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AOL Fined for being too hard to Cancel

Jung

???
Premium
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#1
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5842727.html
America Online agreed to pay $1.25 million to the state of New York and reform its customer service procedures, the state attorney general announced on Wednesday.

The agreement stems from consumers' complaints that AOL customer service representatives would either ignore requests, or make it unduly difficult, to cancel their service, according to a statement from Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer said that an incentive system AOL had developed for its customer service representatives contributed to most of the actions that drew complaints.

"This agreement helps ensure that AOL will strive to keep its customers through quality service, not stealth retention programs," Spitzer said in a statement.

Under the agreement, AOL will no longer require its customer service representatives to meet a minimum quota for customer retention in order to receive a bonus. Previously, AOL would distribute bonuses in the "tens of thousands of dollars" if representatives were able to retain half the customers who called to cancel their service, according to the attorney general.

AOL has been under pressure for several years to shore up its declining subscriber base. The company's hold on dial-up customers has steadily declined as broadband service has ramped up, especially as competition in the broadband sector has heated up and subscriber prices have fallen.

The agreement also calls for AOL to have a third-party monitor to verify and record customer requests to continue their AOL service after a consumer had initially contacted AOL to cancel. AOL said it won't need to have a third-party monitor to record all calls. The new verification system will be introduced to certain call centers by January and all AOL call centers will have it in place by June, said Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman.

In addition to paying New York state $1.25 million in penalties and costs, AOL will also reimburse eligible New York consumers with a cash refund worth up to four months of service. Those consumers will have 120 days from Wednesday to fill out and submit a claim form necessary to collect their reimbursement.

The attorney general's office received approximately 300 complaints regarding AOL's customer service policies, according to Spitzer. Based on a dial-up account cost of $23.90 a month, AOL may pay at least $29,000 in refunds to New York consumers.

"The cost is secondary to doing right by our members," Graham said.

The investigation began in 2004 and reviewed cancellations going back to 2001, Graham said. He noted that AOL has cooperated fully during the investigation.

"AOL is pleased to reach an agreement with the state attorney general of New York," Graham said, adding that it enhances the relationship AOL has with a certain segment of its members.

New York's attorney general office is the second to pursue an investigation and agreement with AOL over customer care practices. Last April, the attorney general of Ohio concluded an 18-month investigation into AOL's customer care practices.

AOL paid $75,000 to the state of Ohio as part of its agreement, as well as some limited refunds to customers, Graham said. The issues involved areas such as the customer retention process, as well as billing and cancellation refunds.
:rofl:

Gg, New York. :thumbsup:
 
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#2
Finally! They deserved this. It was hard as hell for my family to get rid of them like 3 or 4 years ago. I couldnt wait to get rid of AOL, but my mom and sister didnt notice a difference between AOL and any other company. Obviously they are blind or something. I'm getting off topic, so i'll stop...
 
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#3
They need to do the same thing with Earthlink. When I was working there if you had a CC on file and canceled your cable internet they'd revert the account to dial-up and start billing. I had this one lady call in that had been charged $26.95/mo for 5 or 6 years. The supe had me tell her a lesser amount and we ended up refunding ~1/2.
As for AOL, I work for Timewarner so I'm kinda conflicted about whether or not this is good news.
 

Darklight

Oppressing your posts...
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#4
hahahahahahha.... i remember when I canceled my service with aol... fucker tried like 6 times to get me to stay on offering free 3 months and all kinds of shit... told him to cancel the service or else... but then I also tell tech reps to skip the first two pages of bullshit when I got a problem... sorry but im pretty sure my computer is on and plugged in... and resetting it will not fix it.. I just hate stupidity :D
 

Cyn

Head Member
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Not that I EVER plan on going back to AOL, (I'm actually ashamed to admit that I ever did use their product. I used Mind Spring until they sold out, that helps me feel a little better) but this is great news. It had gotten really bad from what I'd heard. After being away from AOL for a while I quit hating them so much. I can see where their software is great for some people, and their service was always fast even during high traffic times back in the 56k days. Who knows, mabey this will make them realise that they need to find another way to make and keep customers. Now if they'll just stop with that "turbo-charged" crap.

'Sure, ruin the quality of my internet images just for a small increase in speed. I'm stupid, I don't mind.'
 

Cyn

Head Member
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Darklight said:
. . but then I also tell tech reps to skip the first two pages of bullshit when I got a problem... sorry but im pretty sure my computer is on and plugged in... and resetting it will not fix it.. I just hate stupidity :D
So do they, but they get payed to put up with it.

I don't have the patience for that job myself. My bro calls me from time to time to ask questions about his software. I usually end up hitting stuff or getting ill with him when he does (. .and I love him. I can't imagine how mad I'd get with some dick on the phone that I don't even know.) I'm like, *slam* " Dude, listen! A playlist file IS NOT a freaking audio file. It simply tells the media player what order to play the media files in. If you only deleted the playlist then your audio files are still there, I promise." *him* " Uhhhh, Duhhh, Ummmmm, Errrrrrrrrrrr, well why don't they show up in my playlist then?" *slam, bam, crash* "Ok dude, one more $%&#ing time. Alright, what I'm telling you is that . . .
 

Icarus

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My mom used to have AOL, now we have MSN (better, but not by much), and cancelling AOL went smooth for us. It was a long time ago, though. Go New York!
 

Brain Spout

Wizard No More
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i can remember when we first got aol. it was back in i think 1993, when my dad brought home a computer, i forget if it was from work or he bought it. it was an HP computer, widnows 3.1 or soemthing. it was crazy

i don't hate aol, although i much prefer cable to it.
 
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so when are they going to sue aol for having bullshit software, if they can sue them for taking up out time, why not sue them for taking up processor and bandwith and not to mention my patience...

(aol for broadband-aols final breath)muahahaha
 

Darklight

Oppressing your posts...
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#10
probably as soon as spyware and adware becomes illegal for being more viral and destructive then an actual virus...
 

magnolia

Postaholic
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#11
I'm glad they got fined. I really dislike the company in general. It's like microsoft having a manopoly (Sp). They had to be broken up. Well, AOL needed it's ass kicked a little bit. Anyway, I'm done.
 

Brain Spout

Wizard No More
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#13
i finally managed today to get rid of the program running in the background. there is no option when you right clikc the aol icon in the system tray and short of every time you start up ending the several AOL processes on your computer there was no way to get rid of it. so i just stopped it from starting when my computer loaded up, and it's working faster, i'm surprised they can't get in trouble for stealing my memory like that