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Switching to the Free AOL August 5, 2006

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.
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TI – Am I a knucklehead for keeping AOL all of these years? I’ve been paying $14.95 per month for as long as I can remember for broadband AOL. I never use it. My kids never use it. Now that AOL has just announced that there’s free broadband access, today I tried to get the free version. If there’s a way to do it within the AOL sight site, I can’t figure it out. So what am I doing, I’m cancelling the entire service. By fax ! ! Yes, by fax ! This just confirms that I’ve been a knucklehead AOL member paying into a stupid business model for far too long.

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1. Tell it like it TI is! - August 10, 2006

There you go again. You read one article and you start flying off of the handle. You are not a knucklehead for using aol (for some other reasons, but not for using aol). Face it, we are pioneers, and admittedly I have outgrown aol, but chose to keep it because it provided my kids with a safe, controlled, internet environment. My kids have been surfing the web now for more than half of their lives. This would not have happened without aol. No way would I have let my kids venture out into the open internet world witout aol. Do you let your kids play near down power lines, or go outside in the winter with flip flops on? NO. So don’t say that folks have been stupid for using aol…just say that you outgrew it. And if anyone has been paying attention, you knew that this day had to come. The world is changing. What did you want them to do, continue selling xl-sized SUVs with poor gas mileage (which were hot in the 90s) when they are faced with $4/gallon gas prices? How dumb is that? By the way, Ford introduces their new 2007 Expedition next week, gas prices are rising, and…. Hey their stock price just hit $7 dollars yesterday.

Get the point? AOL had to change with the times and competition, or face a $7 stock price and try to force the old business on everyone, then look up and wonder what the heck happened 5 years from now.

2. Tell it like it TI is! - August 10, 2006

By the way, thanks for the heads up. After over 13 years of uninterrupted AOL monthly payments, I will be cancelling my paid account, as well. I understand that I can still keep my screenname and everything else….(tear falling from my eye) I guess this is the end of an era. I was proud to be a pioneer in this journey. I remember when the name changed to AOL. Do you remember what is was called prior to that?

3. Fast Follower - August 10, 2006

“Fly off the handle”. What are you talking about. All I wanted to do was get the free broadband version of AOL. I couldn’t figure out how to do it within their friggin site. I’m not going to spend more than 15 minutes trying to use something I really don’t need to use anyway. Remember: I don’t use AOL anymore. AND, my kids rarely use it as well. Like you I didn’t want my kids venturing into the world wide web without a little protection. But guess what. You don’t get parental controls anymore with the free version. AND, you only get one screen name. So:
Can’t figure out how to get the free version +
Nobody in the family is really using it +
No parental controls for the free version +
Only 1 screenname =
Cancel AOL

By fax no less. Cancelling an internet service by fax. They’re trying to make the cancelling cost really high. But if you don’t need the service, who cares.

4. Fast Follower - August 10, 2006

I was an AOL member when they had 300,000 users. But they were called AOL then. I don’t remember the original name of the service, however.

5. Tell it like it TI is! - August 10, 2006

A note to AOL….

Come on AOL, don’t go punishing those that have used your service all along! This is crazy! I finally agree with Fast Follower, of all the innovative ways that you have done business over the years, do you really think it is fair to have your loyal customers faxing cancellations. Are you counting on folks not even having fax machines anymore. You can either bow out gracefully or you can treat the folks that kept you going for all of these years a fair shake and an easy way to cancel the service. Be fair about it. We know it must be hard changing your business model, but that is no excuse to treat us like this. You will never convince me that you can’t set up a cancellation site, and with the click of a button and a few pin numbers accomplish this in an honorable manner. Let me tell you this will go a long way when it comes to support for your next phase of business.

Yours truly, since 1992, TI.

6. Fast Follower - August 15, 2006

After cancelling my AOL account by fax last week, today I went to the AOL.com site. I tried to log in using my cancelled screen name and was greeted by a message asking if I wanted to keep my old screen name for free. What the heck. I signed up to keep it. Why I couldn’t find this option within the “I’ve been paying $14.95 per month for AOL site” last week is still a frustating mystery to me.

7. Tell it like it TI is! - August 16, 2006

Just got off of the phone with the AOL representative. She told me that she has spoken to one other guy that had a longer account than mine by 8 months. By the way, PROMENADE was the name of the service prior to the AOL name change. The only thing that I can gather is that the only difference between what I had before is the Live Customer Service feature. I will see when I get home or my daughter will probably call me if something goes haywire.

How can AOL change like this. The service will have to change right? How can you go from 14.95/month to free with no impact? Well, I did hear that there will be 5000 heads cut by AOL, and I am assuming that the pop up advertising will get so sickening that we may not want to use the service.

Maybe I am missing something here, and it is probably because I am part of the auto industry…..I can’t imagine giving away cars for free!!!

8. Tell it like it TI is! - August 16, 2006

Good Luck AOL. It has been a good ride for the last 15 years of uninterupted service. I must say in those 15 years, technology has taken quite a few turns, but I don’t think I ever had a problem with your service. My kids only know AOL because I loved the parental controls. I wish you well in your new business model, and wish you all of the success I feel you deserve.

You brought me into my first chat room (wasn’t that spectacular), you taught me how to search for information (Google who?), you taught me how to surf the internet, you taught me how to download software…..I remember lightening fast software downloads when I got my first 14.4 modem (remember starting the download and going to bed???), then you enhanced the service with automatic logoff when the download was complete!

This week is the Classic Car Dream Cruise in Detroit… though I am not a real “car guy”, I know understand the connection that these folks have with the automobile… From an automotive perspective, you are like the car that I learned to drive, a classic, a part of my life…

From a golf perspective, you are like the first set of clubs that I learned to play with and can’t get rid of and still have in my garage…

I am proud to have journeyed with you, and, again, I wish you luck in your new model. Take care.

TI

9. Fast Follower - August 16, 2006

As usual, you are missing something. How valuable is something to other constituents that’s free to the end user? As Google has shown, very valuable. Have you ever paid for Google Search, Gmail, Picasa, Blogger, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Desktop, Google Calendar, Google Mobile, Froogle, etc.? Are these Googe services valuable to both the end user and to constituents who value the “eyeballs” of the end user? Yes ! !

10. Darrell C Lewis - March 12, 2007

Had AOL until March 1 of 2007, paying the 14.95 on that date for this month. Do you think I could access it?? Nope! Wait 2 weeks for the 2nd of two CD’s to show up?? Nope! I can tell you how to get your Address Book, I printed it out this morning. I’m using netzero.com 3G which is faster than AOL’s Top Speed. Also, I can call someone, free thru my computer unlike AOL, plus free megamail and Outlook Express was easy to set up. To get there, first you download FireFox from Mozilla (.20.0.2 Ver.) from http://www.filehippo.com. Type in http://www.aol.com. Activate your account. Only thing missing was all my favorites, but they are on paper and a floppy. Print out your Address Book. Goodbye AOL!!! PS-my screenname is the same as AOL’s, it is the main master one. Windows XP with firewall, 2 popup blockers and 3 antispyware plus 1 antivirus that makes AOL look like crude.

11. Tell it like it TI is! - March 13, 2007

You know. For reasons that I can’t explain… I will let the Fast Follwer make the comment to this one!

Tell It Like It Is!

12. Fast Follower - March 15, 2007

I’m gonna leave it alone


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