You may remember Jennifer, who we wrote about on Wednesday. She suddenly started receiving collection notices for an AOL account she hadn’t paid for since 2000. Her situation has since been resolved, and serves as an important reminder about accounts and benefits when changing jobs.
As many readers guessed, the re-emergence of the account occurred because Jennifer no longer worked for Time Warner. Someone able to fix the situation contacted her through Consumerist, and yesterday she wrote:
Well, the nice man from AOL’s “executive escalations” department cleared my account of all charges and said he’d do the same with Allied Collection Agency, so that’s good. (This whole thing only wasted about 6 hours of my life). It was indeed because I left Time Warner. The dates didn’t add up, which we couldn’t solve for, but basically AOL doesn’t inform anyone-company employee or not-that their account can change overnight from an unpaid to a paid account. Pretty reprehensible in my humble opinion. If a service is now free, it should be free, no matter what you signed up for nine years ago. I’m contacting Time Warner’s benefits department to let them know they need to warn people!
Thanks again to you and your readers for helping me get to the bottom of all this.
Now all that’s left to do is make sure that the collection agency actually listens to AOL. If you work for Time Warner and have a free AOL account, make sure it’s put to rest when you leave the company.
Also, no matter where you work, make sure that any subscriptions and benefits you get through your employment are squared away before changing jobs.