AOL … some people swear by it and some people swear at it.

With all the new PR articles being posted about AOL now giving their software with communications tools, etc. away to broadband users, and cutting workforce, etc, you really have to think long and hard about whether you would want to deal with AOL. You might want to look at some of the history and whether folks have had trouble with it in the past.

Granted they have a huge base of users, but it is amazing. There have been so many people who have had major trouble simply trying to cancel their AOL account! There is no call for this. This is just bad business practice.

St. Louis Post Online reports Even dead people can’t escape AOL and you really have to read it and watch the video at uTube to really appreciate the difficulty that many users have had. Or if you think it’s just these few people who have had trouble, check out a Google search on help cancel AOL — 3,420,000 results (as of today)!

AOL claims it’s just some ‘bad apples’ who are like that. Really? After all these years, they still have these bad apples working there? This has been basically going on since the early ’90s when they first started AOL. That’s how far back it’s been that folks have been talking about the difficulty in canceling an AOL account.

Maybe they should rethink who they hire? Maybe they should better train their minions to do a better job at ‘customer service?’

Maybe they need to wake up and smell what they are shoveling and apply a little bit of the “Golden Rule” — the REAL “Golden Rule:”

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

NOT

“Do unto others before they can do it to you.” or “Them with the gold make the rules.”

If you are in AOHell and trying to get out, I would suggest that you just FAX them! Why bother with ‘bad apples’ by calling them? Just check out the number of references at Google on how to cancel AOL … places listed on the web to point people in the right direction on how to FAX them to cancel, or provide all possible means of canceling … because many people have just plain had enough!

And if you have tried in the past to cancel by phone, just remember, you are not alone! MANY others have gone before you and were confronted with this same type of bad ‘customer service.’

Don’t give yourself a migraine over it, just FAX them (see bold area below for how to cancel by FAX):

America Online (AOL)

You may cancel your AOL account using any one of the following methods. Your cancellation request will be effective within 72 hours of receipt. AOL will send you written confirmation. You will not be liable for any additional membership fees after cancellation (although you will be responsible for any other charges you may incur should you access the account prior to account deactivation.) If you cancel near the end of your billing period, you may be inadvertently charged for the next month’s fee. In that event, contact AOL Billing at 1-888-265-8003 to have the charges reversed. No other refunds will be provided, and AOL reserves the right to collect fees, surcharges or costs incurred before your cancellation takes effect. There are three ways you can cancel your AOL account:

To cancel by phone, just call their Member Services Representatives at 1-800-827-6364 or 1-888-265-8008.
To cancel by mail, send your request to:

America Online
P.O. Box 1600
Ogden, UT 84401

To cancel by fax, fax your request to 1-801-622-7969.

Be sure to include with your cancellation request, your full name, address, phone number, and America Online master screen name (the primary user name on your account). If you choose to write or fax us, please include the nature of your request and your full name, phone number and address. Additionally, for account security purposes, please provide ONE of the following:

the primary Billing Contact’s AOL screen name or
the last four digits of the current payment method used for this account (for your security, only the last four digits please) or the answer to your Privacy Question (if you have already established a Privacy Question and Answer).

Don’t forget that if you cancel near the end of your billing period, you will likely get one more month’s bill even though it is actually already canceled. That’s the experience I have seen. It’s not an overnight procedure no matter how you do it. But if you continue to see your credit card getting nailed after another month’s time, send them your cancellation request with the above information as a Certified Letter — with Return Receipt. That way you will know when they got it and how long it takes to process your request.

Only a few bad apples do this according to AOL in the article listed at the STLtoday at the top of this post. LOL! Well, all I can say is, it is very unfortunate that the ‘bad apples’ seem to have ruined the whole bushel.

And don’t even get me started on AOL and GoodMail!

But since you asked. 😉 Isn’t it funny that DearAOL.com is totally gone now. Blank pages for all the pages including the blog.

I am not kidding.

Check out DearAOL.com, oops! Actually there is nothing there now! but it’s still in Google’s cache (at least today!). Very interesting … every single page that was on DearAOL is now a blank page, however, a search on Google still shows all the links to pages that used to be there — just click on the cache pages for the DearAOL.com links (at least as of today). Even the DearAOL blog is gone now. DearAOL.com was still there on July 8, 2006 when Larry Seltzer posted that DearAOL needs GoodMail LOL!

More on that controversey here.

And here’s some info from Larry Seltzer at eWeek on maybe why DearAOL.com is gone. And on the AOL/GoodMail controversy.

And another absolutely obnoxious thing that AOL does is ‘offer’ to install Pure Network – Port Magic. Like any new user would even know the pitfalls of installing that crap! The number of times where this piece of crapware screwed over the TCP/IP stack and messed with the router software, and prevented access to the Internet UNLESS you were logged into AOL’s bohemoth software. When an AOL user gets offered this green supposedly ‘lucky’ shamrock, just say NO! 😉 If you accidentally installed it, and wish you never did:

First download a program to repair your Winsock Connection (just in case — don’t use it unless you lose Internet connectivity after uninstalling Port Magic and rebooting):

Repairs Winsock 2 settings: http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm
WinsockFix.exe (by: Option^Explicit) [site1] [site2]
How to Reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP or better yet, just get WinsockXPFix.exe*

* works really well for XP in most cases

After downloading your winsock fix program:

Then use Add and Remove Programs (Start, Control Panel, Add and Remove Programs), to get rid of (uninstall) PureNetworks Port Magic.

NOTE: you may even have to uninstall and reinstall your software firewall

Be sure to reboot after uninstalling.

And I am sure I don’t even have to mention the nightmare of uninstalling AOL software, particularly if it’s gone bad along the way due to Port Magic and/or malware, or just ‘cuz. If you have trouble uninstalling some of the AOL software and tools, you might try using MR Tech AOL Cleaner 1.1.

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Comments on: "Even dead people can’t escape AOL" (3)

  1. I’m quite sure that AOL trains their “support” employees to make it as difficult and cumbersome as possible for a customer to cancel their account. No business can possibly be so poorly managed as to hire that many “bad apples” — not even AOL.

    Those directions for uninstalling AOL are good, but the only way to *truely* clean your system from AOL’s “sticky-ware” is to wipe your hard drive and re-install your operating system. Plain and simple.

  2. I hear ya…but in many cases, wiping the hard drive and having to back up all their personal data, DRM laden music and ‘licenses’ as well as all the gigs of photos, etc. is really not something they relish doing just to get rid of a program.

    Unless of course, you are one of the truly unfortunate that somehow ends up with a partial failed AOL upgrade install where some folks have experienced a total meltdown of the TCP/IP stack to the point where even rebuilding it by every known method (in WinXP – since you can’t just remove networking like you can in earlier Windows OSes and reinstall it) fails to restore Internet connectivity … then a reinstall of the system may be the only option.

  3. […] AOL runs afoul on privacy of their AOL Users As if AOL’s customer service ‘bad apples’ and bohemoth software Good Mail weren’t bad enough, now AOL doesn’t realize (until some exposes it) that a department in their own company published search results for three months on their AOL users. And they say they are angry but can’t do anything about it now. Of course they can’t, it’s been out there for how long now?? […]

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