I want to let everybody know about the danger of using AOL: You can’t start an account without giving them a credit card number, it is nearly impossible to cancel, and if you cancel they continue to charge your account anyway and won’t refund your money.
I had the misfortune of trying a trial account in November for reasons I don’t want to get into. I didn’t like it, and tried to cancel. You can’t cancel online. I called, did the whole half-hour’s worth of nonsense they put me through, and finally cancelled. That was in November. Guess what?
I noticed today that they are still charging my account $25 per month. (Remember I just moved, so I hadn’t been checking the charges on my account for the last couple months. The charges started in March.) I called. Several times I was told to call different numbers or was transferred to incorrect departments. I encountered severely hostile people. I encountered people who reminded me of timeshare-condo sales in Mexico, trying to talk me out of cancelling.
In the end I (think I) was able to cancel again and got a promise that SOME of the charges will be reversed – in 3 to 5 days – but then they told me that I have to write to a special address to get the rest of my money back! Is this fraud, or what?
AOL is the most fraudulent company I have encountered, next to MCI. MCI used to regularly somehow switch my long distance away from the carrier I had signed up with over to them, and in the process would charge me more than triple what the other service had been charging. They were just as hostile on the phone and difficult to get my money back. Three times. Let’s see how many times I have to repeat this cancellation process with AOL.
I’m writing this because I am pissed off and because I bet AOL didn’t think about how blogs can get the word out to lots of people.
Update – See AO-Hell. And see this. And The long goodbye…
Warn everyone you know to stay away from AOL!!!