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Hello, am I getting through?

We've all heard horror stories of just how bad AOL's Internet service and customer service are, but one man recorded a conversation with an AOL CSR that is enough to make even the most tolerant person pull his or her hair out.

Vincent Ferrari simply wanted to call in to cancel his AOL account, but his request to cancel the account simply resulted in over 5 minutes of nonsense as the CSR tried everything within his power to keep Vincent as a customer. Here part of the transcript courtesy of MSNBC:

Ferrari: I want to cancel my account.
AOL: OK. I mean, is there a problem with the software itself?
Ferrari: No. I don't use it. I don't need it. I don't want it.
AOL: Last year, last month it was 545 hours of usage.
Ferrari: I don't know how to make it any clearer. So I'm just gonna say it one last time. Cancel the account.
AOL: Well, explain to me what is wrong.
Ferrari:  I'm not explaining anything to you. Cancel the account.

According to MSNBC, Vincent has received a verbal apology from AOL and the CSR in question has been fired. “At AOL, we have zero-tolerance for customer care incidents like this - which is deeply regrettable and also absolutely inexcusable. The employee in question violated our customer service guidelines and practices, and everything that AOL believes to be important in customer care - chief among them being respect for the member, and swiftly honoring their requests. This matter was dealt with immediately and appropriately, and the employee cited here is no longer with the Company,” said AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham.

One must ask how any Vincent was even able to tolerate AOL service for more than five years?

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AOL Saves department
By rcc on 6/22/2006 1:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
When my soon to be ex moved from CA to MO, she asked me to cancel her AOL service since she had no phone. Being far to nice a guy, I did, well, I tried.

It took about 15 minutes, along the lines of the conversations reported above. When asked why, I told the CSR "because she moved into the country and has no phone or any other way to connect to the service. After a little more BS they agreed to cancel.

Several months later I received a letter from AOL to the Ex for late payment (she had canceled the credit card) on the canceled account.

I called them up and explained that the account had been canceled, etc. And got oh no, that's not possible, there is nothing in our records that shows you called, and the account was used last month. If you don't pay the bill promptly, we will have to suspend your service and send the bill to collections.

Evidently when one of the kids was visiting Grandma she logged into the account on a secondary screen name, and it let her. So they back billed for the intervening months against a canceled credit card.

So after arguing with her for a while, I gave up and hung up on her.

More months down the road, and another notice from AOL threatening to turn this "delinquent" account over to collections. I called again, no doubt because I hadn't had enough frustration in my week. During this call I insisted on talking to a manager, and after being told several times that there was no manager on duty, they finally found one.
They still insisted that there was no record of my first call, furthermore, there was no record of my second call either. After about 45 minutes the best I could get was an offer to reduce the amount "owed" by half.

I shipped the whole mess to the Ex and told her it was her problem. I told her not to get it in the first place.

I was a charter member of AOL, when I canceled that account, it took 2 minutes and was quite pleasant. Obviously things have changed a bit. I guess once you rename the customer service department or cancellation department the "Save" department, it's all down hill.

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