When AOL first caught on you had to pay an expensive hourly rate for it, which could easily add up to as much as $800 a month for hard-core gamers and Internet addicts.
Years later as the amount of people getting online with AOL skyrocketed AOL did away with hourly billing and went to flat-rate pricing. That netted you a bill every month of $19.95 (which went up to $23.90 over the years) for dial-up, tech support, and possibly some other services, depending on what you wanted along with your noisy modem.
In August of 2006 AOL’s premium content, email and software became free for everyone to use, but their dial-up service didn’t. The dial-up rate actually jumped from $23.90 to $25.90 a month with the so-called “goodies” included.
The good news was you could now get a bare-bones version of AOL’s unlimited dial-up plan for just $9.95 a month. The bad news was AOL notified exactly no one of the new dial-up plan. You had to learn of it on your own, then call AOL and ask them for it (and hope the service rep you spoke to would be honest enough to give it to you). To this day most people still pay AOL in the $20-something range for a mere dial-up subscription.