A month ago, we wrote about Brice’s struggles with E*Trade to recover the balance on an account they closed. After eight months of letters and phone calls, Brice got E*Trade to close the account, but it continued to accrue interest and Brice never received the balance. Finally, after launching eight Executive Email Carpet Bombs, Brice has his money.
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.
After eight months of calling and writing, Reader Brice finally annoyed E*Trade enough to close his account. At least that’s what the letter from E*Trade said; in reality, Brice never received a check for his balance, and although he couldn’t access his $3,195, his account is still earning interest.
New reader Lynne (Hi, Lynne!) shares with us a letter that she recently sent to Poland Springs after they refused to stop delivering and billing her for water she did not want. Originally, she simply wanted to place her account on hold while she moved to a new home. Poland Springs complete inability to follow her simple requests turned a loyal customer into a former one.
Eliot Van Buskirk over at Wired found that he was no longer in need of his Rhapsody, Napster and Yahoo! Music subscriptions now that the RIAA is starting to warm up to the idea of DRM-free music.
AOL has avoided what was certain to be an entertaining court battle by settling with 48 states and the District of Colombia over allegations that it made it, uh, difficult to cancel for the many customers who were fleeing to broadband.
Great job, Crapitol One! You just lost a(nother) customer! — BEN POPKEN
A former AOL employee laid down a diss rap on America Online and wants you all to hear it. Because it’s mad funny. It uses a sample of Vincent Ferrari saying “cancel the account.”
Previously, we reported AOL is selling its Ogden call center to Teleperformance. But here’s the twist: AOL will still use it as a call center, but as a client of Teleperformance.
Courtesy of Bart, comes some excellent advice when trying to reach a human to resolve your problem: just threaten to cancel. They’ll be happy to resolve your complaints then!
“Okay, I’m canceling billing on your account as of today.”
Here’s the essential differences between AOL’s cancel script, the sheet pasted over every AOL cancel reps cubicle to tell them how to handle your cancellation request, from two years ago and today’s. Inside, full images of both.
Now cancelling your AOL account seems to work like a charm. In fact, it’s really only put on the dry docks.
We think we just called up John, the AOL rep fired after giving Vincent Ferrari a hard time when he tried to cancel, a rough time that was company policy. John ain’t saying much and didn’t want to talk to us. He wouldn’t even verify his identity, but the pauses are a dead giveaway.