Patty, the reader with the AOL proxy/ AOL Trojan scare a few months ago, wrote me again to say that she finally quit AOL. While I am – as anyone can imagine – happy for her (she’s with Earthlink now, which is a big step up), canceling AOL is, as always, fraught with peril, trepidation and fear of the unknown. Her updated saga, with the subject line Ex-AOL Proxy!:
Hello Marah! Thought you might like to hear the end of the story — I finally quit AOL! (which so far has been no big deal, but that’s kind of what scares me!) (time will tell!) First of all on Wed., 1-21-09, I followed your cancel.aol.com link, and filled out the form (making sure to check the box at the bottom!) — got an immediate “successful submission” response, and a box telling me to allow 3 business days for the cancellation to kick in. It also said I’d get an email, and that I’d still be an active member until my next billing date (2-1-09). (haven’t gotten that email yet . . . )
As backup, the next morning I called your 888 265 8003 #, following the cues for cancellation. After entering my phone number, got an automated answer saying the account had already been canceled effective 2-1-09. To make triple-sure, I went online to LiveHelp, but again when I entered my info, got the response I didn’t need to talk to anyone ‘cuz the account was already closed. So the final safeguard was checking my AOL “My Account”, which also said it would be inactive as of 2-1-09. (you’re welcome to my info if you want to experience this first-hand!)
[My note: That would be a violation of AOL’s TOS, but thanks anyway.]
Anyway . . . no where along the line did I get a cancellation/confirmation #, and I never spoke with anyone, so I’m still leery! We’ll see what happens when 2-1-09 rolls around!
[My note: I would have demanded a cancellation confirmation number…but many of my readers don’t think of it while they’re talking with an AOL rep, or else, out of politesse, they let the AOL rep boonswoggle them into believing the account is really closed when it isn’t.]
As far as getting rid of their software, I wasn’t so concerned, since I’m gifting that PC to a friend. But I did go to ‘add/remove programs’ and uninstalled whatever AOL components there were. Then did a search for any files/folders with AOL in them, and deleted the 17 items that came up (including a big ol’ ‘AOLback’ application). Did the same thing for McAfee, so hopefully I got rid of enough to prevent any issues for the new owner (who isn’t going to use AOL)!
[My note: I would still check to make sure AOL’s Connectivity Service isn’t running and disable it if it is. It will needlessly use RAM and CPU cycles even when AOL is not in use, and on older computers like Patty’s that’s both an inconvenience and very likely the case if the computer came preloaded with the defective AOL 9.0 SE.]
So . . . It literally took me a good month to get over my PC withdrawals and get used to the iMac — kind of felt dyslexic for awhile there though! But I’m almost kind of sad I won’t have as much to troubleshoot/resolve as I did with Windows! (that new conficker worm sounds interesting!)
[My note: Yes…sometimes I dream of owning a computer that “just works”, too.]
BTW, yes that was me on the PCHelpForum!
[My note: Gotcha…I should be a private investigator…I’m quite good!]
Told you I’d been searching for the right source . . . glad I found y’all. But, alas, I no longer have need of the excellent service you provide, so thanks for the help, and keep up the good work exposing AOL for what they are! 🙂 (But I will let you know if I get charged for another month!)
Patty, you’ve welcome! Let me know if there are any future issues, such as a fee from AOL still turning up on your monthly credit card statements, or any problems with traces of AOL software on your old computer.