The horror stories are true…

Last night i have the very pleasant experience of canceling an AOL account. (Yes I’m being sarcastic, and no, it wasn’t mine.) To make a long story shorter, an older lady in my church asked me to come over and help her get her computer working. It initially wasn’t booting due to registry corruption or something caused by SBC Yahoo! Dial, so I did a system restore and got it running again. Since that wasn’t working she installed AOL. Well, I uninstalled the AOL software, and then after getting an alternate dialup ISP setup went looking for how to cancel the AOL account. After searching around at (Yes, that is a not a link. You don’t want to go there.), I found their support page. Then about 3 links deep I found account information (how to change account preferences, payment method, etc.) 2 links deeper i found a link that said Canceling AOL account. Finally! That took me to page with their phone, fax, and address. What! No online cancelation!!??

So after downloading and installing Firefox I disconnected and called AOL (The number was 1-888-265-8008). After talking to a friendly sounding computer voice for about 5 minutes to which i gave all the account information, they finally connected me to a human. He, of course, was from India or somewhere they can’t speak English worth beans. In addition, he would not talk to me, because it wasn’t my name on the account. So the lady had to listen to him give a high-pitched shpeel about the greatness of AOL, why on earth would she want to cancel, yada, yada, yada. She must have told him, “No, cancel my account,” at least a dozen times. Then after verifying bank account numbers, etc. He connected her to their Cancelation Legal Disclaimer. Another computer voice read off this litany of how cancelation is in effect today, any charges you have incurred, yada, yada, yada… If you would like to continue your AOL account, hit 1, etc. I noticed that this computer voice was much less friendly sounding than the first one =).

Total time: 21 minutes, give or take. Not as bad as some accounts I’ve read online, but still way too long for something you should be able to do with a couple clicks on a website.


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