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11/16/2002 10:12 PM ID: 26682 Permalink   

Man Pays $916 for 22 Days of `Free' AOL

 

Terry Thompson, a Nebraska man who lives off of Social Security checks, ended up owing $916.20 because he did not realize he would have to pay long distance charges to access America Online.

America Online states that it believes it is clear in its advertising that toll calls or long distance calls may be necessary for subscribers in areas without local access numbers. Lawyers preparing a class action lawsuit do not agree.

American Online is being sued by several consumers who made the same mistake Thompson did. AOL's software will direct some people to long distance numbers when there are no local ones available. Some say they are redirected when local lines are busy.

 
  Source: www.omaha.com  
    WebReporter: JFURY Show Calling Card      
  Recommendation:  
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
   
  12 Comments
  
  same here.  
 
Same thing happened to me, gotta bill in the mail after 1 month, of 80$ in long distance, Stupid piece of crap AOL.
 
  by: Mr.G   11/16/2002 11:28 PM     
  aim is ok...  
 
my self i hate AOL, but i do use AIM, I modded it with ResHacker and got rid of the ads and now its pretty cool!
 
  by: decile   11/17/2002 03:01 AM     
  Me too  
 
Before I started working for an ISP and got free connection, I had one of those 'free' months of AOL as well, which ended up costing me over $120 in "extra" and "hidden" charges. Man was I pissed. Though probably not as pissed as this man.
 
  by: binkzz   11/17/2002 05:40 PM     
  Ditto  
 
Same story here, ran up about 300 UK Pounds on their "Free" trial, crap service crap software and crap company.

http://www.nomoreaolcds.com/...

 
  by: Wolfsglen   11/17/2002 11:46 PM     
  Not Surprising....  
 
I used to run an anti-AOL site, and you wouldn't believe how many wrote telling me of these kind of "horror stories." Sometimes, it is the user's fault, as in one guy's case where he thought simply uninstalling the software would cancel his subscription....uh, no....AOL markets itself to the tech-illiterates who sweat and scream in fear at anything beyond "CLICK HERE," and do have some practices which take advantage of such lack of knowledge. The long distance thing I see in their commercials sometimes, but it's always in "disclaimer text" at the bottom of the screen, almost unreadable. They don't care how they get a person, just as long as they get them, and if the phone company charges for a long distance call, AOL can say to the mad customer "hey, it's your phone company, call them." And it's not like they haven't....
 
  by: KnightHeart     11/18/2002 07:17 PM     
  Its their fault!  
 
they were stupid enough to use AOhelL.
Even if its free its not always the best to use.
 
  by: lord_nauction   11/19/2002 01:11 AM     
  AOL is scum  
 
Similar thing happened to my mom...She got charged $400+ in long distance charges and AOL just told her she should have read the small print. Vile, wretched, good for nothing piece of s**t company, that AOL..
 
  by: harpyr     11/19/2002 01:12 AM     
  nice post by knightheart  
 
I remember when anti-aol sites were everywhere and now aol's stock plunges faster than an environmentally unfriendly toilet.
Ever try quitting aol? That was one of the toughest things I ever did besides close on my mortgage!
 
  by: JFURY     11/19/2002 01:53 AM     
  Why is this never settled  
 
For years AOL has been doing this to first time net users. Is there a way to turn off this dialing of long distance or are you just a riped from the start.
 
  by: rw   11/19/2002 06:29 PM     
  Thanks, JFury  
 
You reminded me of something else I should've mentioned, that many people complained to me about:

Canceling AOL is a chore in more cases than you would figure. Whenever anyone would write to me when my site was at http://www.anti-aol.org and ask "how do I cancel and make sure," my advice was usually "call, cancel, and get a confirmation number, name, and whatever else you can get. Get them to tell you the last billing date that you will be responsible for if you cancel now. Then, immediately call your credit card company or bank and tell them not to accept any charges from AOL after that date. You may even want to send in a letter stating the same."
You wouldn't believe how many called and canceled and were just told that their account was done. Many were still billed, some had their plans changed to an hourly rate and billed by the hour, which, if they were using the accout during the last billing days, were now racking up a huge bill, and all sorts of other things. I had interviews on my site with people who actually worked for AOL, and the stuff they told me....it was pretty bad, and I doubt AOL's gotten better.
 
  by: KnightHeart     11/19/2002 07:05 PM     
  Thats True  
 
AOL does do that but u can disable that feature in the software probably should be noted better
 
  by: nosx   11/21/2002 05:49 AM     
  same  
 
shucks thats nothing, my bill was for $1,700. of course i didnt pay the bill, and verizon can kiss my butt :)
 
  by: anon21   11/25/2002 03:50 AM     
 
 
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