AOL Wants to Eat the Dead

A reader well versed in customer service shares with us this following anecdote about how much AOL cares about servicing your dead relatives. David writes:

    “I was sitting next to one of my clients this morning and told her about, as it was up on my screen. She said “Oh, I’ve got one for you.” Her father passed away recently, and she had to cancel or close all of his various accounts. When she called to cancel his AOL account, they asked her why she was cancelling the account.
    “It was my father’s account, and he died.”
    “Is that the only reason?” was their reply.
    She was dumbfounded.
    They did cancel the account, incidentally.

    I do some work for a company that’s also very aggressive in customer retention (i.e. try to get you to NOT cancel) and I’ve reviewed their call center scripts, and when “reason” = “death,” they cancel immediately without trying to save the account. I’d love to see AOL’s scripts or their CSR training materials.”

Even more offensive is the CSR asking a yes or no question. Every low-level shoe sales associate knows to leave questions open-ended, especially when overcoming objections. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in these pumps” should be met with, “Which sort of deaths might being caught in these pumps be beneficial?” Now that’s salesmanship, Johnny.