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]

AOL Rearranges Deck Chairs, Introduces New Logo

AOL Rearranges Deck Chairs, Introduces New Logo

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]

http://consumerist.com/2009/07/13/is-aol-ripping-off-your/

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]

Zombie AOL Account Plague Spreads To Wall Street Journal Columnist

Zombie AOL Account Plague Spreads To Wall Street Journal Columnist

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.

Zombie AOL Account Crawls Out Of The Grave Nine Years Later

Zombie AOL Account Crawls Out Of The Grave Nine Years Later

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.

AOL User 927 Gets Staged Reading In New York

AOL User 927 Gets Staged Reading In New York

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.

http://consumerist.com/2009/05/29/its-like-the-dot-com-boom/

It’s like the dot-com boom is finally over. Time Warner is spinning AOL off into its own company once again by the end of the year. AOL will get most of the terrible customer service in the divorce. [Bloomberg]

http://consumerist.com/2009/03/13/aol-has-a-new-ceo/

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]

How To Delete Your Online Accounts

How To Delete Your Online Accounts

PC Mag has assembled a list of instructions on how to wipe your account from a long list of websites, including Classmates.com (you’ll have to call), Windows Live ID (it’s complicated), and Friendster (ha ha ha). In many cases, canceling is as straightforward as clicking a link and authorizing the cancellation, but it’s nice to see all the phone numbers and tips collected in one spot.

Teleperformance USA: Call Center Of Customer Service Nightmares

Teleperformance USA: Call Center Of Customer Service Nightmares

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…

AOL Repackages Personal Finance Content, Names It WalletPop

AOL Repackages Personal Finance Content, Names It WalletPop

Apart from the quite adequate assortment of calculators, it’s all a big heap of plain-Jane articles slotted into categories by simple tags.

http://consumerist.com/2008/07/16/a-man-who-spammed-12/

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]

AOL Just Wants To Be Left Alone

AOL Just Wants To Be Left Alone

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.