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]
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]
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]
Jim wants his AOL e-mail account to go away. It’s a free account, so billing isn’t an issue–he just wants it closed. This seems like a relatively straightforward request to anyone except AOL. He writes that the company somehow makes it impossible to cancel a free account. [More]
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.