I'm FREE! I'm FREE! (Goodbye, AOL; very M and P)

I just got off the phone with AOL, after CANCELLING MY ACCOUNT!

Back in 1993, when we bought our first computer, I was a total newbie (took me 2 hours to figure out how to install the mouse, thankyouverymuch), and so when it came time to get on the Internet, I chose AOL, mostly because it was the only provider I could find with phone access out here in the sticks. (And also because I thought you could only e-mail people who had the same domain, and I kept seeing xxx@aol.com all over the place. What a maroon!) I got so excited when I got an e-mail from New Zealand. Wow, you can “talk” to people all over the world! Oooooh . . .

Anyway, we finally got a local ISP or two in central WI (which isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from here), and I signed up. Service was extremely spotty, though, and I kept the AOL account as backup access (by then I was using my e-mail for business and the Web for research/reference) while I switched ISPs a few times. Then I found my current ISP, which is a large regional provider, and service has been great and very stable. Last year I abandoned IE and OE for Opera and Eudora.

So I haven’t really been using the AOL account. Didn’t even install the software on my last two computers – I’ve been using the Web interface to clean out the spam. My primary AOL username is still on my biz stationery (I’ll be whiting that sucker out); I’d cut down to the $5/month plan just to keep it active. And I have a domain reserved that will be active as soon as I create the Web page, sometime before I die. :dubious:

The only reason I was keeping the account was because I’d set up a second screen name for my jewelry business – but you know, I’ve gotten maybe five e-mails there in the past 3 years. So about an hour ago I bought my domain and set up an e-mail-only account ($20 a year) – I figure for savings of $40 a year, I can put a sticker on my biz cards with the new address.

Whoops, so now I REALLY don’t need AOL anymore. Had to steel myself up for the call – I’d heard too many horror stories about the rigmarole they put you through when you try to cancel. I got a guy with an accent thicker than pea soup. Great. Verified my info, and then he asked why I was cancelling. Here we go. I told him I hadn’t used the account for several years and had my own domain. So then he tries to give me a few free months, “just to make sure you have all your stuff out that you need,” and my next billing date will be in June. Um, no, I don’t need a future billing date, because I’M CANCELLING. I HAVEN’T USED THIS ACCOUNT IN YEARS, EXCEPT TO CLEAN OUT THE SPAM. Then he caught on. Whew, lucky me! All that remained was for him to ask what my interests are ( :confused: WTF do you need to know my interests for; I’m CANCELLING! I told him “work”) and give me the boilerplate about seding a letter, reactivation grace period, cancellation number, blah blah blah.

I’ll be watching my credit card statements very closely; wish me luck.

I never really had the troubles with AOL that I hear people complain about. Maybe I was more satisfied because it was my only option for a while. It was a good introductory tool, but I grew out of it. If my mother ever wanted to go online (God forbid, but I doubt it), I might put her on AOL.

One more sheep leaves the fold!

Good for you. I dropped my account in December and had also been with them since around '93. If you haven’t removed their software already I suggest you try to login sometime after the date they told you your account would be terminated.

I never installed it – I’d had troubles with it messing with my other connection modes, so I’d been using the Web interface.

Thanks for the reminder about trying to log in – I probably would have remebered that at some point, but it’s been a crazy day today and it hadn’t occurred to me yet!