Since Beckie’s story about Cingular unceremoniously canceling her account proved so popular amongst the Fark crowd, I decided to give Cingular a call this afternoon. I’m not Ben, so I didn’t bother recording it: I just wanted some answers as to how this all worked from an actual human being.
Last week, Chat Noir tried to cancel his AOL account. He succeeded! Unfortunately, they tried to sucker him in with a further ploy: they told him he could check out his ‘totally free’ email account anytime, but later, a robotic voice clearly told him doing so would be taken as assent to resubscribe.
Our good friend Vincent Ferrari — the shameless self-promoter who recorded the AOL Cancellation call, tipped us, then tipped everyone else on the Internet before we could even get Boing Boinged (but we totally adore him anyway) — sent us word that he’s done a few more cancellation calls, this time for credit cards, with far better results. And by better results, we mean worse from the perspective of pure entertainment. But good service is what matters, right?
From Terri of Beaver Dam:
Despite having to deal with a complete and total (and now fired!) cock, Vincent Ferrari still managed to get his AOL account canceled in under 7 minutes. Vincent’s special his account was picked up by the blogosphere, then the MSM. But he’s also special because, as people have written us time and time again, a 7 minute cancellation phone call is actually an example of stellar, speedy service from the likes of AOL. Some customers, a bit meeker than Vincent, literally have to resort to begging.
Chooki brings up a great point in the comments, which is how do we know that John was actually fired? There’s no proof, just a statement from the PR department.
…and, of course, it’s not just AOL who instructs their customer service reps to exhort, pressure, extol even bully canceling customers into staying with the service. The entire industry of cancellation call centers seems to work upon customer retention quotas. And it’s not just in the U.S.
When AOL said that part of their zero tolerance asshole employee policy was “swiftly honoring [customer] requests,” we all pretty much rolled our eyes into the back of our head and spent a few minutes scrutinizing our snarky, sarcastic brains.