People who start out with AOL...OMG!

Dell / OPTIPLEX 755
August 24, 2011 at 22:31:56
Specs: Win 7 pro, 2.667 GHz / 2004 MB
One of my clients I work for as a webmaster to her Condo Rental website started out on AOL pretty well from when AOL started out. She was on dial-up for many years till about 2 years ago when I finally got her into using regular web browsers and she purchased High speed DSL.

She bucked the whole way....she was paying AOL $24.95 a month for dial-up (plus using their software) plus paying $50 a month for DSL.

i finally got her convinced to call AOL and tell them she was on High Speed and That AOL should be free from then on.... AOL sheepishly said, yes, it is free BUT, if you want tech support on your software the price would be $9.95 a month. They will not tell AOL users that it is free if you have High Speed.
I told her to forget about the $9.95 a month as I would maintain her PC...which she did.

She is doing better using regular browsers but she still goes back to the software occasionally on her older Dell XP PC.
All I do is remind her that AOL is for beginners and Grand parents and that she really doesn't need it anymore. Unfortunately her terminology is still elementary from using aol. She thinks the desktop is her website, her tower is her modem, etc.
Also, years ago AOL threatened that if you left their software payments that you would LOSE all your contacts and your e-mail address...that scared her the most because of her condo rental business....that is not so any more...your address is yours to keep if you quit using and paying for AOL software.

If you or friends or family have been in a similar situation, why not reply to the post with some of your stories? We can all laugh about them now ;-p

Don't get me wrong...I also used AOL for 6 months free trial years ago on dialup, but sure dropped it fast after the 6 months
IMHO, I would have to say that AOL is one of the WORST softwares to remove from a PC....almost as hard as Norton & McAfee if you don't use the right tools. I have also seen MANY PC's destroyed while using AOL software.

Fortunately Windows 7 detests AOL, so many people have to learn how to surf the internet WITHOUT using 3rd party software, that is a PLUS...at least there is NO 6 month AOL trial bundles on new PC's anymore!
They ripped people off long enough!

P.S:
Many people still pay full price for their AOL software even though they are on High Speed....real sad because AOL will not tell them it is free if you have High Speed, they just want to keep on reelin in the dough.

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#1
August 25, 2011 at 15:50:40
I never had the kind of problems you described but I have had my own issues with AOHell. With the first computer I got I felt I needed a dedicated phone line so that my phone would not be tied up. When I ordered the new line I was offered a deal with AT&T. I explained that I did not have a credit card or great credit at the time. They said since I already had an account with them they could just bill the dial up service to the new line without any problems.

This was all good until I moved out of state. Then I was stuck with verizon. This is when the use of aol came about due to again the lack of a credit card. After a year with them, I always used internet explorer by the way, they offered me ADSL service for just a few bucks more a month. I think I was paying $17.95 for dial up and the new service would be $21.95.

Around about this time all those supposed free isp's started popping up. I tried them all or at least all that were available in my area. Lordy did they suck. So I limped my way back to aol and took their new adsl service. It was ok. I could still just minimise there page and use IE for all my needs. After several months verizon gave a me a dsl offer saying it was faster and more stable than aol. I had had a few issues with aol some of which took hours of calls to customer service. Verizon promised this would not happen with them so I switched.

One week to the day my dsl sevice quit. After several calls to verizon I was told that I could not have dsl service where I was because I was to far from a junction or something like that I can't remember. The place they were talking about was less than 200 yards down the street. They explained to me that it was not physical distance but cable distance. I understood what they were telling me but I had a problem. If it is not possible for me to have dsl because of the cable distance from the building then how did I have it for close to a year with aol and for a week with verizon? After they investigated and found this to be true my service magically restarted. For four years I never had another issue with my internet service.

Back to AOhell. After I cancelled my service with them they kept charging my bank account. The first time I called and raised hell. I was promised this would be stopped and the money put back in my account. In seven days the money was refunded to my account. A month later it was taken again. This time when I called aol I just kept saying "Let me speak to your supervisor" until I could not get any further. This person assured me this would be taken care of. Again seven days the money was refunded. One month later guess what? This time I went to my bank and asked about how to file charges. Yes I was a bit belligerent.

I was handed off to a legal officer at the bank to fill out an afidavid and some other paper work. He also asked if I had told aol that I would be bringing charges against them to which I responded no. He asked if would call them because he wanted to get the call on tape. When I finally again reached a supervisor the bank official explained to him that the conversation would be recorded. After the supervisor said that their records showed my account closed three month ealier the official said that both the bank and I would be bringing charges against aol. Funny only took twenty four hours for my money to be refunded this time. I was sent a rather lengthy apology letter and for the next several years constantly sent offers trying to get me to return to AOHell. Apparently I was not the only person in this area that this had happened to because it made the local news in the area that many may had been cheated by aol but the story only ran the one time so I guess nothing ever came of it.


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#2
August 25, 2011 at 16:03:42
WOW, great story shelbyclan, AOL keeping charges going was for real and many people had problems with it....almost sounding like Norton, which does the same thing to people that cancel.
I'll bet that was a real nightmare for you! I would have been LIVID!

At one point, AOL sold my credit card information to AOL travel (they swore they didn't do that but somehow a charge showed up on my Visa bill...go figure) that had nothing to do with AOL. They charged my card once and I raised hell immediately and stopped it after the 1st time and got refunded...

There must be more horror stories out there!

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#3
August 25, 2011 at 23:23:24
I've heard of a few others that continued getting charged. I remember hearing something about them giving / or selling information but at the time I think there were several getting busted for that so I may be miss remembering. I did talk to one older lady that said she canceled and they kept charging her. She said they claimed she had a two year contract. After a few months she got a lawyer because she could not find anything in all the stuff she got from them saying she had to pay for two years. The lawyer said that if there was a contract they would still have to stop taking the payments and file a court action for the remainder they were owed on that contract. I never did find out from her what the outcome was but heard that she sued and did pretty well.

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