The Nightmare of Cancelling AOL

06/22/06 UPDATE: The guy trying to cancel the AOL account, Vincent Ferrari, was featured on a NBC segment with Matt Lauer and they played part of the his phone conversation. AOL has even issued a public apology to him. It doesn’t matter. If it has to take this much attention on the web and TV to make you issue one apology to one former customer, then there is something fundamentally very wrong with how your company does business. The rep apparently got fired according to AOL but I’m sure that was what he was trained to do. There’s no fixing this PR mess. See the NBC segment after the jump.

Originally posted 06/15/06:
Here’s another example of how AOL systematically works against its customers. Listen to this phone conversation of a guy just trying to cancel his account. It’s pretty unbelievable how the rep keeps refusing to just honor the caller’s wishes. If it were me I’d be pretty damn pissed off.

(Audio recording no longer available)

NBC Segment

3 Replies to “The Nightmare of Cancelling AOL”

  1. When I heard this story about Vincent, It brought up a memory for me when I tried to call and cancel. I told the person I wanted to cancel and the CSR kept trying to make me stay and was trying to get me to keep my membership. About twenty minutes in the call, I got upset and I told him that I just want to cancel the service I don’t want no more offers just cancel. The CSR then started to yell at me and told me to stop talking and let him talk . He really talked to me like I was nobody when I got off the call I cried like a baby. I was never talked to so bad in my life. Needless to say I called back still upset and the CSR tried to keep offering me stuff to cheer me up but he gave up and cancelled my service. The reps are relentless. I work in a call center and I know how much pressure is placed on the reps but dam there’s no excuse to treat people like this. FYI, call centers give reps a retention rate they must meet, if they don’t meet that rate they don’t get bonuses and even get fired so may AOL has some type of rate the reps must meet because the rep was relentless

  2. Wow, you know I used to think it was really bad that I was lied to by a AOL CSR but hearing these other stories makes me realize how bad some people have been treated by AOL.

    I’m so glad there’s more public attention focusing on these atrocious tactics. AOL needs to deal with the fact a LOT of people don’t want to use their dialup service anymore! It’s overpriced and provides no value! Like in Vincent’s phone call, people are calling to CANCEL, not find another way to keep the account!

    The more I talk about it the more ticked off I get. AOL deserves what it gets. It had such a dominant hold on dial-up and failed to capitalize on broadband and convert/upsell its vast customer base. AOL, you suck.

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