AOL Just Wants To Be Left Alone

Please just leave AOL alone! AOL is raising their dial-up internet access prices by $2 for everyone who refuses to promise not to call technical support.

From CNET:

The Time Warner division told subscribers last week that beginning July 27, it would raise its monthly dial-up rate from $9.99 to $11.99 per month. Subscribers who specifically sign up for a plan with limited technical support can keep the $9.99 rate, though, but they won’t get phone-based help unless dealing with an Internet connection issue.

Hey, mom? What’s dial-up? [CNET]


Edit Your Comment

  1. jasonnellis says:

    Now now. Some of us remember a time when that modem sound was as comforting as getting a wireless signal is today.

  2. superlayne says:

    I just remember making myself dizzy in between web pages by spinning around in the computer chair while Aol Kids! loaded. Also hacking into my dad’s account to take the parental controls off so I could read fan fiction.

  3. ryan89 says:

    Ah…the modem sound. Every time I hear spam come in on the office fax machine it brings back memories of 1995.

  4. JustThatGuy3 says:

    Not surprising – they’re actively trying to get out of the dial-up business.

  5. Frank_Trapasso says:

    Dude, my phone has a faster connection than dial-up.

  6. synimatik says:

    This is so great, I’m going to type it up on my Commedore 64C and listen to the shoo shoo scratch, scratch, scratch as my dot matrix prints it out for me to hang on my wall right next to my ALF poster.

  7. Thorny says:

    Makes sense — up the price to clean out your cheap and annoying customers.

  8. shadax says:

    local BBS’s on 2400 modem ruled. So did ANSI art. except when going to meets and discovering that girl with the sexy voice you’ve been talking to is 2 bills!! I loved 1994 anyway :) I was the youngin 13 year old

  9. nsv says:

    So when you call for the 15th time to try to cancel your AOL account, that means you need to be upgraded to the more expensive account.

    (Are they still giving lip service to people who want to cancel?)

  10. jscott73 says:

    Mmmm, 1994, when pr0n took overnight to download…

  11. Saydur says:

    No phone based help unless dealing with an internet connection issue. I’ve typically seen internet connection issues as the point of tech support.

    I think they might be trying to drive off the people who call tech support with problems defined as “It don’t work!” with an unplugged monitor, or “Your internet is broken.” when the power is out. Trying to please customers like that takes so much time, it makes North American tech support too expensive. Considering a few I’ve dealt with like that, it makes outsourced tech support too expensive.

    Well, that’s just a guess. $10 a month doesn’t leave much wiggle room for perks.

  12. It is finally possible to get rid of AOL without talking to someone or any run around. Looks like the kinda encourage it


  13. luz says:

    That is hilarious. I wish I could do this with family members. “I’ll give you marginally better birthday presents if you promise to never call me.

  14. liquidsgi says:

    is this even relevant? I mean who still uses dialup except those who need to check their mail in the boonies.

  15. floyderdc says:

    Just moved, less that 30 miles from DC and have no other option but dial-up or SAT. Still like it better than living inside the beltway.

  16. battra92 says:

    What’s funny is I’ve been debating getting dial-up access for my grandmother’s house for when I’m there and need to check my email or whatever and then I remember that spending time with my grandmother is more important than reading email.

  17. DeeJayQueue says:

    @floyderdc: Where outside of DC are you? I live in Sterling and I’ve got FiOS here… it took a while but I’ve got it.

    Or were you referring to the only option outside using comcrap?

  18. krispykrink says:

    I got a friend that can make a connection with a 2400 baud modem just by whistling. I think I still have my little phreak box somewhere in the closet, ah old times…

  19. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @battra92: IF checking your email is that important, get a smartphone.

  20. freejazz38 says:

    Amazing people still use this crap

  21. evslin says:

    @krispykrink: Dude that’s awesome

  22. WraithSama says:

    For obsolete companies like AOL and NetZero, the writing’s on the wall. Dead man walking!

  23. Brine says:

    @liquidsgi: I didn’t even realize AOL still had customers.

  24. yungjerry703 says:

    @DeeJayQueue: i’m guessing he is in warrenton or maryland somewhere because loudon, fairfax, prince william, and stafford all have mutiple options to dial up. i’ve had comcast since 1999 and have’nt had one problem yet.

  25. slim150 says:

    @ outsiderlookingn . lol.

    once as a senior in high school i signed up for aol for free 3 months (even though i already had another dial up) because my old one would disconnect after 10 mins of inactivity (and i wanted to get IMs on my away messages!)

    anyhow i kept calling to cancel and they would extend me another 3 months, another 2 months or etc. finally i was like i’ve been trying to cancel for almost a year now.. and i’m going to college now and have no need for it.

  26. humphrmi says:

    I can think of one situation where dial-up is still relevant.

    Really small businesses… sole proprietorships where every dollar matters. Some doctor just needs to check his e-mail a couple times a week. Why get a dedicated line to do that? That same doctor might have high-speed internet at home, but at the office he’s happy with $9.95 a month for slow access to check his e-mail a couple times a week.

  27. bravo369 says:

    frankly aol is doing people a favor. hell, raise it to $50 a month and force these people to get broadband. welcome to 2008 and get high speed internet.

  28. battra92 says:

    @aaron8301: which would cost more than $10 a month since I have the most basic of basic plans.

    I was making a point that while I once considered my email to be that important, my friends and family are much more valuable.

  29. mbz32190 says:

    AOL was only 9.99? I remember almost 10 years ago I had to pay ~$24 bucks for unlimited access.

  30. RetailGuy83 says:


    I can think of one situation where dial-up is still relevant.

    Try living in on an unincorporated stretch of land somewhere along I-20 in Texas. dial-up is the only choice over Hughes-net. BTW, coming from someone who has gone the Hughes-net route… I’ll take dial-up every damn time.

  31. parad0x360 says:

    @superlayne: I remember the AOL days when I would go into public chats with a punter and boot people offline…then my parents knocked me down to a kids only account so i installed a keylogger and got my father password and changed it back. I was then inspired to learn Visual Basic so I could make my own aol “progs” which in turned got me into web development (so I could promote my programs) which again in turn got me into networking.

    Thanks AOL! So easy to use no wonder it was number 1.

  32. jbtampa says:

    I was fired at a local tech support plant of about 1000 people who very strictly follow AOL speel. no thinking allowed, clock is ticking, ticking, no thinking, script rules. A thousand AOL robots…..

  33. homerjay says:

    What is this “DIAL-UP” of which you speak?

  34. homerjay says:

    @parad0x360: Hey, a public service announcement to all those kids who might want to put a key logger on their parents computer for whatever reason:

    The only thing worse than knowing what nastiness your kid is looking up online is knowing what your parents are looking up online.

  35. @jasonnellis: mmm modem sound, music to a kids’ ears, till it drops

  36. Why get dial-up when you can have naked DSL from Bellsouth for 12 dollars a month?

    It was in the merger terms for AT&T and Bellsouth back in 06 and I helped a friend finally get on to broadband because of it.

  37. kalemaat says:

    @parad0x360: Heh.. I used to do that, too! I remember one time when I was 12 or 13, I tried signing on to AOL but I received an error message saying that my account had been reported for too many TOS violations. So I had to call customer service, apologize for what I had done, and practically beg for them to remove the violations.

    Oh, AOL. Those sure were the good old days.

  38. madog says:

    @bravo369: this isn’t japan. There are millions of people who can either a: only get dial up, or b: get $10 dial up or pay $60 for sat what others can get for $20 “in town”

  39. Quatre707 says:

    Dial-up? What, is this 1996? There is not one place in the continental United States where one is unable to get broadband service.

  40. whytheladyisatramp says:

    i had dial up at home till last year – i was in school and had access to high speed while on campus, and would do most of my internet heavy stuff there. but, wanted cheap access at home for checking email on the weekend, or do other simple research things without going into campus everytime. paying $4.95 an month for that since i didn’t want any of the otherstuff (phone line, cable) seemed to make sense. So, dial up is still relevant for people with simple internet needs and looow budgets who can’t cough up $50/month or more….

  41. BoomerFive says:

    AOL is still around? And I’m not being sarcastic, for some reason I thought they were long gone.

  42. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    I’ve been on high speed for about 11 years now and I pray to never have to go back to dial-up. It’s like this: if I have no cable I will not watch TV and if I have no high speed I will not use the internet. It seems like some things just aren’t worth it and slow internet really isn’t worth using. My aunt and uncle live in the middle of nowhere and they live 450 feet off the road, they fought with Charter to install a tap with a booster on it halfway to their house and finally they have high speed and I know my aunt is not gonna go back either. I have 10mbps and that is not fast enough for me at times. BTW I was an AOL customer for 7 years. I miss some of the chat rooms on there and the ability to search profiles, since I made tons of local friends on there but I truly don’t miss it too much at all.

  43. xDimMaK says:

    Dial-up’s still not free?

  44. luz says:

    @BoomerFive: I thought the same about NetZero.

    Oh my God. Remember Juno? Is Juno still around? Memmmmmooreeeeeeeee *cue Cats sdtk*

  45. Parting says:

    Who wants to pay 9,99$ for dial-up anyway? Price for dial-up varies from 4,95 to 8,95 at AOL’s competitors.

  46. Hey! Stop pickin on us dial uppers! I live in bump fuck nowhere and I have no choice :( Not even a clear view of the southern sky for freakin satellite internet.

    P.S.- The sound of a modem dialing up is about as comforting as suckin on your mothers tit at 30 years old.

  47. @RetailGuy83: YES!! Hughes Net reaks of hooker sweat and mice droppings.

    I had Wild Blue until we moved to the adirondacks – they were great for satellite internet, although slower than I’d like.

  48. Roundonbothends says:


  49. t325 says:

    @humphrmi: Except the difference between AOL and the cheapest cable/DSL packages can be 10 or 15 bucks, and a doctor can easily afford the difference.

  50. t325 says:

    @Quatre707: There are many places where broadband isn’t available. Just about any place outside of a major metro area.

    Shit, I live smack in the middle of suburban St. Louis and can’t get DSL, so I’m stuck with Charter’s terrible service. If Charter weren’t around, I’d be on dial up too.

    And I’m not counting satellite as broadband. That’s even worse than dial up

  51. humphrmi says:

    @t325: Oh yeah, all doctors are rich. I forgot. HMOs FTW!

    BTW I wasn’t just presenting a hypothetical situation. Lots of doctors I consult for use dial-up because it’s cheaper.

  52. chatterboxwriting says:

    I wish they’d raise the price to $50 a month; my best friend might finally give up on AOL. She’s had it forever and is resisting the change but maybe she would switch if it got too expensive. Every day she calls me with Internet questions/problems, yet she just won’t make the switch!

  53. spikespeigel says:

    AOL is still around? Buh?

  54. femmesavante says:

    Between the AOL and paying 50 or more for cable when they’re on a budget, my parents are stuck with dial-up. Why? Because ATT doesn’t provide DSL to my parents’ neighborhood…IN HOUSTON! According to their CS, ATT has no plans on providing either, mind you they do own phone lines and provide phone service. ATT SUX!

  55. forgottenpassword says:

    mannnn! Screw all you dialup haters! I pay a whopping $4 a month for my vtisp dialup that I use at work to screw around. (at home I have a neighbor’s roadrunner wifi connection)

    Though it looks like my work has FINALLY put in a public/customer-use free wifi so I may end up dropping my $4 a month dialup.

    But it served me well over the years!

    Note: I am suprised aol is still in business after once charging $24 for dialup services.

  56. flyairdave says:

    What is this dial-up thing you mentioned?

  57. PinkBox says:

    Given their type of subscriber, I’m not surprised that they’re trying to weed out some of the calls!

  58. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @All “Who Uses Dialup” Comments:

    The findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Project challenge the argument that broadband providers need to more aggressively roll out supply to meet demand.

    Only 14 percent of dial-up users say they’re stuck with the older, slower connection technology because they can’t get broadband in their neighborhoods, Pew reported Wednesday.

    Thirty-five percent say they’re still on dial-up because broadband prices are too high, while another 19 percent say nothing would persuade them to upgrade. The remainder have other reasons or do not know.

    You know, one second y’all are all “Internet is a luxury! You should give it up if you can’t afford it! I can’t believe Comcast is winning!”
    Then you’re all, “People on dial-up? That’s impossible!”

    Seriously, which is it people?

  59. kabes says:

    People still use dial up? The fuck?

  60. P_Smith says:

    AOL still exists?

    People still using AOL remind me of those news stories from two years ago about old people still paying a hundred dollars per month for rotary dial phones. They didn’t know any better, lived in isolation and were ripped off by a failing corporation desperate to maintain revenues.

  61. Jbball says:

    Hey, I used to LOVE my 28.8!!! Duke Nukem baby!

  62. kaptainkk says:

    Yes people still do use dial up. Stop acting like dial-up users are concentrated in the center of every American city. Not everyone lives in an area that has broadband access. A lesson on network / telecom infrastructure might do you some good!

  63. Daveed says:

    This should be less about, “OMG people still use wireless”, and more…I can’t believe they’re raising the price on something this outdated. This should be 5 bucks a month by now.

  64. Amy Alkon000 says:

    I keep AOL dialup as a backup, in addition to mobile broadband and a cable modem. I’m a newspaper columnist, and need to have fallbacks. For somebody whose livelihood isn’t connected to being on the Internet (here and in Europe), it’s probably ridiculous to have this (unless, of course, you live in the back woods).

    I did complain about how AOL was putting ads at the bottom of e-mail. An AOL employee called to tell me they saw my comment and others’ in a forum on AOL, and you can now get those comments removed from your account with a keyword…except, sorry, I forget the keyword (anybody know it?)

    I told him I was really ticked off that they’d been charging me while using me to advertise free and they had to give me money back for it. I asked for $50, about a half-year’s fee for AOL before they upped the price, and the guy credited to me!

  65. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Actually, just googled it: KEYWORD: Marketing Preferences

  66. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Sorry – it’s actually KEYWORD: Footer


  67. Maulleigh says:

    It’s ironic that my mother still pays for dial up aol.

  68. ShadowFalls says:

    What other phone based help would you need other than not having a problem with your internet connection. I don’t see why you would be calling them for another reason…

  69. AcidReign says:

        @Amy Alkon: That’s good to know! I didn’t even install AOL after my last hard drive format, because of those evil hyperlinks getting added to my emails!

        What I’ve been doing is sending AOL mail from Thunderbird. It actually goes out from my ISP’s server, but it looks like it’s from an AOL address…

  70. AcidReign says:

        @ShadowFalls: Issues come up from time to time, with my SO or kids using too simple of a password, and getting their screenname hacked. You pretty much have to call AOL up, to get it fixed.