Canceling AOL

Since I have hi-speed cable, I really don’t use dial-up anymore.

Will simply dragging the AOL icon into the recycle bin or deleting AOL files cancel my subscription, or must I send AOL an email requesting cancellation?

You have to call them and sit on the phone for forty-five minutes to get through to a person who will do their damndest to try to convince you to stay.

Then once you convince them that you REALLY MEAN IT you’d better keep a close eye on whatever account you’re using to pay for it, because they might keep billing you anyway. They did it to me, and I know I’m not alone.

AOL knows nothing about what icons are on your computer. They just want your $$$.

And once you’ve successfully stopped AOL from billing you, don’t just delete the icon from your PC desktop - that will leave all of their software on your machine. What you need to do is go into the control panel, choose Add/Remove Programs, find the entry for the AOL software, and choose Remove.

You have to have a lot of information to cancel, but it’s stuff that you should know from setting up your account. I tried to cancel it for a business and didn’t know who originally set it up, their mother’s maiden name, whatever.

After finally convincing them that yes, I did want to stop service, I was warned not to sign on or enter my email account from that moment on or I would automatically be re-starting AOL service. Despite the fact that I still had a couple of weeks left in the payment period. Damn AOL.

In order to completely remove programs from your computer, you might also want to try using your search function on your PC. AOL infects all aspects of your computer, and simply uninstalling or removing the initial program may not remove all AOL files from your operating system.

Trying to leave AOL is pretty much the same as trying to leave a psycho girlfriend. First, they keep you on the phone forever asking you if you’re sure, really really sure that this is the right decision. Then for a long time you are uncertain if the relationship is actually over. At least AOL can’t go around lying to everyone that you get it pregnant but I figure that will be part of the next release.

AOL will inevitably ask you why you’d like to cancel. If you tell them you just got hi-speed cable and no longer have use for dial-up, they’ll probably do one of two things: (1) attempt to convince you that you might need the dial-up in case the hi-speed line goes down, or (2) try to get you to sign over to their own broadband service.

Moral of the story: Don’t tell them anything, except the fact you want to cancel.

Ring, ring…

Hello, AOL customer service, how may I help you?

I want to cancel my AOL service.

Okay, may I have you username?

Enola Straight.

And why do you want to stop your AOL service?

Because I killed some customer service guy that asked to many damn questions.

Thank you, and have a nice day. Bye…

And don’t cave if they offer you free months or a reduced-price plan. When I cancelled I had to go online through them for the first time in a few months to find out HOW to cancel, and the idiot on the other end of the phone tried to convince me that I should stay on some reduced-usage plan because I’d just USED it. “I only got on to find out how to cancel,” I told her. It didn’t help.

And yes, you’ll need to remove the software completely. I should have mentioned that.

Don’t forget to purge the registry. Even after “removing” the AOL software, you’ll find quite a lot of crap it leaves behind in the registry. It took me about ten minutes to do this.

I don’t want to burden the poor defenseless hamsters with a search, but someone on these boards reported success with canceling AOL by telling them that the reason she was canceling was that she no longer owned a computer. Stopped the retention sales people cold in their tracks!

I thought the same thing, that just not using my service would cancel my subscription. They kept charging me. I called them up and told them that I had a cheaper ISP, I hadn’t used their service for months, and was tired of paying for something I didn’t use.

I’l second this. I told them that my computer blew up and I couldn’t afford a new one at this time, and that I’d get back to them when I could buy a new one. Worked well. I also have a program on my Mac called ‘Ultra Find’ that brought up every file with AOL attached to it…unbelieveable amount…and there were still more hidden.

I am still on my free aol period.
I have absolutely no idea how to “get rid of all aol” stuff when I do cancel.
I told them I wanted to cancel becasue I have no income whatsoever and a friend has signed me up on his account.
They tried to offer me 2 free months, but I doubt I’ll take it.
“Don’t you trust me?” he said.

I only had to use my fathers phone number to sign on.
What if I tell them its not my phone number under my name?

I haven’t used AOL since v2.5. Do they still have popup ads when you first sign on that you can’t close? I don’t understand how people could pay for a service that bombards you with ads. If I could deal with intrusive ads all over my screen I’d get a free internet service :]

      • There was an article in the St Louis newspaper just in the last few weeks about the state attorney for Ohio or some other state, suing AOL because they -tend- to forget to cancel subscriptions when you inform them. Seems that when you quit they tend to “accidentally” charge you for a few months extra, but… when you sign up… they start charging right away. Funny how that works. And if you phone and request to cancel, and then attempt to use the account at all before they have gotten round to actually shutting it off, they cancel the cancellation.

        AOL’s PR people don’t know quite why it works out this way, it’s certainly no concerted effort to overcharge lost customers…

So the most certain way is really to just cancel the credit card they were charging on.
Charge nothingness, assholes!
(-I bet they turn it off pretty damn quick when they’ve got no way to make you pay for it…)

I’d suggest the following to cover yourself:

  1. Call AOL and cancel. Find out the date and amount of the last charge that will be made to you.

  2. Ask for WRITTEN confirmation that this has been done, effective as of [date]. Good luck on this because they go to great lengths to avoid putting anything in writing, but ask.

  3. Write a letter to whoever gets your AOL bill (your credit card company or bank, most likely) telling them that as of [date] you have cancelled your service to AOL and that no further charges from AOL are to be allowed. Send a copy of this letter to AOL for good measure.

Total cost to you about 15 minutes of your time plus two stamps.

Good luck!

Sounds like a hassle.

What if I just change my billing plan from unlimited to simply being charged for the minuites I use…then just don’t use them?

You’d still have to pay them something, like $9.95/month.