• Report: #96747

Complaint Review: AOL / TIME-WARNER

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  • Submitted: Mon, June 28, 2004
  • Updated: Sun, October 24, 2004

  • Reported By:Seattle Washington
AOL / TIME-WARNER
Nationwide Nationwide U.S.A.

AOL/TIME WARNER Aka America Online Ripoff, Fraud, Deceptive Practices, Knowingly Charged Wrong Customer Credit Card and Blamed Innocent Customer. Cancelled Service No Warning Worldwide Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: AOL/TIME WARNER RipOff: Understand Why & How These Situations Occurs

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What Happened With Me And ISP, AOL Online
(A Deposition & Personal Statement)
By Min. W.D. Patterson

Well, this is a rather long and tedious story in which after a careful investigation I found that it was an inevitable ERROR that dates back over a year ago. AOL very rudely and without any warning whatsoever based on a single allegation of credit card fraud by a disgruntled former girlfriend shut down my seven (7) screen named accounts and web sites with them on Sunday, 6/13/04. This has caused a sudden and extreme hardship on me in that, I have been a loyal AOL customer since 1995 and had a lot of contacts and data stored within their secured systems.

My story goes as follows, last year around February or March 2003 I had lost my job at the University of Washington as an Activities Coordinator for the International Outreach ESL Program. I was volunteering at the accusers place of business, a non-profit CBO to further my access in the community to gather data about Blacks for my scientific research projects. I was appointed as the Memberships/ICT Manager because of my technical skills in managing the organization's computers and Internet access.

During this time I was experiencing severe billing errors with AOL, which caused my checking account to overdraft. After explaining this to my accuser she agreed to pay my AOL fee for a month until it got straightened out. She did this with her American Express card. The same card that she provided for me to subscribe her own internet service for both her private salon business as well as, the non profit Community Based Organization (CBO). I assumed she figured that she had more to gain by keeping me happy and online? She agreed to pay once. After that, I feel AOL intentionally continued billing her card since they'd knowingly and admittedly over billed my own bank account at US BANK.

My accuser's hunch worked because after she did this, I labored long hard hours on her old systems (2) plagued with viruses and corrupted software configurations for several months before bringing them online at a state of tweaked and peak performance. A task rarely undertaken by anyone who knows this technology.

When asked, Why had you not noticed AOL's monthly charges on your bank statements? My answer was, As a loyal long-time good standing AOL subscribing customer, supporter, and marketing promoter, I strongly feel and clearly see where AOL mislead me into thinking I was being granted a settlement of gratitude and apology with their services for which they had done often in the past. AOL eventually settled the billing issue with me, and it appears they did not revert back to paper billing me monthly as I'd requested and documented. Unsuspected and unbeknownst to me, AOL chose to continue billing my accusers American Express Card after finding out that she had a very high credit rating, (based on my investigation). Because of the automatic electronic debit service shepherded by AOL I had not seen nor monitored my account until it became overdrawn. I was naive enough to trust such a well-known name much in the same as the stockholders trusted ENRON & WORLDCOM.

I suppose my accuser made a year long similar mistake in that she never monitored her credit card statements to discover AOL's absorbent charges until after our failed relationship and subsequently cancelled AOL and disputed the charges over and above her own which inevitably left me in a very vulnerable position of alleged fraud. Not to mention the loss of ISP Service and web site space with NO WARNING WHATSOEVER. This accused behavior is very unbecoming of my very kindhearted, compassionate, and rather generous natured character. She often made comment about this when I worked on her friends computer systems whom she had referred me to (and they were slow to pay).

I am no longer an AOL supporter even if they offered a lifetime of FREE SERVICE plus gratuities as in past settlements. Be informed that I AM NOW A PAID SUBSCRIBER TO NETZERO.COM Internet services. This is both for the online ministry, my research projects and personal use. I sincerely trust that the above statement will both shed some light on this grossly misunderstood incident as well as exonerate me in the allegations of FRAUD which would undoubtedly prove to be very damaging to my reputation as a youth minister, mentor, role model and political activist for change.

Below is my personal statement of contact communications with AOL Representatives regarding the unannounced and sudden termination of my Internet service, which has created a dire hardship and threat to my quality of life, as we know it in this age of technology:
1.) Rude, unreasonable, and suspicious demands placed upon my person via telephone contact number 1-800-307-7969 with AOL Rep. Nola, by name late Sunday (6/13/04) afternoon after several attempts to get online failed with warning to contact AOL. Nola informed me that there was nothing she could do due to the fact that this account had been referred to the AOL FRAUD DEPT. and transferred my called to the appropriate department.
2.) AOL Fraud Dept Rep., Melissa Gomez answered the call and asked the normal security questions typical of AOL. Name of account holder, primary screen name account, phone number, address, mother's maiden name, and city or town of birth. After answering all correctly Melissa Gomez informed me that this had account had been terminated by AOL after the accuser had cancelled her own AOL account and preferred Fraud allegations against me.

When asked about the credit card used on the account I truthfully gave her the last four numbers of my valid Visa debit card issued by US BANK. I asked if my account could be reactivated because I ran an online ministry daily devotion since 1995. She answered, NO, not until my accuser said so. I then proceeded to do a conference call to two (2) of the accusers known home and business numbers, as well as, her cell phone with Melissa listening in. There was no answer at any of the three (3) numbers so I left messages for a return call ASAP. For an individual who used to call me as many as ten times a day, I've yet to receive a return call five (5) days later. Nor have I heard anything from Melissa or AOL after she unreasonably asked me to FAX (904-232-4747) her the following if I wanted to get my service back without my accusers permission. Could this prove to be yet another misleading statement?
a.) PROOF OF IDENTITY IN THE FORM OF PASSPORT OR DRIVERS LICENSE (faxed passport)
b.) PROOF OF OLD AOL PAID BILLING FROM 1995 (sent MasterCard statement from 1996)
c.) As additional proof I faxed documents containing dialog between myself and Steve Case, AOL's then Founder and CEO, as well as, documents of dialog with AOL reps over billing discrepancies and service complaints.
d.) PROOF of my online ministry. http://hometown.aol.com/Retrofit1/OutReachmin.htm (faxed letter of introduction to Seattle City Council & then police chief, Norm Stamper)

Further details of exonerating evidence, names, dates, communication documents, bank statements, receipts, and photos available upon request by authorized agents only. Authorization as deemed necessary and permissible by law in Washington State and the Commonwealth State of Virginia.


Signature______________________________________ Date_____________

Witness_______________________________________ Date_____________
Print Name Above_______________________________

Witness_______________________________________ Date_____________
Print Name Above______________________________

Witness_______________________________________ Date_____________
Print Name Above______________________________

Min. W.D.
Seattle, Washington
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on AOL

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/28/2004 09:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AOL-TIME-WARNER/nationwide/AOLTIME-WARNER-Aka-America-Online-Ripoff-Fraud-Deceptive-Practices-Knowingly-Charged-96747. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 Consumer Comment

AOL/TIME WARNER RipOff: Understand Why & How These Situations Occurs

AUTHOR: Min. W.D. - (U.S.A.)

Dear Sue:

Thank you for your insight about my recent dilema with AOL. It was very helpful.

I would like to restore my original screen name if possible. But what's to say
this don't happen again? I was dealing with people in India for this. Talk about
offshore jobbing glitches. This would certainly exemplyfy a classiv example, no?

Your info was so informative that I would like to post it as a followup on www.ripoffreport.com so that other's may learn from our mishaps to better
understand why and how these situation occurs. This could possibly serve as a major relief of stress in someone's life. If it only helped one, it would be well done!

I will anticipate your reply? Thanks again and God Bless!

Yours In Christ Jesus,

-Min. W.D. Patterson
OutReach Ministries, USA
Seattle, WA & Columbus, GA


W.D. Patterson, PC Tech-Maintenance & Internet Access SVCS,
P.O. Box 30505, Seattle, WA 98113-0505
Ph: 206-781-7278, Toll-Free Home/Office Number: 1-877-225-5928, FaxWave:
1-775-242-3349


Please note: message attached

W.D.

Thanks for telling me about all the problems you've had with AOL. I've had similar problems, but mine was overbillings which I eventually got straightened out.

My ministry site was transferred to Australia without my knowledge, and I'm still trying to find out where it's gone again.

Did you know you have about six-months to restore your names, before they let others use the same name. Or is it a year? They "lost" several of my screen names, and I finally changed four of them, because we couldn't recover the others.

If you can get back on AOL, would you records still be in tact? Mine where, when I restored one of the lost connections.

We had several problems where others were accused of 'fraud' and when they pressed forward, they either got suspended and then put back on line, or they left. In most cases, the problems were with the people cutting into the sites, or misunderstandings like yours. I paid for one of my employee's AOL hookup, and they charged him, me on my credit card, and our bank account. It took me months to get it settled. Then, as you mentioned, they gave me 'free service' for three months. So, in the end I about broke even.

Yes, when Steve Case was with AOL we had better understandings. When Time-Warner, etc. became part of AOL things changed. In some cases for the better, and in others, we're still 'fighting' to straighten them out.

Let me know if you feel it would be worth your while to reconnect to AOL for a couple of months. That would help you recover your previous names, etc. Also, is your ministry non-profit, or do you 'pay
for everything yourself".

Praying for you! You've had a rough go! May the Lord make it right again!

Sue Sabas
===========================================

Hasten Together - Ministry At Work


You will have courage because you will have hope. You will be protected and will rest in safety.

Job 11:18 (New Living Translation)
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