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  1. Umm, didn’t AOL already promise to change their cancellation practices, and failed to do so? Why will it be different this time?

    Judge FancyPants should have sued AOL. I’d be okay with him getting $64 million for AOL’s asshatery.

  2. BillyShears says:

    Just once I’d like one of these companies to actually admit “wrongdoing.”

  3. timmus says:

    $3 million? THAT’S IT? FOR A COMPANY THAT MAKES $43.6 BILLION IN REVENUE?

    And what the hell is a corporation doing “settling” with an attorney general? Is there such a thing as criminal wrongdoing here?

  4. goodkitty says:

    And on top of it all, AOL is only going to refund people who can prove that AOL scammed them. So what’s the actual payback amount for consumers going to be, maybe 3% of the profits they made from the scheme in the first place? Woo! 97% return! Then AOL can turn around and sell the info of those cancel-ees to every mailing list on earth and make more money. The real lesson here is that if you are going to scam the public, it’s ok, as long as it’s a really big scam.

  5. Chese says:

    I remember having aol when they had around 1 million users. It sucked then and I’m sure it does now. Why anyone still gets it is beyond me.

  6. Bay State Darren says:

    We switched off of aol 10+ years ago when broadband came to our neighborhood (Yay, Broadband!) I’m starting to wonder if aol’s figured out we’re not customers anymore. Should I call and see if they think we owe them for the last decade?

  7. eli_b says:

    people still use aol?

  8. I met Dick Blumenthal once. He makes me proud to live in Connecticut.

  9. Caswell says:

    We had AOL long ago before the apartment complex we lived in at the time had broadband. We paid $3/month for unlimited access through a company discount. It was bad, but not bad enough to justify spending $20/month on a “read” dial-up ISP.

    When we finally did get broadband I was amazed at the lengths that AOL went to to keep our $3/month account. You’d think they’d be chomping at the bit to drop us. Not so. I’ve had breakups that were easier to deal with than trying to cancel that account.

  10. Eran9000 says:

    Timmus: I agree, ONLY $3M. Plus, It is so difficult to cancel an account with AOL. Check out this clip: [www.youtube.com]
    It is amazing how they speak to their customers and how difficult they make it. In marketing they say that it is harder to get a new client than retain one…well, AOL must pay a lot of money to keep their customers.

    Eran

  11. acambras says:

    @loquaciousmusic:

    Blumenthal is awesome. Blumenthal FTW!

  12. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Hmmm, so $3 million. I’m sure to offset it there will be some layoffs! Let’s see, at that price they could get rid of one executive who’s directly responsible for bullsh*t like this happening, or….

    *pulls out calculator and does some math*

    About 100 regular employees whose livelihood is this company, and have little to nothing to do with the way customer service operates there.

    Any takers on which one??

  13. AcilletaM says:

    I’m sure AOL made way more than $3 million with this policy.

  14. timmus says:

    I’m still floored by what a weak fine this is. Three million dollars. It’s obvious that instead of this being a punitive deterrent, AOL will work it in as a cost of doing business (ten cents a customer) and simply do it again.

    I seriously suspect that certain people in the state governments are getting kickbacks for this.

  15. beyond says:

    Um, you can’t prove that you were charged after you canceled. That’s how AOLs cancellation scam worked. You called, canceled, and they said “okay!” Then 3 months later when the free period they signed you up for instead expires, you start getting charged again.

    No one is going to prove that they canceled unless they sent a certified letter and still have a copy of the return receipt and letter.

    Refunds also aren’t good enough, they need to pay all associated fees plus some good interest on the customer’s money they stole.

  16. No distributed settlement for all current and past AOL members?! CLASS ACTION!

  17. FijianTribe says:

    I had this problem with a larger ISP for a corporation I was supporting. We were unhappy with the service and was going to switch to a more reputable company (now happiliy with them for 6 years).

    The phone number to call would lead you to a final voice prompt that would say press 7 to talk with someone and cancel your service.

    For three months I kept calling back and pressing 7 and what happened…

    Pressing 7 disconnected the phone call.

    Finally after 3 months of refusing to pay the bill they tried to send us to collections and I provided all my documentation and email proof that for months I had been trying to cancel their service, and they dropped everything against us.

  18. Trackback says:

      The Ten Best Books of 2007 9. Amulet, Roberto Bolano  Usually I get all over white people (a racial group which I belong to despite substantial time on the beach this summer) for waiting until an author of color is dead to bandy about their legacy as cultural currency.

  19. VTSquire says:

    My pop has been getting billed for AOL for more than a year now AFTER I called and cancelled it for him. 3 phone calls and a letter later, all they’ll tell me is that “we assure you that your account is cancelled.” Hello? What about the $25.90 per month he’s been charged for a service that was SUPPOSED to be cancelled!? Let’s see how the next call goes….

  20. VTSquire says:

    This is turning into a “patient person’s guide” to getting your AOL monies back… After a letter to aol llc, I got credited with $103.60. After a talk with a rep, I got another credit of $60 back. Another representative, another $50. $149 to go.

  21. iHATE-AOL says:

    I had c.c. theft through my American Express Platinum card. This theif became AOL member with my Am Ex c.c. number. I could not get any human being on the phone from AOL, and they refused to cancel this thief’s membership. Even after I filed a police report, they did not return any of my phone calls, letters and requests. I am beyond disgusted with this company, who lied and decieved me.

    It’s the WORST company ever. Next to American Express Platinum. So, AOL kept charging my c.c. account for 11 straight months…. I just don’t know how these people operate…. It was one of the WORST and most frustrating expereince. Be careful!!!