How AOL CSR Retain$$$ You

Pure unalloyed gold (Thanks to Roonil!):

I work with a guy who used to manage reps at an AOL call center, and he told me about AOL’s 90-day retention bonus. In reading today’s “AOL Complaints Round-up” I thought you might get a kick out of knowing how an AOL CSR earns a $6 90-day retention bonus:

1] Customer calls in, insists their account be closed. No amount of cajoling sways them. The CSR tells them, “Fine, your account is closed.”

2] Said customer’s subscription status remains active, and they’re placed on the not altogether scrupulous “suspend billing for 60 days” list.

3] 30 days elapse, “ex-“customer is not billed; “ex-“customer is happy.

4] 60 days elapse, “ex-“customer has forgotten all about AOL, until…

5] On the 91st day after they thought they canceled, “ex-“customer starts getting billed again

6] CSR makes $6 for “retaining” a customer after 90 days

My co-worker says there are CSRs who make six figures annually because of these “retention” bonuses. Good for them, huh?”

How deliciously unscrupulous! What do you think, is this real? Sounds illegal.


Edit Your Comment

  1. something_amazing says:

    The idea that someone could make six figures off of such a bonus? I find that implausible. Let’s assume that the average CSR makes 30k a year in salary. Do you really think AOL would allow their employees to offset 70,000 dollars in bonuses?! That’s 11,666 customers! Assuming they took advantage of this loophole, that’s 11,666 customers who are going to be EXTREMELY pissed when they call back.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Mark writes:

    “So I just canceled my AOL account. I’ve had the account for 10 years so I knew it woulnd’t be easy. I’m not going to go into the whole long conversation, as everyone knows the drill by now, but I did get an intersting “Oh, you’ve been with us so long iit would be such a shame to leave us.” Almost like a guilt trip. I then got the whole safety and security, anti-virus, new and improved software bits that everyone gets.

    So, long story short. I do understand that customer retention is part of the job, and they have to try. But, I counted, I said the phrase “cancel my acount” 15 TIMES!!!!! There is no way you should have to ask 15 times over the course of 20 minutes to get an account canceled!!! “

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Soraya writes:

    “I’ve been getting such a kick out of the AOL cancellation dramas that have been featured on Consumerist as of late. Seems like nobody else experienced the up side of the CSR’s desparation… so I’ll share.

    About 5 years ago, when I had just began college and living on my own, I enjoyed months upon months of free internet because the punks at AOL refused to cancel me! I can’t for the life of me remember how I finally got out. I’m guessing that I finally fessed up that I’d been mooching AOL for a half of a year and that I was tired of making my monthly phone call to fake argue and begrudgingly accept another month of free service.

    (By the way, the folks at CitiCard are just as aggressive. I kept a credit card with a zero balance for about a year, because as a former CSR, I didn’t have the heart to resort to verbally tearing them a new one each time I tried to cancel. But as we’ve learned, that’s usually the only way out. After I passed a few 0% balance transfers back and forth, they were a little more willing to let go of me.)”