Using AOL’s software is like giving your computer cancer. It uses hundreds of program files to change IE’s default settings, reconfigures your modem and dialer, installs Real Player and other unwanted programs, adds up to 1000 registry keys (sometimes more, depending on which version you use) and it sets itself as the default dialer so getting online with other dial-up ISPs is difficult, if not impossible.
AOL 9.0 SE keeps nine processes running at all times – even when you’re signed off. Other versions of AOL keep up to 5 processes running (including AOL 9.0 VR – which uses 4 processes to stay “always-on” and connected). AOL’s constant, intensive use of your computer’s resources slows it down and wears the hardware out before its time.
Edited 12-13-2006 to include full contact info for Heidi Jongquist.
To refresh reader’s memories, I ran into 2 problems while checking links on my site a few months ago. The first problem was AOL deleted content from how-to cancel pages. I was so outraged I wound up posting the story on Digg.com, where, needless to say, it was a hit.
The reason behind their page deletions has never been explained and probably never will. The best answer I had was from a reader on Digg, who wrote in the comment section that AOL moves those pages around because it’s their site so they can do what they want to. But when it makes information subscribers need that much harder to find, then I think what they’re doing is wrong.
Almost any complaint against AOL can be resolved if you keep good records and are persistent enough. Stay on top of it. Keep calling AOL and telling them you are writing honest online reviews about them until you know the issue is resolved. 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, if possible and legally permissible in your state, tape calls to AOL. If you can’t legally tape your calls or simply don’t feel comfortable doing so your next best bet may be to live-blog or quickly recap and post your conversations with AOL to your Twitter and/or Facebook page.
If, after taking all of those steps, your issue is still not resolved, your next step should be to file complaints 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: