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I Hate AOL
Posted August 18, 2003 at 09:58:21 AM by Bean

Last year, I got a Chase Shell credit card.  It was good for 5% cash back on gas purchases from Shell.  I used it whenever I got gas, and that's about it.  Unfortunately, in Feburary 2003 I also used it to sign up for a free AOL trial.  I was living with Stef at the time, and we didn't want to get a cable modem since we planned on moving soon.  I figured I could use the free trial, then pay for a month or two to get me through April.  When we were about to move, around May 23 (when we closed on our house), I called AOL to cancle my account.  I remember it was a pain in the ass, but I am sure that in the end, I cancelled it.  About that same time, Chase alerted me that some bogus charges had appeared on my card, and issued me a brand new one.  The new card had a different account number, so I figured even if AOL still tried to charge me, they had my old card and would be up shit creek.

And the months passed.

On August 7th, I recieved a statement from Chase Manhattan (my credit card company) saying that for my convenience, they have been forwarding some reoccurring monthly charges from my old, cancelled card to my new one.  Guess who it was? Yep, AOL.  On August 8th I came in to work and called AOL.  I explained my situation to several people, all of whick transferred me to someone new.  When I was finally able to continue talking to the same person for more than 2 minutes, she told me that the AOL databasses were updating and that she would not be able to access my account today.  She said that she couldn't cancel my account and that I would have to call back another day to do it.  When I asked when, she said she didn't know and didn't want to guess because then I would be mad if she was wrong.  WTF?  Am I supposed to believe that the worlds largest ISP shuts down global account access for days on end?  I bet if I called back that same day, that litle bitch would have no problem accessing the database to create me a new account.  Frustrated, I hung up.

On August 12th, I called again.  After the usual forwarding from Bill to Sue to Nancy, I ended up talking with a guy in the cancelations department named Guy.  Guy was very charismatic and tried his darndest to get me to stay with AOL.  Guy didn't seem to understand that I was already using another service and was trying to cancel an account that hadn't been used for 4 months.  "What features do you like or dislike with your AOL account?" Guy asked.  "I don't like any of it, which is why I don't use it anymore."  "Can I get you to stay if I give you two free months and a free upgrade to premium?"  "No Guy, I don't want to use AOL at all."  After I finally got Guy to shut up, i explained, in detail, the problem with my credit card.  I was excited to learn that he could give me non-usage credits for the months in which I did not log on.  Guy told me that he would issue $95.60 to my credit card, but that I would need to give him the new account info rather than the old, cancelled card info that they already had.  Lastly, he told me that I should wait until the credit shows up on my card before cancelling the account, just to be sure.  That sounded a little fish, but I said what the hey, I was happy that I'd recoup some of the dammage.

I waited until this morning to check my credit card for the non-usage credits that Guy promised me.  Of course, they were not there.  So, I called AOL again and ended up talking to Lawanda in the cancelation department.  Lawanda told me that no credits had been issued and that she could not give me any.  She tried to convince me to stay with AOL by offerring me freebies, but when she would not listen to what I was saying, I got nasty.  I told her about what Guy had promised me and she said that all it looked like he did was give me 2 future months for free.  After I yelled at her, she told me she had to talk to her supervisor and put me on hold.  When she came back, she told me that all she could do was cancel my account and transfer me to the billing department to see about credits.  I thanked Lawanda for being such a bitch and wrote down my confirmation number.

I was transfered to Anthony, in the billing department.  Anthony listened to my story and said "Okay, I will credit your account $47.80 for the past two months on non-usage."  I said "What about the other months that I didnt use the account, and the previous credits I was promised?"  He basically said that there was no way to prove that Guy promised me anything and that it would just be a "he said, she said" type of thing.  I asked how I could lodge a complaint and was told there was no way.  I explained how I felt that I was getting the runaround and getting screwed out of money and he replied with some shit about how he just worked in a call center and couldn't do anything about it.  He said that he could see the screen name of the fella that help me before (Guy) but that there was nothing I could do to get in touch with him or any of his supervisors.  I asked Anthony how I could be sure that he wasn't blatently lying to me like Guy did, and he got very defensive.  In the end he told me that there was no way I could tell whether he was lying or not and that there was no way for me to prove that we even had this conversation.  He could not give me any kind of confirmation or documentation that the credits would be given this time, so there was really no was to insure me that he wouldn't just pull a Guy on me.  Again, frustrated, I hung up.

I don't know whether or not the credits will ever come, but atleast the account is cancelled this time (confirmation number: 337756386).  I fucking hate AOL.

Old Comments
Adam (August 12, 2006 at 09:30:31 PM):
I know how you feel. My mother has spent a lot of time trying to cancel AOL but in the end just to shut them up doesn't cancel it. now we will have to because we have digital phone which wont let us dial quickly (which the computer does). we are talking about going cable for internet like the phone.
corbin (February 26, 2007 at 03:24:33 PM):
so did you get the credits?
Bean (February 26, 2007 at 03:34:16 PM):
not that I recall
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