Close to severing ties with Time Warner and fresh off announcing that they plan to cull almost a third of their work force by the end of the year, AOL has debuted–why not?–a new logo and branding campaign. The new logo has a variety of backgrounds, but always the new name in a sans-serif font: “Aol.” Yes, with the period. [More]
Is AOL ripping off your mom? …or stepdad, or aunt, or neighbor? Mainstreet.com gets to the bottom of why AOL continues to charge many, many not-terribly-Internet-savvy customers for their AOL e-mail accounts. You know, the same AOL accounts that are actually offered for free and have been since 2006. [MainStreet]
Our reader Jennifer isn’t the only former Time Warner employee whose AOL account has risen from the dead, prompting collection notices and confusion. Wall Street Journal investing columnist Jason Zweig, a former Time Warner employee, found himself in precisely the same situation, and wrote about his epic customer service adventure.
Jennifer, like many people, one subscribed to AOL. She paid for the service originally, then received a free account while employed with Time Warner. Then she joined the 21st century and didn’t use AOL at all, but her free account remained in the system. Until AOL started billing her. Nine years later.
Back in Aug ’06, a researcher ended up releasing 500,000+ AOL user search histories online and all sort of heck broke loose. One of the pieces of fallout was the search queries of User 927, who displayed a fondness for mold, mange, orchids, beauty and the beast disney porn and testicle festivals. The only sensible thing to do, of course, was to make it into a play.
AOL Has A New CEO AOL has named Google Senior Vice President Tim Armstrong as its next chairman and chief executive officer. Current Chairman and CEO Randy Falco and Chief Operating Officer and President Ron Grant “plan to leave the company after a transition period,” Time Warner said in a statement. [UPI]
Wanna know why your call to customer service went so poorly? Maybe because it was routed to an outsourced call center run by Teleperformance USA where, according to an insider, customer service goes to die…
Apart from the quite adequate assortment of calculators, it’s all a big heap of plain-Jane articles slotted into categories by simple tags.
A man who spammed 1.2 million AOL customers was sentenced to 30 months in prison yesterday. Now how will we ever find out how to make bigger p3nz? Oh wait, here comes another spam… [CNN Money]
Please just leave AOL alone! AOL is raising their dial-up internet access prices by $2 for everyone who refuses to promise not to call technical support.
Earlier this week, MSN Money published the results of a national Zogby poll they commissioned on who delivers the worst customer service. The winner was AOL, ranked “poor” by 47% of respondents, while Comcast came in second with 42% suckage. Sprint ranked third at 39%.
It looks like AOL is up to its old shenanigans and is still making hard for some people to cancel service (yes there are still some people using AOL), but reader Richard figured out a way to finally get through to them, with a highlighter. He writes:
I could not find a way to contact AOL to stop my service. So I took a yellow marker, drew a line though that line item on my credit card bill, and wrote on the bill….”Do not pay, account in dispute”. I paid all the other items on the CC bill that month. It took AOL about 2 weeks to call me…..I told them what I thought of their service, and instructed them to terminate my account, while I was still on the phone. It worked. They seem to understand when you tell them you are not going to pay.
That’s one way to go about it. You could also call up your credit card company and request a chargeback, but this has the added benefit of zero hold time. First rebates, now AOL cancellations, this highlighter is starting to look mighty potent.
A few months ago Azureus petitioned the FCC, which led to a FCC hearing in February. One of the complaints from the commission was that there is little data available on the scope of BitTorrent throttling, a gap Azureus now tries to fill by collecting data on the prevalence of TCP-resets among ISPs worldwide.
An anonymous tipster sent us AOL’s 153 page internal collections guidebook for prying money out of delinquent account holders. The guide shows that AOL is following some of the debt industry’s most egregious collection tactics by encouraging agents to deceive and lie to customers. After the jump we present AOL’s scare tactics, tricks to negotiating a substantial discount, and the full collections guide.
A firm called Klausner Technologies has just announced that they are suing both Apple and AT&T for patent infringement over the iPhone’s “visual voicemail” feature. Klausner Technologies has already sued VOIP provider Vonage and AOL/Time Warner for the same darn thing, and both companies chose to settle and license the technology from Klausner.