As an AOL dialup user for almost 4 years I had my first occasion to use their technical assistance when my modem refused to work correctly in February 2005. Their technical contact referred over and over again to my broadband connection and I insisted I only had dial up service. He advised me to contact AOL's customer service deptartment and at his instruction I did.
I was concerned before my contact with customer service as years before (12/2001) I had inquired online about receiving broadband when it first was offered by AOL. I received a notification online to check AOL's s broadband site to see if it was offered in my area. After entering all the info asked I received a message that I would be receiving equipment in the mail to install. I never ordered this service but did receive the modem in the mail a few days later. This was immediately sent back as I never agreed to receive this broadband service and my inquiry was informational only. Not only was the service not wanted, it was not installed. In fact, the box was never opened. I did confirm days later that the modem had been receipted as returned by AOL and as far as I thought, ended my broadband inquiry.
Contacting AOL in February I was informed that I was being charged with both dial up and broadband services and both services were being debited from my checking account and had been since 12/2001. My frustrations began when I could not speak to anyone who could give me assistance, when I could not be directed to a person, phone number or even address to clear this up and receive the refund I felt they owed me for the service that was never ordered or connected...for a service that at best needed equipment that AOL confirmed years back that was returned.
Both accounts were cancelled 2/05 so I no longer had any access to any records I would have been able to obtain online. I was told my records were purged. Aol continued to debit my account 3 months after this contact ( the number of recontacts with them during these 3 months I cannnot count). My bank finially agreed to stop any transactions with AOL after pleading my case.
I spent many hours researching ways to notify AOL...it's overwhelming due to the offices they have, and the difficulty in obtaining phone contacts. I sent a return receipt request letter to Jonathan Miller at their corporate headqquarters (he did sign receipt of my letter) and asked for reimbursement of the almost 1500.00 i felt they owed me. They have yet to respond to me directly y but due to a complaint I made to the Better Busisness Bureau I discovered they credited my account with 90.00. There was no compromise offered and if a check had been sent to me i would have sent it back because I still feel they owe me the full refund.
I am tired and frustrated and overwhelmed because I am unfamiliar with laws governing out of state venues for small claims filings. The FTC took a claim from me but I realize no monetary satisfaction will come of this. I see complaint after complaint against this company in the course of this research and it maddens me that a company that assumes an image of repubility and integrity and is of such magnitude as Time Warner/AOL/Compuserve could operate in such a careless and non caring matter. I was a happy customer of AOL until they showed their blatent disregard for their good customers. They are thiefs, they should be exposed for how they do busisness and should be held acccountable for every dollar they take without authorization. They are an embarrassment to modern technology.
long beach, California