[FAQ] It’s NOT true that you will lose your high-speed connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL!

AOL Is LYING

I’m not going to beat around the bush: AOL is run by liars, thieves and crooks. Take this lie slapped across a cancel page on aol.com:

This is a LIE

“If you cancel you will no longer have an Internet connection, live technical support or security software.”

FACT: In the US, most of you will NOT lose your high-speed connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL.

There are a few exceptions:

  1. If you use AOL Broadband in the UK, you will lose your connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL unless you sign up with another Internet service provider before you cancel. A rough outline on what you will need to do to switch from AOL Broadband in the UK to another service provider is here.
  2. In the US, if you use AOL dial-up, or if your high-speed connection to the Internet is through a partnership AOL entered into with the following DSL and/or cable companies: BellSouth, Qwest Communications, AT&T, Covad, Clearwire, or Charter Communications, you may lose your connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL unless you sign up with another Internet service provider before you cancel.

    Question: “I have high-speed through one of the AOL partners listed above, so how I can tell if I can cancel AOL without losing my Internet connection”?
    Answer: Check your monthly credit and debit card statements for charges from AOL. If AOL charges are present, chances are good you might lose your connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL, so be sure to sign up with another service provider before you cancel.

AOL makes an inaccurate blanket statement to scare you into not canceling your account: that you will lose your connection to the Internet if you do. They don’t bother explaining that if you don’t connect to the Internet through AOL dial-up or through a high-speed provider that has partnered with AOL to bring you service, you won’t lose a damn thing.

AOL is playing into the fears of uncomputer-savvy folks who might believe this. I’m not trying to poke fun at anyone, but for many people in the US, their level of computer knowledge is not great, and AOL is taking advantage of it to scare them into keeping accounts they no longer want or need. That is morally wrong and does a serious financial injustice to AOL’s customers.

9 thoughts on “[FAQ] It’s NOT true that you will lose your high-speed connection to the Internet if you cancel AOL!

  1. Yes, indeed.
    It comes down to two words: “will” and “may”.
    Inaccurate: “If you cancel you will no longer have an Internet connection, live technical support or security software.”
    Accurate: “If you cancel you may no longer have an Internet connection, plus you will no longer have live technical support or security software.”
    Perfect: “If you cancel you may no longer have an Internet connection, plus you will no longer have live technical support or security software. Ensure you have a working Internet connection with another ISP before you cancel your AOL account.”

    Like

  2. Re: Yes, indeed.
    That’s the way it should read but they’re banking on the scaring their customers. There’s a bad business culture firmly entrenched at AOL, it seems.

    Like

  3. Re: Yes, indeed.
    It’s inexcusable. If I had more time to look into it I would want to learn if it’s even legal to word it like that: to deliberately lie to a certain percentage of customers. Say the statement truly applies to as many as 75% of them; but what about the other 25% who will be misled, needlessly confused, and afraid to cancel because of what it says?

    Like

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