Poor John at AOL should get himself a lawyer

Did you hear the one about the guy who recorded his conversation with AOL trying to cancel his account? We all know it’s a nightmare. AOL account reps will promise you the sun, moon and stars to get you to change your mind. It’s not an easy conversation to get through, and the fact that it’s lore that it’s not easy is probably why many people would rather pay the $20/month than do the phone call. This guy just had the moxie to tape the conversation.

His story made it to the Today Show (You Tube has the piece). This has been going on for years and years and now mainstream media shines a spotlight on it as if it were an isolated incident that only exists now because they’ve noticed it. Typical.

I got a chuckle out of watching the clip until the last part where Matt hurriedly read AOL’s so-called “apology.” (also on the guy’s site).

This matter was dealt with immediately and appropriately, and the employee cited here is no longer with the Company.

::sound of screeching tires:: Excuse me?!? They fired the guy? For what? Doing his job?!? I’m sorry, but this wasn’t “John’s” problem…he was doing exactly what he was paid to do…keep Vincent on the phone and say anything and everything to keep him from canceling that account. It’s company policy and it happens on each and every “cancel my account” phone call. No one says, “I called AOL to cancel my account and the guy said, ‘sure’ and that was it.” It just doesn’t happen, and John shouldn’t be unemployed or humiliated because he said the exact same thing to his caller that the guy sitting next to him in the phone bank was saying to his customer. He just had the misfortune of being recorded. Maybe the “one day you’ll realize I was right” line was going too far. But that wasn’t the problem and AOL’s cop-out “apology” is a joke…at the expense of some poor guy who was underpaid to begin with. Shame on you, AOL.


One response to “Poor John at AOL should get himself a lawyer”

  1. I live in Tucson and this town is a mecca for call centers. We have them all including AOL. I have friends who have worked for AOL as part of their “retention” team. These people are on the phone for a solid 8 hours (more if they fancy overtime). Their job is to keep customers from cancelling their account. There is a pretty big reason why these employees will do ANYTHING to keep someone from cancelling – A large part of their salary depends on “saves”. If they don’t retain “X” amount of customers, they can lose their jobs. One person who is a good friend is now on physical disability for damaging his larynx. The cause? Non stop talking for hours on end every week. AOL is the scourge of the earth.

    I love your site by the way. I found it when I typed in Google: “Problems with cancelling E-Fax”. I enjoyed that entry too. I have one question. How are you getting on with Maxemail? The reason I ask is because I need a good, simple, inexpensive Internet based FAX service. I maybe send 2 faxes a month. Please feel free to send me an email.

    All the best to you!