AOL Exec Chimes In About “The Call”

AOL Exec Chimes In About “The Call”

The Washington Post asked Jason Calacanis, an AOL exec and headmaster of Weblogs Inc, what he thought of the infamous AOL call. Here’s our responses, in brevis, to what he blogged.

Former Elite AOL Retainer Interviewed

Former Elite AOL Retainer Interviewed

Tricks an AOL retainer used to keep people from cancelling:

NYT Notes AOL Manual Upload, Questions Raised

NYT Notes AOL Manual Upload, Questions Raised

After we uploaded an AOL retention manual, AOL says “No Comment” to its authenticity in an article in today’s New York Times “What’s Online” section:

AOL Retention Manual Revealed

AOL Retention Manual Revealed

In August of 2005, America Online settled with the office of NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over complaints about how arduous AOL made it to cancel service. In addition to a $1.25 million fine, AOL agreed to streamline the cancellation process and submit all calls for third-party review. On June 13, 2006, Vincent Ferrari posted a recording he made of his attempt to leave America Online. It shot to national TV and revealed AOL hadn’t learned the error of its ways. For “John,” the call center employee heard on the tape, to deploy the kind of mental warfare heard on the tape, he had to be well-trained…

Consumerist On Nightline

Here’s the video of us on Nightline along with Vincent Ferrari this past Friday, July 14th. People seem to enjoy the part where we say “So?” We like it when Vincent says “Vent their spleen!” Though we really wished they included our metaphor about crack rocks. Nightline definitely nails the best rendering of the cancel call we’ve seen. They re-edited the recording to leave in the juicy bits, then present the transcript with snazzy bubbles.

All Aboard The AOL Customer Retention Expert Conspiracy Bus

All Aboard The AOL Customer Retention Expert Conspiracy Bus

AOL Employees Slander Vincent Ferrari On Company Time

AOL Employees Slander Vincent Ferrari On Company Time

This is not the AOL manual. So acclimated to squirting off-the-cuff posts, throwing haymakers at peccadilloes, the prospect of three-plus pages, single-spaced, is a bit daunting. It needs more editing and is sleeping soundly in a drawer. The material is so wrong, we have to make sure we do it right.

Page From AOL Retention Manual

Page From AOL Retention Manual

We’re putting the finishing touches on our big post on the AOL manual but wanted to release this sneak peak…

BREAKING: Spitzer To Talk To AOL, Again

BREAKING: Spitzer To Talk To AOL, Again

NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, pictured at right, throwing up gang signs (see the A and G his hands form?) will meet with AOL executives to discuss whether the company still impedes customers trying to cancel their accounts, Reuters reports.

AOL Updates Retention “Offer Matrix”

AOL Updates Retention “Offer Matrix”

Another gemstone that tumbled out of the AOL retention coal mine after Vinny’s call is this update to the ominously monikered, “Offer Matrix.” That’s apparently the sequence of goodies doled out to customers to dissuade them from stopping service. Take the red prophylactic, Neo.

AOL Internal Memos, After Vinny’s Call

AOL Internal Memos, After Vinny’s Call

A disgruntled employee mailed in a triptych of AOL internal emails that followed the cancellation call heard round the world, finally launching the call’s recorder, Vincent, onto The Today Show, CNBC, CNN and even generated a comic strip, a Playboy parody video, and finally, our “Where is he now?” interview.

Cancel The Playboy Account

First, a comic, and now, a derivative parody video.

Vincent Ferrari Teaches Us How To Hope Again

Vincent Ferrari Teaches Us How To Hope Again

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?

AOL Customer Retention in Words & Pictures

AOL Customer Retention in Words & Pictures

We Interview Vincent Ferrari, AOL Canceller

Vincent Ferrari was nice enough to come down to Gawker HQ and answer a few questions about his ordeal, AOL and what’s next for our famous AOL canceller. He may have been nice on national broadcast, but we get him to open up and talk a lil’ smack-a-roony. Plus, he’s got some things up his sleeve that might put the hurt on AOL even more so than his Dear John call…

How Consumerists Put The Screws To Companies

The Church of the Customer Blog — a site we don’t link nearly as much as we read it — has an excellent vivisection of a negative WoM campaign, using our own favorite AOL canceler Vincent Ferrari as their still writhing subject:

Tomorrow We Interview Vincent Ferrari

Tomorrow We Interview Vincent Ferrari

Late Tuesday evening, inside Gawker HQ, we’ll have the privilege of interviewing Vincent Ferrari, the famous AOL Canceller. Yes, that’s caps.