|How I Escaped AOL's Evil Clutches
||[Jun. 24th, 2006|09:25 am]
This is in response to the story of the guy who recorded his cancellation phone call with a representative at AOL. The transcript can be read here:|
At any rate, here's my story. I called one night a few days before the account was to be billed. I didn't want to blow another $30 on service that I no longer used. I was aware of the nightmarish scenarios that occurred during this process, but it was something that had to be done. I called the 800#, entered in a bunch of information, gave them my password, secret answer, blah, blah, blah. I waited for a few minutes until a rep picked up my call.
CSR: Thank you for calling AOL, this is ____, how may I assist you tonight?
Me: I'm calling to cancel my AOL account.
CSR: Well, I'm sorry to hear that. Would you please give me your name and address?
I gave her my name, address, and other particulars.
CSR: OK, very good. Is there a reason why you'll be cancelling service with AOL?
Me: Yes. I have a new service through my company which will make my current AOL service unnecessary. This is untrue, I made it up just to try to dodge their stonewalling a little easier.
There was no response. I then realize that I dropped the call! I realized that I'd have to go through this all over again.
I called back, entered this number, that number, etc. The recording said, "Let us look up your account." It looked up the account and informed me that the information I'd given was on an account that had been cancelled! Thinking this was in error, I hung up. I dialed the number again a minute later. For a third time, I entered in all this information. This time, I did it more carefully. Once again, I was informed that this account had been cancelled. That time, I did not hang up, but I pushed some number for more information. It told me the account had been cancelled on such and such a date, which was the date that day. IOW, it'd been cancelled when my phone connection dropped.
Still apprehensive about this, I checked my next bank statement and confirmed that the account had not been charged. In addition, I received a cancellation letter in the mail about 10 days after my call, complete with a confirmation number.
My suggestion is this: If you need to cancel AOL, hang up when the rep starts stonewalling. Call back two more times, to make sure the account is cancelled. Most importantly, wait for your cancellation letter, and check your bank or credit card statements for charges to make sure no further charges have been made.
Having said all this, let me make one thing clear. I don't know if this routine is a sure-fire way towards an easy and effective cancellation, or if this was simply an anomaly resulting from the actions of a less-seasoned representative. Your experience may be different from mine, this is one reason why I recommend checking back to make sure the system tells you the account is cancelled.