Why You Should Use the BBB Against AOL

Republished on 12-17-07 because I want this fresh on people’s minds again.

Also see How to File a Complaint Against AOL.

Billy wrote me a month ago that he canceled his free trial of AOL back in 2003, but they kept billing him every month for the next 3 years. In fact, when he wrote me, they were still billing him. AOL’s taken nearly $1000 $900* from him since he canceled his free trial, but he didn’t know it until recently.

When I wrote him back I gave him a bit of a scouring for not checking his credit card statement for 3 years but I also told him to call AOL (rather than write to them, as he’d done previously without success). I told him to make them look up his usage to prove he canceled 3 years ago, gave him a link to a site that explains how to dispute credit card charges, and I gave him links to every attorney general’s office in the nation and links to the BBB and FTC, explained what they do, and told him “good luck” – because I doubted after 3 years that anyone could do much.

I didn’t hear from him again so I wasn’t sure if he was unhappy with my advice. After a few weeks I lost his email like I lose almost everyone else’s but I figured it wasn’t going to go well for him, anyway. Then out of nowhere Billy wrote me again that he got over $800 back from AOL:

After filing a complaint [with the] BBB, FTC, [and the] Texas Attorney General, I received refund[s for] $51.80 and $25.90 and $742.50, for a total of $820.20. I had to haggle to receive the $742.50, but in the end, I did get the credit back (through the BBB). Thank you.

Thank YOU, Billy, for making my day.

*“Billy” told me the amount of money AOL took from him was in the $850-900 range after I published his story.

How to File a Complaint Against AOL

How to file a complaint against AOL

Updated 1-6-10.

Almost any complaint against AOL can be resolved if you keep good records and stay on top of it. Important: Keep a paper trail with notes about what was said during phone calls, hang onto cancellation confirmation letters and/or bills received after you cancel and tape calls to AOL. Your best bet is to then file a complaint with the BBB, your State Attorney General’s Office, and the FTC.

Your paper trail should include:

  • Time and date of your calls to AOL.
  • Master Account AOL screen names you’re canceling.
  • Names, email addresses, clock numbers and/or shift numbers of AOL reps and supervisors you spoke to and brief notes about what was said.
  • Your cancellation confirmation number. If you don’t have one but you did try to cancel you can still file a complaint.
  • Any reason AOL reps and/or supervisors gave you for refusing to cancel your account.

You should also have on hand:

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