There are lots of stories going around about AOL lately. Let’s clear some of them up.
- Myth #1: AOL no longer sells dial-up access.
False. AOL still sells dial-up and BYOA (Bring-Your-Own-Access). The good news is, AOL is down to 4 million subscribers from an all-time high of 25 million subscribers in 2005, with more subscribers fleeing each month.
- Myth #2: AOL does nothing but provide dial-up and BYOA access.
False. AOL does much more. AOL recently thought it was an ad company, but now thinks it’s a media company. Access is something AOL doesn’t “focus” on anymore, because most of AOL’s customer service and tech support calls are handled by employees in India, and the infrastructure for dial-up practically runs itself.
- Myth #3: AOL still blankets the US with CDs.
False. AOL does limited distribution of CDs by bundling them with Dex phone books or by sending them to certain bloggers, but other than that, the days of waiting breathlessly for your next coaster are over.
- Myth #4: The name “AOL” is now written out as “Aol.”.
False. The new “Aol.” moniker is a prime example of “branding”, like how I changed my blog’s name a few years ago, to improve my, um, “brand”. I’d prefer if you call my blog “Anti-AOL” now, but if you still call it “Marah’s AOL Log”, that’s OK, too. It wasn’t a legal name change, and neither was AOL’s. You can write its name out however you want. I prefer “AOHell” and “Aolol”, myself.
- Myth #5: “Aol.” is a meaningless brand meant to catch your eye and nothing more.
Well, yeah. But, no, not technically speaking. False. Supposedly, when you choose Aol., you choose the best brand for your lifestyle. (I know…the whole idea makes me sick, too.) So you don’t visit a blog on AOL; you visit “blog.Aol.” Adding the “Aol.” appendage makes you seem smarter and cooler (or, if you’re old school, l33t3r) than the rest of us.
- Myth #6: “Aol.” is pronounced…differently, so how do you pronounce it?
False. You pronounce it the same way.
- Myth #7: It is still impossible, damn it, to cancel your AOL account.
False. You can cancel your paid or free AOL account simply by filling out the online cancel form, unless you live in Washington, DC (AOL programmers forgot to let the District of Columbia in on the magic).
- Myth #8: I can cancel your AOL account for you, if you just leave me a comment anywhere on this blog saying something snotty like, “Do away with my service”.
Hello people, let’s get real: I can’t do that, OK? But the good news is, I think these people can.
Call AOL – AOL Phone Numbers, Online Links & Contact Info for US, UK & International Callers
Every few years I take an entire day out of my life to dial all of the AOL phone numbers you see on this list. AOL constantly shuffles phone numbers around and often disconnects or reroutes them, so this sort of “in-the-field” work is sadly very necessary. As of 1-18-2016, all of the phone numbers and website links you see here should work as advertised.
If any US or non-US AOL phone numbers no longer work or if dedicated phone lines for certain departments suddenly reroute to general numbers, or if you find more phone numbers and addresses for AOL that are not listed here, please let me know.
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.
9-6-07: Several links on this page don’t work but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Note to readers: AOL is denying subscribers easy access to their Cancel My Account page, in a pattern that clearly emerged when I published links to that page on websites beside my own: that’s why I wrote the following (this is a copy of the letter that I wrote to the Washington State Attorney General).
I am writing this as the author of the site, Marah’s AOL Log, at http://marahs-aol-log.livejournal.com/. I began my site in Dec. 2005 after a hard time canceling AOL as a way to vent my frustration with America Online. I enjoyed researching AOL for my site so much I soon expanded it into a full-fledged “one stop site” for how to cancel, uninstall, or complain about America Online. As part of my Site Map I began providing a direct link to a page on AOL.com called “Cancel My Account” starting this February, which provided all the phone and fax numbers and addresses to call or write to cancel America Online.
Before March 8, 2006, nothing about having this journal was exciting. I’d change my CSS, update links and rewrite articles just to keep myself awake while I read it. I’d stare at my site counter and wonder if it looked unprofessional. I started thinking that since I own a journal with the title How to Cancel, Uninstall or Complain About AOL I should link to something on AOL about how to cancel. I spent another week berating myself for my stupidity: my journal had no link like that for three months. By the end of February or the beginning of March I’d found AOL.com’s Cancel My Account page, and added the link to my Site Map.
Update, 11-4-07: As of July 2007 AOL accounts absolutely can be canceled online (click this link to learn how) so there’s no need for the information you once found on this page.
I would’ve kept my “Mirror of AOL’s Cancel My Account Page” up forever since I basically won the right to copy it after making a big deal out of AOL deleting that page every time I linked to it on Marah’s AOL log, the first version of the journal you see here. AOL would also delete that page from their servers every time I left a link for it on popular message boards. AOL thought somehow that would stop people from canceling.
That plan might have worked, at least to a limited extent, but my exposure of the scheme brought that idea crashing to a halt. Then Vinnie Ferrari made how hard it is to cancel AOL a national pastime to discuss around the water cooler, and finally, the current Governor of my state, Charlie Crist, acting as Attorney General of Florida, forced AOL into an agreement in which they must allow their customers to cancel AOL by simply filling out and submitting a quick online form.
This page has had its day, so I’m retiring it now to the obscurity it deserves.