Sybren Stüvel

Should Cable, Internet Companies Be Required To Let You Cancel Service Online?

Just about any pay-TV or Internet service provider (often one in the same) lets new customers sign up online. You can do the whole process — check your address for availability (even if the company’s database is dreadfully wrong), pick a service tier, schedule an installation appointment, and even have your credit history checked — all without talking to a single human being. But if you need to cancel that same service, you likely have to spend quite a long time talking to someone on the phone, explaining that you simply don’t want to give their company any more money. [More]

Service Offers To Cancel Your Comcast For You For $5

Service Offers To Cancel Your Comcast For You For $5

Breaking up, as the classic song states, is difficult to accomplish and often involves having to escalate your request to the Retentions department where things can get emotional and downright needy — at least when you’re talking about breaking up with your cable company. That’s why one service says it will cut your Comcast cord for you, for a fee, of course. [More]

(Steven DePolo)

Consumerist reader Kim has been spending a lot of time on the phone lately. Why, you might be asking? It’s not for the joy of listening to Comcast’s hold music and recorded messages, no, that’s not it. It’s because she says her mother was told to pay a previous tenant’s overdue bill, or not get new services set up for herself and have her account sent to collections. [More]

Save Serious Money On Your Cell Phone Bill By Making One Phone Call

Save Serious Money On Your Cell Phone Bill By Making One Phone Call

Theresa had a contract with Helio/Virgin Mobile that ended this month, putting her in a position to negotiate. She writes that by comparison shopping and politely asking for the customer retention department, she and her girlfriend were able to knock $35 per month off the bill for their family plan. Here’s how she did it.


AOL Don’t Wanna Talk Bout No Manual

AOL Don’t Wanna Talk Bout No Manual

CNet got AOL on the horn to talk about the AOL retention manual we uploaded, but the big triangle didn’t have much to say, except for:

AOL Retention Manual Uploaded in Full

AOL Retention Manual Uploaded in Full

And finally, here is the full AOL retention manual, along with flowchart. Right click

Confessions of a Former AOL Retainer

Confessions of a Former AOL Retainer


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…

All Aboard The AOL Customer Retention Expert Conspiracy Bus

All Aboard The AOL Customer Retention Expert Conspiracy Bus

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…

Update: Canceling Fax Service Like Passing Gallstones

Update: Canceling Fax Service Like Passing Gallstones

Surprise, surprise, it’s hard for others to cancel J2 as well. Not only that, but their chat-based CSRs definitely have robotic paragraphs they insert into the conversation. Compare the chat log after the jump with our previous post on the same matter, you’ll find that Amy R. says the exact same lame retention spiel as Sharon. W.

AOL Wants to Eat the Dead

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: