8 Things Companies Have Said That Sounded Like April Fool’s Jokes But Sadly Weren’t

8 Things Companies Have Said That Sounded Like April Fool’s Jokes But Sadly Weren’t

For the calendar-challenged, we’ll point out that today is April 1, meaning the Internet is full of phony products, fake stories, doctored photos… so, you know, it’s like most days on the Internet. Rather than serve up a “United Charges Upgrade Fee For Merely Being Jealous Of First-Class Passengers” headline, or a post about Comcast CEO Brian Roberts giving up his job to play Gretl Von Trapp in a regional theater production of The Sound of Music, we’re looking back at some stories that would have been appropriate for April Fool’s. [More]

Disconnecting the Voice.

The ’90s Are Dead: AOL Killing Off Its Iconic Moviefone Voice

We know, we know — the word “iconic” is overused. But we’re talking about the voice that greeted callers looking to hear movie times back in the 1990s, when such a service seemed ridiculously convenient (and I didn’t have any other boys to talk to on the phone). The Internet has killed off the Moviefone voice, as AOL says it’s planning to disconnect the line.  [More]

AOL CEO Regrets Blaming Benefits Change On “Distressed Babies,” Reverses Unpopular Move

AOL CEO Regrets Blaming Benefits Change On “Distressed Babies,” Reverses Unpopular Move

Late last week AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong announced that the company would be delaying company contributions to employee retirement accounts. That was enough to make workers grumble already, but then he added that the shift was partly due to two specific employees who had “distressed babies.” That didn’t go over so well, and the company has now reversed the benefits shift. [More]

It’s Nothing Personal: Hundreds Of Patch Employees Laid-Off During Conference Call

It’s Nothing Personal: Hundreds Of Patch Employees Laid-Off During Conference Call

If you’re going to fire hundreds of employees, at least have the guts to do so individually. After years of dedicated, time-consuming work, hundreds of online media employees were let go during a series of conference calls last week; taking “it’s nothing personal” to an entirely new level. [More]

Conference Call Canning.

Despite High Hopes For Patch, AOL Is Now Winding Down The Hyperlocal News Site

It all started out so optimistic: When AOL’s chief executive Tim Armstrong came onboard from Google, his dream of a network of local news sites that would cover all the comings and goings of communities across the country seemed like it could work out. Patch got $50 million and the high hopes of its fans at AOL in 2009, but now the company says its days are numbered. [More]

(Source: Pew)

1-In-5 American Adults Have Neither Smartphones Nor Home Broadband

It may seem like an oddity to see anyone still carrying a phone that is just that — a phone, but a new report shows that 44% of adults in the U.S. are still making calls on phones with no ability to go online. Americans are more accepting of broadband, with 70% of them having the higher-speed Internet access set up in their homes, meaning that some of those people without smartphones are choosing to pay for broadband. This leaves 20% of Americans over the age of 18 without either a smartphone or home broadband. [More]

(bikeoid)

Believe It Or Not, 2.58 Million People Still Pay For AOL Service

Remember those days when you had to use your landline and select which AOL phone number to dial into in order to connect for insanely slow Internet access? For most of us, dial-up is just a distant hazy memory, but for a couple million Americans, it’s still how they get online. [More]

(afagen)

Apple, Google, Facebook & Other Tech Giants Pen Letter Asking For NSA Transparency

In the wake of that whole thing where the National Security Agency is reportedly snooping on people, a whole bunch of tech industry giants have banded together with privacy advocates to send a letter to the lawmakers and President Barack Obama asking for some transparency when it comes to government surveillance. [More]

19-Year-Old Lives In AOL Offices For 2 Months, No One Notices

19-Year-Old Lives In AOL Offices For 2 Months, No One Notices

You know that co-worker who’s always there when you come in in the morning and also when you leave at night? Maybe their work ethic isn’t as amazing as you think. Maybe they don’t even work there, and are squatting in the office as a free place to sleep, eat, work out, bathe, and work on launching their own tech startup. [More]

Dial-Up Won't Die: AOL Signed Up 200K New Customers In Last Year

Dial-Up Won't Die: AOL Signed Up 200K New Customers In Last Year

Even though we’re well past the age of AOL’s ubiquitous free trial CDs, the shrunken ISP giant still manages to coax hundreds of thousands of new customers into its antiquated dial-up service. According to its earnings report, the company added 200,000 new customers while losing 630,000 users in the past year. Shockingly, 3.5 million users still greet the internet with the nostalgic, ear-splitting sound of their landlines connecting to the internet. [More]

Bank Of America Tops List Of Companies With Craptastic Customer Service

Bank Of America Tops List Of Companies With Craptastic Customer Service

Bank of America may have lost this year’s Worst Company In America tournament by the narrowest of margins, but the results of a new customer service satisfaction survey put BofA at the head of the class when it comes to irking consumers. [More]

AOL Cans 900 A Month After Announcing Huffington Post Buy

AOL Cans 900 A Month After Announcing Huffington Post Buy

When AOL decided last month to spend $315 million on Huffington Post, the internet’s eyebrows raised in confusion about how the struggling company could afford such an acquisition. [More]

AOL To Buy Huffington Post For $315 Million

AOL To Buy Huffington Post For $315 Million

In an effort to put more original content on its network — and ad revenue in its pockets — AOL announced today that it will be purchasing popular news and opinion site HuffingtonPost.com for a princely sum of around $315 million. [More]

H&R Block Revives AOL Business Plan, Blankets Nation With Unwanted CDs

H&R Block Revives AOL Business Plan, Blankets Nation With Unwanted CDs

If you had a pulse and/or a mailbox in the ’90s, you received some AOL disks in the mail. They promoted a free trial, but everyone knows their real purpose: to have their labels peeled off and to be used for file storage. AOL eventually switched to read-only CDs, then switched to total irrelevance. But their familiar promotional tactic is back: adopted by tax preparers H&R Block to distribute their income tax software. [More]

80% Of AOL's Revenue Is Subscribers, 75% Of Whom Don't Need It

80% Of AOL's Revenue Is Subscribers, 75% Of Whom Don't Need It

A New Yorker profile this week details how 80% of AOL’s revenue comes from subscriptions, and, according to an ex-AOL exec, 75% of those users are people who subscribe to the dial-up service and don’t need. Basically we’re talking about folks who have another kind of ISP and don’t realize that you don’t need to pay AOL anymore if you’re just using it for email. The group can be further divided into two sub-groups, the old, and the lazy. Here’s a step-by-step process for canceling AOL and saving some cash while still keeping access to your AOL email account. [More]

Why Does AOL Instant Messenger Mobile Use Text Messages
Without Telling Me?

Why Does AOL Instant Messenger Mobile Use Text Messages Without Telling Me?

Heather tells Consumerist that has AOL Instant Messenger installed on her smartphone, but doesn’t really use it. Lately, she’s left the program running more often, and made an alarming discovery: she was charged for 800 text messages, even though she didn’t send 800 text messages. The culprit? AIM, of course. Each IM to and from her phone was charged as a text message. [More]

AOL Plans To Sell Or Shut Down Bebo

AOL Plans To Sell Or Shut Down Bebo

Bebo is a social network a few rungs down from Facebook, which for all practical purposes means it may as well be someone’s WordPress blog. That’s why AOL is finally admitting it missed the window for social network dominance and will sell it or close it “soon,” according to an internal memo. If you’ve been hanging on to a Bebo account and hoping the tide would turn, you might want to start checking out the other more popular social networks out there. [More]