This how-to is for people who get an error message when they try to remove AOL from Vista. If you are not getting the error messages mentioned in this post, please see How to Remove AOL (any version).
So you’re an ex-AOL user who’s moved on from Windows XP to Windows Vista. You put AOL software on your new Vista computer or added it to a new Vista install on your old computer back when you still paid for AOL.
Now it’s days, months, or years later, you’ve finally canceled AOL, and you no longer want to keep AOL installed, even if you can still use it for free, but you can’t get rid of it no matter what you do.
Update, 6-8-2015: A longtime Anti-AOL reader, Paintman, informs me he finally won his fight against AOL. He got $1,600 back for service he was charged for even though he lives in an area that doesn’t get service from AOL. You can read his story (short and sweet) here.
So far readers have thanked me for helping them get back over $2,800 from AOL.
Reading my blog helped Sarah discover that even though AOL was still charging her for an account she canceled almost a year and a half ago, there was still hope she could get back the $400 AOL took from her bank account without her permission. In Sarah’s own words:
I bought a computer in February 2008. The computer came with a free trial offer to AOL. I signed up for the offer on a Friday. I decided to choose a different internet provider and canceled my account the same weekend. I never received a letter, email, or phone call from AOL until June of 2009, when my card expired and AOL could not process my payment. I had no idea they were even charging my account until I received the letter. I tried calling and after about 15 minutes of prompts finally got someone who’s English was obviously his second language.
So you’re ready to make the big switch. You’ve set up an account with a new service provider so you won’t lose your Web connection, you’ve saved your AOL email, Favorites and AOL Address Book, and you want to call AOL soon to cancel your account.
In the meantime, you’re looking to get rid of AOL’s software and on the lookout for a way to get on the Web that’s fresh, fast, and fun. Maybe a friend or co-worker told you about Firefox and you’re intrigued. You should be. Nearly 25% of web users worldwide are devoted to Firefox, with it’s clean, simple look, exceptional speed, excellent pop-up controls, and awesome private browsing features. (Edit, 12-21-2009: Firefox 3.5 is now the most popular browser in the world.) This article will help you make the switch.
Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with how many people get laid off at AOL. There are so many layoffs every year, all year long at AOL, that keeping up is rather time-consuming. Luckily, Alley Insider has picked up where I left off with a much better chart than the one I made (it’s also better than Valleywags’s, which was the one I tried to improve upon) with a new layoff chart of their own.
I like it better than Valleywag’s or my own chart because a) you can see it (I seem to have lost the bigger copy of my chart), 2) it lists the name of the CEO who presided over each layoff in chronological order, and c) it’s bigger than my chart, or did I say that already? oh, and d) it’s up to date, which the other charts no longer are.
If I were to get really ambitious, I’d compare all three charts (it would help if I could see my own chart, of course, but I can’t) and come up with an improved version, if needed, that I could add to this December or next February (depending on which rumor you believe) when the bulk of AOL layoffs are supposed to happen (rumors place the upcoming body count between 1,000-2,000 people).
ETA: As soon as I wrote this post, I found a bigger copy of my chart, linked to right under the smaller copy. Since it’s my usual habit to link bigger images to smaller ones (but not to place the link to the bigger image underneath), I thought I’d lost the bigger version, which pretty much sums up what I would think.
Nicholas Carlson wants you to know the full extent to which doublespeak is used by AOL. To that end, he’s reprinted a chart that AOL drew up for their recent earnings call. The chart is titled, in big, bold letters, “AOL Highlights”. This gets funnier, I promise.
The total number of subscribers was down, total revenue was down, and of course, total profit was down. But that didn’t stop AOL from trying to make things look good, at least to the average layperson. It’s hard to absorb what lengths AOL went to to obscure the facts without seeing the chart, so here it is:
To anyone who saw the chart without hearing the earnings call, it might look like AOL had a banner year: there are no negative numbers, and growth appears to be up in all categories.