I’ll keep the change, thanks.

What follows is pure editorial and I don’t mean to sound like sour grapes but I’ve gotta say it. There would be no Verizon buying AOL today without AOL’s remaining 2 million subscribers – because without those subscribers AOL would no longer exist. That’s right: if 2 million people had cancelled AOL in a more timely fashion you wouldn’t be reading this. Verizon probably would’ve bought Yahoo! because there’d be no AOL left to buy, and I’d be very happy because the sale to Verizon is shaping up to be a disaster.

But nooooo, AOL’s infamous retention schemes, among other problems, have resulted in them getting what they wanted, which was a way to finance their new ventures into selling ads and owning content producers such as TechCrunch, Huffington Post and Engadget – which resulted in me not getting what I wanted, which was for every last paying member of AOL to cancel their accounts.

This is the blog of someone who, 10 years ago, could not cancel a free trial of AOL so she started a blog about it. At the time, AOL had about 15 million subscribers. That is a lot. Thanks in part to blunders such as this can’t cancel fiasco, along with the fact that high speed broadband, DSL and phones and tablets with 3G, 4G and wifi connections actually do exist these days and can be rather affordable, AOL has shed about 13 million more people. For this I’m thankful. But not thankful enough, because 2 million of you have stuck around long enough to enable the disaster of Verizon buying AOL and I can’t get over why anyone would give AOL money if they didn’t absolutely have to. And almost none of you absolutely have to.

To get the “absolutely have to” part out of the way, yes, I understand that for a tiny percentage of subscribers, you have no choice. You live out in Appalachia or out on the prairie – or else you’re of the mindset that you’ve only ever used AOL and you kind of like it and you definitely don’t want to switch now. At least you’ve got something that works where you are, that you fully understand how to use. Great.

But for the rest of you, you probably have not been doing one of a few things, like checking your credit or debit card statements for unauthorized charges from AOL long after you thought you cancelled your dial-up service. Or else you’ve chosen not to cancel AOL, knowing they still bill you every month, because you think you need AOL to get online – but you really don’t, not if you already have a broadband or DSL connection coming into your home or business. And do you seriously think you need AOL for “back-up Internet”? Brilliant marketing ploy from a dying Internet giant, perhaps, but no, seriously, you don’t.

So Cancel AOL Already!!! OMG!!!

The remaining 2 million subscribers are – again – the only reason AOL makes money. If it was only a matter of AOL servicing remote areas or how everyone’s 90 year old grandma has used AOL since 1992 and can’t stop now, AOL would’ve gone out of business a long time ago. The 2 million remaining subscribers are the only thing keeping AOL afloat. And with AOL being sold to Verizon, these subscribers are financing a possible consumer privacy disaster, a serious threat to net neutrality, and a likely throttling of true editorial freedom. Maybe, if you’re a paying subscriber, you could think about what your money is financing before you pay AOL again.

Two million subscribers back in AOL’s heyday of having upwards of 25 million or more was – once upon a time – an acknowledged rounding error where the total amount of subscribers could be higher or lower by about that many people. No one knew for sure. But now that 2 million subscribers is all they’ve got, that’s one rounding error I’ll gladly keep the change on, thanks.

So folks, let’s get started…

Here’s a list of internet providers that are not AOL which provide dial-up. Here’s a list of providers that offer DSL. Here’s a list of broadband providers. Your task right now? Sign up with a provider that services your area, that you like the sound of and that you know you can easily afford. Once you’ve got that out of the way…here’s how to cancel AOL. Got that all done? Here’s how to get AOL’s stuff off of your computer.

5 thoughts on “I’ll keep the change, thanks.

  1. [Anti-AOL’s note: edited by blog author to put spaces after commas, for a punctuation typographical error and to turn the comment from one paragraph into two. While I do not normally edit for typos or style, I’m getting older and inevitably becoming crankier than ever about comment readability.]

    I found you and now I can read all the stuff here another day..This is a comment about Verizon and AOL. Quitting AOL sounds so easy, but of all the things on this site it does not deal with losing many years of favorites and emails. I honestly can’t find a tech person that is really good with AOL issues. Poking fun at users doesn’t solve the problem. Remember when it was so easy to setup your acc’t on another computer and bam! all your stuff appears on that computer. I have been trying to switch from an old xp computer to a w7 laptop and I understand that you cannot use the old software. When you burn a new cd from AOL and install it, you will get a warning you will lose you data.. I am no tech person and every one around me is dumber then me. My idea was to have AOL dial up on a functioning computer and get dsl and then a free AOL account to access my data. Yes, some things can be moved someplace else if you understand how to do it that’s cool. for them. Where do you transfer your email for 4 screen names and will some email take all that mail? How many Favorites that contain years of research can be put where? How many hundreds or a thousand will be allowed?

    It’s this basic stuff that goes beyond the anger for AOL issues, not to mention being insulted and laughed at because you use dial up. I pay $9.99 for an almost unusable AOL. I now notice that AOL again has changed and there is minimal tech help to transfer your acc’t to a different computer. I have 9.optimized and was trying to load 9.7 into a W7 laptop. Keeping data was the point! I gave up in frustration but with Verizon now buying AOL I am back trying to figure it out. BTW I read that AOL has some media products and also Huff. Post which Verizon finds valuable. I doubt they care about 2 million dial up folks and of course the copper used for connection is also being scrapped, by Verizon. The lucky ones that could afford fast dsl & then fios a long time ago don’t care about all this misery and that’s my hard luck. What people should care about are how the companies are being sold and merged. Competition is necessary to keep plan fees fair. The Verizon part of this sale must have been in the works for a long time and AOL probably wants to just dump all dial up user data so Verizon has a clear slate and can push FIOS or whatever. It’s not ethical and there is no way to know if it’s true. Whose to know? So it;s squish AOL. Then you can change this site to Cloud Hell or something like that. The Cloud has your stuff but can it be trusted?

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    • Oh, goodness…where do I begin?

      I found you and now I can read all the stuff here another day..

      Or you could read at least some of it before accusing me of not having what you need.

      Quitting AOL sounds so easy, but of all the things on this site it does not deal with losing many years of favorites and emails.

      Yes, it does. Not to seem really defensive (which I really am) but here, witness this:

      https://intoolate.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/faq-the-all-in-one-aol-email-and-address-book-faq/

      And this!

      https://intoolate.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/how-to-keep-your-aol-email-address-book-and-aol-favorites-when-you-quit-aol/

      I honestly can’t find a tech person that is really good with AOL issues.

      Most of them will tell you to stop using AOL and will go on to tell you that most people did in fact stop using AOL years ago. Most of them will offer to wipe AOL right off your computer for you either via reinstall of the entire operating system or else by some other method(s). This does not make them bad tech people.

      Poking fun at users doesn’t solve the problem.

      You’re right, it doesn’t. But I poke fun, anyway. I’m sure some tech people do, too, which does make them bad tech people. First rule of business: never poke fun at customers. But no one who will ever read or write on this blog is my customer.

      Remember when it was so easy to setup your acc’t on another computer and bam! all your stuff appears on that computer.

      Not really, I don’t. And Windows 10 isn’t out yet, either. Not officially. Did you mean your AOL account? Again, no. Who cares? Of course it was so easy to set up and bam! all your stuff blah blah blah. Anything to keep your $23.90 flowing into AOL each month. Of course it was so easy and just gag me, already.

      I have been trying to switch from an old xp computer to a w7 laptop and I understand that you cannot use the old software.

      Which old software? AOL’s? Maybe if it’s AOL 8.0 or something…but anything from version 9.0 up should still be useable on either XP or Windows 7. And no, I didn’t tell you that. Also, Windows 10 is coming out July 29th. You’re still two operating systems behind.

      When you burn a new cd from AOL and install it, you will get a warning you will lose you data..

      Where are you getting “new” AOL? AOL quit making/sending CDs out years ago. At least, I hope they did. You can still download the latest version of AOL. I have not tested any version since 9.5, but they’re only up to 9.7 this many years later, so it can’t be too different much worse.

      My idea was to have AOL dial up on a functioning computer and get dsl and then a free AOL account to access my data.

      This sounds very strange. So you want dial-up and DSL on the same computer? You’ll have to pay for the dial-up part. To get the free account you’ll have to sign up with yet another AOL username (one you will have to create anew at sign-up) and as far as I know, you will not be able to “access your data” with it. I’m truly not sure where you’re going with this.

      Yes, some things can be moved someplace else if you understand how to do it that’s cool. for them. Where do you transfer your email for 4 screen names and will some email take all that mail?

      Yes. I think you’d need to use a mail client, though, like Outlook or good old POPPeeper [disclaimer: I haven’t tested POPPeeper since I wrote the posts I linked you to above].

      How many Favorites that contain years of research can be put where? How many hundreds or a thousand will be allowed?

      Are you trying to trip me up, or is that an actual question? I don’t write much about transferring Favorites because it’s a huge PITA [pain in the ass] and I don’t consider it a priority for most about-to-be ex-AOL customers. I don’t work for AOL or some AOL opposition force so I can write or not write about whatever the hell I want. That said, you’d have to call AOL’s tech support to answer those questions more precisely. I have no idea.

      It’s this basic stuff that goes beyond the anger for AOL issues, not to mention being insulted and laughed at because you use dial up.

      Well, who did this? Because if it’s anyone who wants your money you should not give them your business.

      I pay $9.99 for an almost unusable AOL. I now notice that AOL again has changed and there is minimal tech help to transfer your acc’t to a different computer.

      That kinda sorta depends. If you’re really determined to do this, they have tech support premiums you can pay for the more advanced help you’ll probably need.

      I have 9.optimized

      Oh, OK, now you tell me.

      and was trying to load 9.7 into a W7 laptop.

      And again.

      Keeping data was the point! I gave up in frustration but with Verizon now buying AOL I am back trying to figure it out.

      That is, uh, interesting. What is it about Verizon buying AOL that makes you want to do this? I’m specifically wondering what your fear around or problem with the acquisition is. I’m totally against it myself, but chances are for a world of entirely different reasons.

      BTW I read that AOL has some media products and also Huff. Post which Verizon finds valuable.

      There’s no saying that Verizon gives a flying crap about them. They have not spoken of it and it’s not for me to comment upon, verify or disprove what you’re saying.

      I doubt they care about 2 million dial up folks

      Yeah, so do I. Y’all are just a huge cash cow, and they’ll milk it for what it’s worth. Which is all of AOL’s profits, to be precise.

      and of course the copper used for connection is also being scrapped, by Verizon.

      Holy shit. Hadn’t heard that before [note: I *will* be verifying or disproving that claim sooner or later – I think you have it mixed up with them getting out of the FiOs/copper cable business, but I’ll check, either way].

      The lucky ones that could afford fast dsl & then fios a long time ago don’t care about all this misery and that’s my hard luck.

      Read my last sentence again. The FiOs customers are not going to be very lucky – or happy – in the long run.

      What people should care about are how the companies are being sold and merged. Competition is necessary to keep plan fees fair.

      Are you talking about AOL again? Seriously, your plan, whatever it is, is already unfair to begin with.

      The Verizon part of this sale must have been in the works for a long time

      Yeah, since January of this year, if you consider that “a long time”…

      and AOL probably wants to just dump all dial up user data

      Yeah, you’re definitely on the right track…

      so Verizon has a clear slate and can push FIOS or whatever.

      Again, it’s not about FiOS. FiOs is (or will be, soon enough) quite dead.

      It’s not ethical and there is no way to know if it’s true. Whose to know? So it;s squish AOL. Then you can change this site to Cloud Hell or something like that. The Cloud has your stuff but can it be trusted?

      Ha ha, what a sense of humor you’ve got there, buddy.

      OK, so to recap:

      You want to put AOL 9.7 on a Windows 7 computer but you can’t get your account information to “transfer” to it and you want to find a way to import all your email accounts and not lose them and to save perhaps thousands of Favorites. Whew. For most of this I would advise signing up for this plan: https://assist.aol.com/, then calling their tech support to walk you through what you’ll need to do.

      Hopefully I have not killed too many kittens or made too much fun of you in writing this reply. You actually wrote a very interesting comment and I thank you.

      Good luck getting all of your AOL issues straightened out.

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  2. Pingback: Verizon Intends to Get Out of FiOs/Landline Business | Anti-AOL

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