Wednesday, June 21, 2006


CNBC has a crazy clip showing an AOL customer trying to cancel his account, but a phone rep won't let him do it. In the end, it took 4 minutes of asinine frustation.

Oh man! I had a similar experience with cancelling my credit card. It wasn't as bad, but it did feel like I was breaking up with a girlfriend. They actually said, "Is it us? Did we doing anything wrong? What can we do to keep you?" Jesus, how about have some self-respect?

Anyway, here's the transcript:

AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Hi this is John at AOL... how may I help you today?
VINCENT FERRARI: I wanted to cancel my account.
AOL: Sorry to hear that. Let's pull your account up here real quick. Can I have your name please?
VINCENT: Vincent Ferrari.
AOL: You've had this account for a long time.
AOL: Use this quite a bit. What was the cause of wanting to turn this off today?
VINCENT: I just don't use it anymore.
AOL: Do you have a high speed connection, like the DSL or cable?
AOL: How long have you had that...
VINCENT: Years...
AOL: ...the high speed?
VINCENT: ...years.
AOL: Well, actually I'm showing a lot of usage on this account.
VINCENT: Yeah, a long time, a long time ago, not recently...
AOL: Okay, I mean is there a problem with the software itself?
VINCENT: No. I just don't use it, I don't need it, I don't want it. I just don't need it anymore.
AOL: Okay. So when you use this... I mean, use the computer, I'm saying, is that for business or for... for school?
VINCENT: Dude, what difference does it make. I don't want the AOL account anymore. Can we please cancel it?
AOL: Last year was 545, last month was 545 hours of usage...
VINCENT: I don't know how to make this any clearer, so I'm just gonna say it one last time. Cancel the account.
AOL: Well explain to me what's, why...
VINCENT: I'm not explaining anything to you. Cancel the account.
AOL: Well, what's the matter man? We're just, I'm just trying to help here.
VINCENT: You're not helping me. You're helping me...
AOL: I am trying to help.
VINCENT: Helping... listen, I called to cancel the account. Helping me would be canceling the account. Please help me and cancel the account.
AOL: No, it wouldn't actually...
VINCENT: Cancel my account...
AOL: Turning off your account...
VINCENT: ...cancel the account...
AOL: ...would be the worst thing that...
VINCENT: ...cancel the account.
AOL: Okay, cause I'm just trying to figure out...
VINCENT: Cancel the account. I don't know how to make this any clearer for you. Cancel the account. When I say cancel the account, I don't mean help me figure out how to keep it, I mean cancel the account.
AOL: Well, I'm sorry, I don't know what anybody's done to you Vincent because all I'm...
VINCENT: Will you please cancel the account.
AOL: Alright, some day when you calmed down you're gonna realize that all I was trying to do was help you... and it was actually in your best interest to listen to me.
VINCENT: Wonderful, Okay.

"I've never ever experienced anything like that," said Ferrari. He recounts how the AOL representative - as a last resort even asked if his dad was home."I think I could've put up with everything, but at the point when he asked to speak to my father, I came very close to losing it at that point," said the 30-year-old Ferrari.Ferrari then posted the call online, and the response was tremendous.AOL sent him an apology and said the customer service rep was no longer with the company.

Source and video.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience with AOL a couple of years ago. Now, I avoid AOL like the plague!

Another company to watch out for is Vonage. If you try to cancel your Vonage account, you'll be put on hold for nearly an hour ... then when the guy finally does get to you, he'll try to get you to take their reduced fee account where you can receive messages, but you can't call out.

Just like AOL, Vonage is a company that only has their best interests at heart...the customer be damned! Just keep sending them the money!

Anonymous said...

all subscriber services are like this.

I just canceled my SBC phone line and internet (they raised my rates without telling me, and with auto-pay, electric billing, takes awhile to figure it out)

anyway the phone call took 30 min,
and I didn't get my phone turned off becasue I owed my last bill, and the Rep said it'd appear on my credit report if they shut it off while still owing money.

And they couldn't process my CC payment immediately, told me I needed to let the payment clear and call back in 4 days.

The internet part she also said couldn't be shut off same day, said they had to "re-join" my phone lines. I called her out, told her she just made that up, and that I did all the phone wiring in my house. She then admited that they didn't have to come to my house, but to a junction box/building to shut it off, and that would take at least 4 days for them to schedule that (originally she scheduled it for 7 days and I complained, and then she said there was a 4-day wait clause in my service agreement). Top it all off she said, it only comes to $1 a day so what's the big deal.

Then of course she offered my free months, to retroactively fix my bill, etc..


so after 30 min I had to wait 4 days to call back AND pay for 4 more days of Internet and phone...

Follow up call only took 10 min.


Lisa said...

Someone got my credit card info, and used it to buy AOL. I caught it by looking at my bank statement online - and they had the phone number listed, so I called. The guy kept saying, "Are you SURE you don't have AOL services?" I would say "no." Then, he'd say, "well Miss, I'm sorry but I don't show that we have charged your card." I said, "well, my bank account says differently." Then he'd check it again, and repeat the whole thing. Finally I just gave up, called the bank, reported it to the fraud department and got a refund.

Jim said...

Lisa, that happened to me about 10 years ago!!! SOme jerkoff was using my card to buy AOL. Weeeird!