Canceling an AOL account

This link was sent to me last week by my son Ryan. This recorded conversation of a man attempting to cancel his AOL account has gotten a lot of press lately. You can listen to it [here]

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  1. Barbra says:

    Since you posted on this hilarious story….
    One of my
    (day job)
    clients is AOL.

    I don’t do much really, just send out no charge replacement modems after “tech support”
    has troubleshooted and decided
    the modem is shot.

    I cringe at every call because I am bombarded with how much time they have spent on the phone.
    Some mentioned up to 4 hours….

    I get a lot of:
    “I’m tempted to switch ISP’s”
    ..and I have to bite my tongue.
    I want to say ALL AOL content is free.
    I want to say that YEAH…you should switch because no one takes you seriously with an AOL email addy anyway.
    I want to say:
    Break Free of the Walled Garden!

    It’s as if AOL does not care.
    5 times out of 10 the DSL modems are on backorder because they refuse to keep stock. They attempt to anticipate how many they will need for the month and they always fall short. Always.

    Back to the story…
    When an AOL member claims to cancel I am forced to transfer them to:
    DSL Saves.

    I am SURE the guy in the audio was with the “save” department.

    He has a tought job. Believe that!

  2. Mordechai says:

    A few years ago I worked in customer service for a major long distance provider. Sometimes someone would call to cancel. Standard procedure was to ask why they wanted to cancel and possibly make them an offer to save them (depending on various account details). If they weren’t interested, we would transfer them to the “Cancellations Department” (read “Saves”). Here too, an attempt would be made to save the account. While the customer may have wanted just to quickly cancel, it’s reasonable for a company to try to save an account as many times the reason the customer wants to cancel is due to either a seemingly better offer or they’re dissatisfied with the service. In either case there is often room to change the customer’s mind (such as an even better offer).

    Where the difference lies is in the following. If the customers was insistant, the account would just be canceled. If the customer had a good reason for canceling (some judgment was required here), they too were canceled without much fuss. In any event, the total time on the phone (not counting hold times which, depending on when the call was made, would vary greatly from almost nothing to at times, quite long, in which case we would recommend they call back at a less busy time) would rarely exceed 5-7 minutes. If the reason was very good (i.e., customer was moving abroad) or was unwilling to listen to save attempts, 5 minutes would be on the high side.

    If you thing about it form a business standpoint, it makes sense to make some effort to save, but if the customer is unreceptive, it’s better to end things quickly and smoothly in the hopes that the customer would in the future come back. In the end, I guess that’s why AOL doesn’t allow theire customers to cancel: they know that once gone, there’s no reason for them ever to return.