a few minutes scrutinizing our snarky, sarcastic brains.

How can this possibly be true? We’ve heard more than once that AOL employees are told to keep canceling customers on the phone for a full eight minutes… a number which most people believe given personal experience. AOL bleeds a couple million subscribers every year. They desperately need to keep everyone they can on board while they figure out how to evolve their business model, which has grown increasingly obsolete over the years. Even Time Warner — the same company that once tried to get all its executives to switch over to AOL usage exclusively — hates AOL.

We actually feel a bit bad for John. He was an asshole, but we’re absolutely positive that he was just doing exactly what he’d been told to do, and was fired for it. AOL shouldn’t be so easily allowed to weasel their way out of responsibility — if their statement on the incident is true and this was simply a fluke incident with one employee going rogue, why is that statement so contradictory to the experience most people have dealing with AOL?

Previously: AOL Fires Infamous CSR
Also: The Best Thing We Have Ever Posted: Reader Tries To Cancel AOL

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  1. ModerateSnark says:

    Muse on this:

    It would be so easy to just say they fired him but not do it, for the very reason that he was actually following instructions, not “violating [their] guidelines and practices.”

    If they did fire him, John could come forward and defend himself by saying he was just following orders.

    If they didn’t actually fire him, how would anyone ever know?

  2. kostia says:

    When I canceled AOL last winter I was on the phone for at LEAST eight minutes. They kept trying to sell me on their antivirus/antispam stuff, even when I told them I hadn’t downloaded anything through AOL in years and had never used it as my primary email provider. The only thing that got them off that subject was telling them I use a Mac.