AOL - AOL - 3 Hours lost to AOL - and I

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2002 at 12:00am CDT by e3393423

Company: AOL

Category: Internet Services

3 Hours lost to AOL - and I'm not even their customer - had to cancel AOL service from new residential phone line Hello, Does AOL OWN your phone number? It took me 3 hours to cancel AOL service from my new residential phone line because the last person with this phone number never cancelled their account! I had AOL at one time (1984) but I've been on other ISP's and broadband (cable modem) for years. I just moved from Oregon to Washington. I got a new phone number and on my first bill, I got a charge of $28.90 from Integretel for AOL online service. I called the phone company and told them to take the charge off. They said they would but that I would have to call AOL to cancel it or they would continue to bill and I would have to call them each month to take the charge off. I called Integretel- after I entered my number they gave me an automated message to call AOL at a toll number they gave. I called the number (AOL), and after 2 minutes online it said call back later and then it hung up. So I call Integretel and it takes me 3 more times to find a way to get to their voice support. They tell me that Integretel is a 3rd party biller for AOL and that I would have to contact AOL. I told them they were the company billing me and I won't pay for something I never ordered or used. They said that until they, Integretel, get a message from AOL to quit billing that number, I would continue to get billed. So, back to AOL. It took almost 90 minutes to finally get through to someone. They told me that I had to go to the phone company and tell them to stop. I told them that I did that and the phone company (Qwest) said I had to have AOL stop. She said they couldn't do that-that there was an account on my phone number (and she acknowledged that it was a different name/address). I got so upset I asked her if I could speak to her supervisor. She said that her supervisor would say the same thing. I requested it again and she put me on hold. For 35 minutes. Then she hung up. Ok, I'm now ready to nuke the AOL empire. I call back hoping to take care of this problem (my wife says I never take care of the little stuff and it ends up biting us in the end). So, I call AOL back. This time it only takes 22 minutes to get someone. After I told the person my predicament, he asked me what my screen name was so he could bring my account up (I DON'T have an account with AOL, he didn't even listen to my story). At this point I ask to talk to his supervisor. Jaqclyn (spelling?, AOL agent number 3376) comes on line. I tell her the same big story which takes about 3-4 minutes to finish. She then asks me if I'm having problem with an AOL access number. OK, I lose it. I tell her that I DON'T have an AOL account so why would I care about an AOL access phone number? Now she finally listens to me.

She says the phone company must have given the number to me too quickly and that I would have to tell the phone company the problem. After I ranted and raved, she said that I could probably talk to AOL Fraud Division to stop the billings. I tell her that the onus should not be on me to take care of this and that she should. She told me that I, NOT HER, would have to take care of this (call the AOL Fraud department) and until I did I would still get billed and that I would be liable for the charges. I lose it. After I lost it with her, and not wanting my wife to complain that I didn't take care of the problem, I decide to call the fraud unit. Problem is, I didn't get it from her as I was so upset at the whole thing. Only to find out that this number is not available anywhere that I could find online and the only way I got it was to call back (only took 20 more minutes to get through again to this hell on earth empire) and get the number (AOL Fraud units number is (800) 307-7969). I'm now going on my 3rd hour of hell from AOL. The fraud unit takes my name and number and then cancels the charges to me. Took maybe 10 minutes to get it all worked out with them. That was my 3 hours of AOL HELL. Now, I have some questions: AOL “owns” the phone number-plain and simple. The onus is on the person at the phone number whether it is an AOL customer or not

how can a company that I don't even have an account with cause me to take 3 hours out of my day to cancel THEIR charges on my phone bill?

If I didn't "take care of the problem", would my wife be more upset at me? (Only she can answer that and only in her own special way).

AOL caused me lot's of hassle today. 3 hours worth. I charge $125/hour as a consultant, do you think there is a chance I will recoup my time?

why was the onus on me to notify AOL that my phone number is for me, not whoever they have on the account? It would be very, very easy for them to check this out (name and billing address).

Why does anyone subscribe to this AOL service? You can't even get through when you try to call them and what does all their commercials say.....so easy everyone CAN GET SCREWED BY THEM.

AOL complains that Microsoft is a monopoly? AOL acts like the monopoly. I've NEVER gone through anything with Microsoft remotely similar to what AOL MADE ME go through (and I’ve been on PC’s since 1983 so I have a lot of experience with Microsoft).

God help you if you get a new phone number and AOL “owns” that number-hopefully you won't go through the same pain as me but not one person at AOL thought that they needed to fix their system. In fact they were all surprised that I had such a problem with them and didn't realize that I did not want to have to keep talking from 1 department to the next. They didn't make the mental jump that I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO do any of this, that AOL was at fault.

Is this where the term AOhelL came from?

If anyone has had similar problems I would love to here them. Maybe we can file a lawsuit. I dare say that will be the only way to get their attention. Contact me at [email protected] Scott


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