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The Terrible Thing About AOHell…

Is that when you’re there you can’t even tell. As you move through this live you love so, you could be there and not even know. But you say, “So what, they’ve got me online.” The irony is that it’s all in your mind. And that’s why AOHell is so vicious and cruel; but you’ll just go on, an oblivious fool.

I think Phish, perhaps named after the term “phishing” being born in AOL chat rooms back in ‘86, may have written that song inspired by AOL subscribers who had no idea that there was a better Internet outside of the gates of AOHell, their shitware, their CSRs who actually got bonuses for how many people they talked out of cancelling their service.

While you may already have enough reasons to hate AOL, here’s another: It has come to light from the New Yorker’s Ken Auletta (if you want his source you have to subscribe) who alleges that, 80% of their profits still come from their subscriber base and 75% of those folks are paying for something they don’t need, a big example being that 75% of AOL’s customers who pay the $25/month fee for the dial-up service don’t need it because they already have broadband, according to a former AOL suit. Think about that for another two seconds.

So that means that 60% of AOL’s profits are made up of dollars people who don’t know any better handing over $300 a year to AOL instead of no use to them whatsoever instead of, say, a product or service (or heck, a charity) that delivers utility they didn’t already have. I hope that Slashdot, the Huffington Post, and the New Yorker are mixing up profit with revenue and that this is all false or grossly exaggerated slander against AOL, seeds planted by some disgruntled employee, because man, to quote the great Samuel L Jackson, that is some repugnant shit.

Parenthetically, between persuading a CSR to cancel the account after telling them the name of your dog, social, first car, favorite color the answer to some custom question you made years ago –  between that and successfully and cleanly extracting someone’s  contacts and calendar (not to mention convincing that person to take the leap), man what a pain in the balls that is.

I don’t know which is worse, being on dial-up still or finding out that you’ve been patronizing a company that’s been gouging $25 a month out of you for nothing in return because you, like the majority of their users, figured that a company wouldn’t screw you like that. Great customer service AOL, you sons of bitches. Oh sorry, Aol, you’ve been rebranding. Good luck with that as I smell some class actions coming your way. Protip: Grab chapter 11 before you’re stuck with 7.

Unfamiliar with how much AOL sucks? Just ask Google or Bing (if you have a strong stomach).

Doug Simmons