AOL ripoff consumer rip-off fraud Internet Internet
I have a long-standing AOL account in addition to several others that I use for personal and professional reasons.
About 5 months ago, AOL initiated a promotion that offered to convert existing screennames into wholly independant accounts. If accepted, three free months of service would be given.
As has become a customary practice, this promotion was offered with a splash screen upon quitting the AOL application. When I first encountered such a dialog, I was NOT offered a button or option to decline or dismiss, there was only one button to accept the offer. Rather than selecting the promo, I quit the computer.
Nevertheless, the account was generated. I received an email verification of such, but email responses in protest were returned with the message that it was undeliverable due to that mailbox is full. Phone calls to tech support assured me that AOL recognized that I declined the offer and no more would come of it.
On the fourth month hence, I noticed that I had been debited $23.90 in addition to my account fee. In contacting AOL, I was informed that they had no record of my declining the offer and that the three FREE months had elapsed. After having them verify that said account had never been used, it was cancelled and that I would be reimbursed and given two months credit on my regular account for my trouble.
One month later, no reimbursement had been received AND I was once again charged from my regular account PLUS the same $23.90 for the additional service. In my subsequent contact with AOL, their words were that this was impossible.
After two hours online and on the phone, and after twice being disconnected, it was determined that AOL was indeed at fault and that any future charges would be stopped. I have been promised a reimbursement check and will receive a two additional months of credit on my regular account.
This just happened, so I am not certain if this will be the end of it. What concerns me most, however, is the apparent crux of the problem. As I was on the phone with the latest technician, he discovered that he could delete the service in question from my account, but that the request did not apply to the database -- when he refreshed the screen, the service reappeared where it had been deleted. He assured me that the correction had been made manually, but I am not so sure that other people aren't suffering from the same bug.
Keep and eye out folks.