AOL Has Every Reason to Cancel Your Free Account

Stop the not knowing

The amount of ignorance on the Interwebs is…awe-inspiring. Take The Consumerist’s latest stab at AOL: AOL Has No Reason to Cancel Your Free Account. I’m all for taking a good stab at AOL, as long as it’s deserved, but in this case, it’s not.

The author of the email that brought forth The Consumerist’s wrath is misinformed, to say the least, which is AOL’s fault for not letting members know how to cancel free accounts, not his fault for being unable to find that information.

Instead of looking into the matter, The Consumerist left the email author to the whims of their snarky masses (I’d rather have a root canal than be an AOL user in that crowd). Even people who work for AOL, like AnswerTips (Hola!), couldn’t help the email author, Jim, quickly and seamlessly cancel his free account. It made me want to syndicate my blog into every tiny little corner of the world so that confusion like this will stop.

AOL does let you cancel your free (email/IM/chat only) AOL account….no problemo! But you can’t call AOL for that…you must use AOL’s online cancel form.

Ever since I found a shortcut to AOL’s cancel form that doesn’t requiring you digging through half their Help website to find it, canceling your free or paid AOL account couldn’t be much easier – just sign in, answer your security question, fill out the cancel form, place a check mark next to the “don’t want to convert” yadda yadda, press the Submit button, and that’s it, you’re done! You couldn’t make it much easier (OK, you could, but that’s another post). I have a full article on using AOL’s online form to cancel your free AOL account at the link above. It’s so easy it’s almost boring. And it works.

I could sign into The Consumerist to add my “easier version of how to cancel one’s free AOL account” to their page, but I lost my password to that site years ago, I don’t feel like signing in with my other Gawker name (since I reserve that pretty much for trolling Marissa Mayer) and I hate to steal the AOL Answertip guy’s thunder, since he thinks he’s got it all tied up. It’s rude to steal this one blazing moment of glory from him. But you can always find the best answer here. :)

11 thoughts on “AOL Has Every Reason to Cancel Your Free Account

  1. You did NOT find the shortcut to AOL’s cancel form. This link on your website that supposedly leads right to the cancellation page (https://bill.aol.com/SPortal/jsp/notify_fdm.jsp) does NOT work. It instead takes you directly to the “Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement” page. I was really hoping that this would be as easy (and possible) as you said, but unfortunately, no. It would be really great to have a link that worked! Please!!!

    • OK, OK, OK. You’re the second person to tell me this. I checked the day the first person made this claim and as far as I could tell, that person was incorrect. The link brought you exactly where I said it did. But I’ll check again. Right now. And I’ll post a screen cap of my results. And I’ll update this comment – and my original post – as needed. So hang on a minute while I check things out. :)

      ETA: Here is the link to the screen shot I just made of what I found at the link in question:

      http://intoolate.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/this_link_works1.jpg

      Hot damn, it is a cancel form that I have once again found at that link. How could this be?

      Now I’m going to suggest how this could be, because I don’t like being told I’m in error, when, in fact, I’m not. Sorry about that.

      1) If you’re using the AOL software – not a regular browser such as Firefox or Internet Exploder – there’s a chance AOL could be re-directing the link to lead you to the copyright page. I don’t have the AOL software installed and I’m not going to install it just to find out.

      2) I don’t know what the reason for it could be.

      3) If anyone can figure out why some people seem to be landing on AOL’s copyright page when they click the link I provide in my article to the cancel form, will you kindly let me know what the story is before I rip my hair out on another slew of completely mystifying complaints.

  2. I just tried it again and it does the same thing. I am using Safari but I also tried it in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome & Firefox. Still takes me to the copyright page. BUT I think the problem may be that I have an AOL affinity email address, so it doesn’t end with aol.com even though it is an AOL address. Maybe the link only works for addresses specifically ending with aol.com.

  3. I think I love you. That is exactly the problem! I just created an AOL Affinity account, and sure enough, if you use it to browse to the cancel page, you get the copyright page instead. I’m so glad to finally have an answer to this mystery I could jump for joy.

    I can’t advise you what to do about it, though, except call AOL or use a written letter of cancellation. All the info you need to do either of those things is here:

    http://intoolate.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/aol-customer-service-phone-numbers-and-contact-info-updated-3-03-2010/

    Best of luck; if AOL gives you any problems with canceling, let me know. :)

    PS: as to the idea that if the email address doesn’t end in aol.com, it can’t be canceled? I’m going to check that out too by signing up for one of AOL’s “designer” or whatever they are screen names (like the ones that end in @wow.com?) then try the cancel page again and see what happens. Thanks a lot!

  4. What if you don’t know your security questions, because you made them up decades ago, and someone has hacked you account and is sending everyone emails from you selling them Viagra??

    • Without knowing more about your account (like if it’s paid or free) the best answer I can give is to call the AOL Fraud Department at 1-800-307-7969 (more AOL phone numbers here), report the account hacked and tell them it’s sending spam out to others. If you want to freeze it for a short while (24 hours max) sign in repeatedly with the wrong password until AOL locks you out of your account. That will lock out *everyone* who tries to get into your account for 24 hours; keep locking out of it each day, on purpose, until you can get someone at AOL to help restore your account security.

      After trying to reset my AOL account password tonight (which also requires knowing the answers to your account security questions, and nope, I don’t know mine anymore, either) I saw that once you’ve made too many attempts to answer correctly you get a message here that says: “You have reached the maximum number of attempts to verify your account. Please try again in 24 hours. For further assistance, you can contact a representative directly by calling 1-855-PWRESET (855-797-3738), Monday – Sunday, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM (EST). Calling that number might help you get your password reset – but I don’t know for sure, because I haven’t tried myself.

      After checking today, it appears my own AOL account (the one I keep solely for testing purposes) has been hacked (all the messages are deleted, even spam, which is quite frankly impossible without it being hacked) but when I tried to find out how to reset my account security questions there were no answers on the Web (nor on AOL’s Help website) that I could find. Even Google does a better job of helping people reset password and security information tied to hacked accounts – and on an automated basis, no less. Good luck.

  5. AOL will not accept my security answer and NO I haven’t forgotten my mothers date of birth nor have I forgotten my birthday or zip code but guess what – you call them and they tell you all of your answers are incorrect so I cannot cancel my FREE email account. What a frustrating POS aol is.

    • Sounds like your AOL account got hacked. Try calling AOL’s Fraud Dept. at 1-800-307-7969 to see if they will get things right for you.

      • Thanks I will try calling their Fraud Dept tomorrow. This is very frustrating I will never go near anything connected to aol again. I just want this stupid free account closed and have no idea why they would make that so hard.

  6. I have another question but would prefer it not be publically posted can you email me so that I can ask you in private?

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