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Baby Lee
06-22-2006, 08:27 AM
Heard this on local radio yesterday, DJ was interviewing Mr. Ferrari. Finally found the link when Drudge posted it. Figured the planet would have something to say about it.
Link (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13447232/)
More than 800,000 people canceled their AOL accounts last quarter. So it must be easy to cancel right? Not always.

Two weeks ago, Vincent Ferrari tried to cancel his 5-year-old account—he'd heard from others in the blogosphere that AOL customer service could be awful. So he recorded the conversation with a representative named John. Here is the transcript of the conversation:

AOL: Hi, this is John at AOL. How may I help you today?

Ferrari: I want to cancel my account.

AOL: OK. I mean, is there a problem with the software itself?

Ferrari: No. I don't use it. I don't need it. I don't want it.

John disputes Ferrari's claim that he never uses the account.

AOL: Last year, last month it was 545 hours of usage.

Ferrari: I don't know how to make it any clearer. So I'm just gonna say it one last time. Cancel the account.

AOL: Well, explain to me what is wrong.

Ferrari: I'm not explaining anything to you. Cancel the account.

It goes on like this for 5 minutes.

Ferrari: Cancel my account. Cancel the account. Cancel the account.

CNBC later interviewed Ferrari by phone about his experience. “I've never ever experienced anything like that,” he said.

He recounts how the AOL representative as a last resort even asked if his dad was home.

“I think I could've put up with everything, but at the point when he asked to speak to my father, I came very close to losing it at that point,” said 30-year-old Ferrari.

Ferrari then posted the call online, and the response was tremendous. AOL sent him an apology.

Chris Denove of market research firm J.D. Power & Associates says companies talk about customer satisfaction but actually see their call centers as a costly investment.

“They're trying to squeeze every penny out of that cost center without regard for what may be happening, the damage that may be done,” said Denove.

AOL later tried to make amends. They sent a statement to CNBC claiming that the incident was inexcusable and that the customer representative, John, violated guidelines and was no longer with the company. “We're going to learn from this. We can do better, and will," the statement said.

To put this claim to the test, CNBC reporter Matt Lefkowitz called again. Here is a rough transcript:

CNBC: I want to cancel my AOL account.

He was promptly disconnected.

He tried again.

CNBC: I need to cancel my AOL account. I never really use it. ... Well, if I can cancel it anytime, why can't I cancel it now? Can I just cancel my account?

It took him 45 minutes to finally get his account canceled.

Vincent Ferrari’s blog is now inundated with others who say they've suffered the same fate, making him the patron saint of customer dissatisfaction.

After this story aired on CNBC Tuesday, AOL issued the following statement, attributed to spokeperson Nicholas Graham.

"At AOL, we have zero-tolerance for customer care incidents like this - which is deeply regrettable and also absolutely inexcusable. The employee in question violated our customer service guidelines and practices, and everything that AOL believes to be important in customer care - chief among them being respect for the member, and swiftly honoring their requests. This matter was dealt with immediately and appropriately, and the employee cited here is no longer with the Company.

"I've spoken directly to Mr. Ferrari and personally apologized to him for what took place. Many here have taken a strong interest in this episode - even going so far as to email all customer service representatives about it as an example of how we should never treat a member. We're going to learn from this - and continue to make the necessary, positive changes to our practices. This was an aberration and a mistake, and we have to manage these incidents down to zero as best we can. That means improving our already strong safeguards in place today, and maintaining rigorous internal and external compliance methods. We can do better - and we will."


Audio of Call (http://www.break.com/index/aolhell.html)

chagrin
06-22-2006, 08:31 AM
That's great, we have an AOL call center down here and they are all, with few exceptions, punks who don't give a shit - then again it's a call center and that bit about squeezing money out is correct - they have made call centers, jokes.

StcChief
06-22-2006, 08:31 AM
Just say NO to AOL to begin with....

when it came out it the service was known as the
'CB radio' of the Internet

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 08:32 AM
"Can I talk to your dad?"....WTF?

Kerberos
06-22-2006, 08:39 AM
"Can I talk to your dad?"....WTF?

I think I would have to beat someones ass over that. Or better yet I could send over DrKickAss to go over there and KICK his ass.


BTW: How many on here remember the OLD AOL installs that were like viruses trying to get them OFF of a PC? Basically an F-Disk and a reload.


.

Fish
06-22-2006, 08:41 AM
It's hard to describe how furious I would have been over this.....

Deberg_1990
06-22-2006, 08:45 AM
AOL has been like this forever. While I didnt have it quite as bad as this guy, I remember when i cancelled with them like 6 years ago they were annoying and persistant. It took me about 15-20 minutes to get through the phone call. Im still impressed that AOL has been able to survive this long after the explosion of the WWW in the mid 90's.

Baby Lee
06-22-2006, 08:45 AM
I remember a sales job in college [in-home presentations], where the manager stressed that '70% of sales are made after the 5th time you ask.'
She kept saying it in a way that suggested that her point was 'ask, ask, ask,' because the customer reacts positively to being asked to do something.
Wasn't 'til much later, when I saw another presentation in another setting that I realized, the point is 'ask, ask, ask, and sit there, sit there, sit there,' until the customer realizes you're not going to leave politely until there is a sale.'

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 08:51 AM
I think I would have to beat someones ass over that. Or better yet I could send over DrKickAss to go over there and KICK his ass.

BTW: How many on here remember the OLD AOL installs that were like viruses trying to get them OFF of a PC? Basically an F-Disk and a reload.

Yeah, it would be wise to send in the expert of Kickass...that would require the good doctor.

Yeah, the old AOL's were basically worm/virus software disguised as an ISP...wanna get rid of AOL, Format C:/S...

Predarat
06-22-2006, 08:53 AM
I bet the call center has a metric giving the employess incentive to act like that. I'm pretty sure cancelled accounts look bad on the employees performance record. I know they(AOL) likes to get into the media and spin this "that is unacceptable behavior and we care about our customers" BS but they are definately giving employees reasons to act like that. If they really want to investigate this they should get an undercoever person to go work in the AOL call center and find out what really goes on. Most of the people in that kind of enviroment are there for the check and probably dont give a f*** if people cancel their accounts. Well unless their job is on the line over it.

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 08:54 AM
I remember a sales job in college [in-home presentations], where the manager stressed that '70% of sales are made after the 5th time you ask.'
She kept saying it in a way that suggested that her point was 'ask, ask, ask,' because the customer reacts positively to being asked to do something.
Wasn't 'til much later, when I saw another presentation in another setting that I realized, the point is 'ask, ask, ask, and sit there, sit there, sit there,' until the customer realizes you're not going to leave politely until there is a sale.'

Amway or Kirby? Next time I run into one of those, Im going to call on DrKickass and get someones ass kicked. My wife made the mistake of 'agreeing' to have our carpet cleaned -- almost 4 hours they hard sold us. Finally at 11 FUGGING PM I told them I had enough and wanted to go to bed.

Baby Lee
06-22-2006, 08:58 AM
Amway or Kirby? Next time I run into one of those, Im going to call on DrKickass and get someones ass kicked. My wife made the mistake of 'agreeing' to have our carpet cleaned -- almost 4 hours they hard sold us. Finally at 11 FUGGING PM I told them I had enough and wanted to go to bed.
Cutco.

The saving grace was, it truly was and is a quality product.

Kerberos
06-22-2006, 08:58 AM
AOL has been like this forever. While I didnt have it quite as bad as this guy, I remember when i cancelled with them like 6 years ago they were annoying and persistant. It took me about 15-20 minutes to get through the phone call. Im still impressed that AOL has been able to survive this long after the explosion of the WWW in the mid 90's.


How have they stayed around this long???

Easy... They are FREE dial up for those with a PC and no $ and they are still good for people that don't want to learn how to use a PC. IMO


Cutco.

The saving grace was, it truly was and is a quality product.

Cutlery??

Are they as good as a Ginsu?

.

Chiefnj
06-22-2006, 09:05 AM
I had AOL years ago and went through the same crap when trying to cancel. It took a good 20 minutes before it was cancelled. I imagine they browbeat a lot of people into not cancelling or people hang up in frustration.

Brock
06-22-2006, 09:07 AM
I find that closing the credit card account works pretty well.

Frazod
06-22-2006, 09:14 AM
It would be interesting to hear from the AOL guy who supposedly got whacked over this, or any former AOL customer reps. God knows there should be lots of them out there; I find it hard to believe that AOL treats its employees any better than it does its customers.

I would be willing to bet these guys get docked for every caller they get that cancels, and eventually fired if they rack up too many cancellations. Nothing else really makes sense.

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 09:15 AM
Back when I first had a cable modem, the service was spotty and I needed a backup dialup account. I had an Earthlink account for about a year and never really used it, but one time when my cable modem was down for over a week.

When I called to cancel, they not only cancelled quickly, but they also credited me 2 months previous because I had not used it. A good story...

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 09:17 AM
It would be interesting to hear from the AOL guy who supposedly got whacked over this, or any former AOL customer reps. God knows there should be lots of them out there; I find it hard to believe that AOL treats its employees any better than it does its customers.

I would be willing to bet these guys get docked for every caller they get that cancels, and eventually fired if they rack up too many cancellations. Nothing else really makes sense.

I seriously doubt the CSR got canned over this. I dont believe AOL for one minute.

Baby Lee
06-22-2006, 09:22 AM
Cutlery??
Yes.
Are they as good as a Ginsu?
Whole different market. Like comparing a Wal-Mart machete to a Hattori Hanzo sword.
Full sets run $800-1,000
But the quality is secondary to the customer service.

Fish
06-22-2006, 09:28 AM
Yes.

Whole different market. Like comparing a Wal-Mart machete to a Hattori Hanzo sword.
Full sets run $800-1,000
But the quality is secondary to the customer service.

The Cutco santoku is possibly one of the world's best kitchen knives......

Kerberos
06-22-2006, 09:29 AM
Yes.

Whole different market. Like comparing a Wal-Mart machete to a Hattori Hanzo sword.
Full sets run $800-1,000
But the quality is secondary to the customer service.


I was just talk'n shit about the Ginsu!

I figured it was some high dollar cutlery. I know you have to pay for good cutlery that won't go dull after the first few uses. I sharpen my knives in the kitchen on an average of three times a year and they all still seem to be dull after the first few uses.

As far as the Ginsu is concerned I was always under the impression from thier commercials that:

"If I needed a knife that would cut through a SHOE I should be taking more time in picking out the cuts of meat I am buying"!

.

Baby Lee
06-22-2006, 09:51 AM
I was just talk'n shit about the Ginsu!.
I ain't mad atcha.

It is pretty amazing the customer service though. After 10 years of use, I figured I'd take them up on their foverever sharp guarantee. I rounded up all my knives, as well all my mom's, grandma's and sis' knives and mailed them off to the company [about 25 knives in all]. A couple weeks later, got 'em back. 2/3 were replaced with brand new knives and the rest were as sharp/shiny/etc as new.
They received no empassioned letter from me, nothing but my return address and the knives.
There were no pleas, no negotiations, no trying to cut their losses, just a new set of knives to replace those I'd worn down over a decade of daily use.

Bootlegged
06-22-2006, 10:06 AM
72 hours since July.....

Is your dad there?

Wow.

hypersensitiveZO6
06-22-2006, 10:15 AM
What do you guys think about AIM? I'm not on AOL, but what risk is there?

Fish
06-22-2006, 10:17 AM
What do you guys think about AIM? I'm not on AOL, but what risk is there?

Instant messaging with AOL retards isn't risk enough?

Cochise
06-22-2006, 10:18 AM
ex-gf used to work at a credit card company and said that when people called to cancel their cards, they had a quota that x% of people who called asking to cancel should not end up cancelling. Said that people would just railroad them to avoid being fired, not just dangling goodies at them like lowering the interest rate, but confusing them, telling them they had to call back during other hours, putting them on hold forever, etc.

Phobia
06-22-2006, 10:19 AM
I ain't mad atcha.

It is pretty amazing the customer service though. After 10 years of use, I figured I'd take them up on their foverever sharp guarantee. I rounded up all my knives, as well all my mom's, grandma's and sis' knives and mailed them off to the company [about 25 knives in all]. A couple weeks later, got 'em back. 2/3 were replaced with brand new knives and the rest were as sharp/shiny/etc as new.
They received no empassioned letter from me, nothing but my return address and the knives.
There were no pleas, no negotiations, no trying to cut their losses, just a new set of knives to replace those I'd worn down over a decade of daily use.

I'll vouch for Cutco. If you can't afford anything else, buy their table knives and scissors.

hypersensitiveZO6
06-22-2006, 10:22 AM
Instant messaging with AOL retards isn't risk enough?

My wife's way into it. I don't like it, but there's nothing I can do. I just want to know if just the IM part is safe, with no AOL subscription.

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 10:27 AM
My wife's way into it. I don't like it, but there's nothing I can do. I just want to know if just the IM part is safe, with no AOL subscription.

you can use the AIM w/o AOL...it pretty much licks balls, but the options arent much better (MSN and ICQ).

hypersensitiveZO6
06-22-2006, 10:34 AM
you can use the AIM w/o AOL...it pretty much licks balls, but the options arent much better (MSN and ICQ).

Thanks.

The only think I don't like is everytime I turn on my computer that ****en AIM window pops up and starts loading.(slows down pc) Next, the AOL browser opens up (I quickly "x" out) and that's what scares me shitless.

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 10:38 AM
Thanks.

The only think I don't like is everytime I turn on my computer that ****en AIM window pops up and starts loading.(slows down pc) Next, the AOL browser opens up (I quickly "x" out) and that's what scares me shitless.

yeah, I know...I know you can probably tweak the registry to stop it from starting up automatically, I just havent bothered to look into it.

ChiefsfaninPA
06-22-2006, 10:39 AM
Yes.

Whole different market. Like comparing a Wal-Mart machete to a Hattori Hanzo sword.
Full sets run $800-1,000
But the quality is secondary to the customer service.


In what situation with knives do you need customer service?

hypersensitiveZO6
06-22-2006, 10:46 AM
yeah, I know...I know you can probably tweak the registry to stop it from starting up automatically, I just havent bothered to look into it.

My wife has probably over 100 people on the her damn AIM. She used it all through college and absolutely won't convert to and MSN or Yahoo messenger. We're both around computers a good deal of our days so I've got the odds against me.


















But I will stay strong and fight. :bang:

Kerberos
06-22-2006, 10:53 AM
In what situation with knives do you need customer service?


When your significant other stabs you repeatedly with one of thier knives and 911 puts you on hold the customer service line for them is always open. They will send DrKickAss over to your location to kick your attackers ASS.

Talk about service after the sale! :thumb:

.

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 10:55 AM
...They will send DrKickAss over to kick your attackers ASS.

Talk about service after the sale! :thumb:

ROFL...who ya gonna call? DrKickAss, that's WHO!

Phobia
06-22-2006, 10:56 AM
In what situation with knives do you need customer service?

When you offer a lifetime guarantee. Cutco is unmatched. It's not uncommon for them to just send a new knife.

ChiefsfaninPA
06-22-2006, 10:59 AM
When you offer a lifetime guarantee. Cutco is unmatched. It's not uncommon for them to just send a new knife.

It all makes sense now. I was really having a hard time seeing how you would need customer service on a knife. So they really guarantee there knives forever?

hypersensitiveZO6
06-22-2006, 11:02 AM
When you offer a lifetime guarantee. Cutco is unmatched. It's not uncommon for them to just send a new knife.

I bought one of those from our damn neighbor. I didn't really think we needed one, but my wife said we had to be "neighborly" and buy it from them. I don't recall the price, but I remember it being very expensive. Despite the price, its the sharpest knife we own. :clap: :holdman: :bravo: :clap: :holdman:

JBucc
06-22-2006, 11:02 AM
It all makes sense now. I was really having a hard time seeing how you would need customer service on a knife. So they really guarantee there knives forever?Until the company goes under

Phobia
06-22-2006, 11:03 AM
It all makes sense now. I was really having a hard time seeing how you would need customer service on a knife. So they really guarantee there knives forever?

Essentially. I'm unsure what would happen if you sent them a knife that had been run over by a truck but they stand behind all other types of wear and even what could be considered abuse. We've sent utensils back expecting them to just drop a rivet in to repair it and they send brand new replacements. They're really good but you also pay for it up front.

ChiefsfaninPA
06-22-2006, 11:03 AM
Until the company goes under

That is why I am inquiring into the lifetime. I guess lifetime of the company.

Phobia
06-22-2006, 11:09 AM
They've been around almost 60 years and do $130,000,000 of business anually. They're not going out of business in any of our lifetimes.

greg63
06-22-2006, 11:22 AM
Yet another reason NOT to go with AOL.

Amnorix
06-22-2006, 11:36 AM
It's pretty funny to listen to the account. I heard it before I read it, and the summary in the first post of this thread didn't even have one of the best exchanges. It went something like this:

Customer (clearly exasperated): I can't say it any clearer -- cancel the account.

AOL Idiot: I'm just trying to help.

Customer: No. Helping me would be helping to cancel the account. It's not helping me figure out how to keep the account. Help me to CANCEL the account.

Anyway -- the website itself may not be SFW, but the audio clip definitely is. It's pretty impressive that the customer never shouts...

http://www.break.com/index/aolhell.html

Cave Johnson
06-22-2006, 12:04 PM
It's pretty funny to listen to the account. I heard it before I read it, and the summary in the first post of this thread didn't even have one of the best exchanges. It went something like this:

Customer (clearly exasperated): I can't say it any clearer -- cancel the account.

AOL Idiot: I'm just trying to help.

Customer: No. Helping me would be helping to cancel the account. It's not helping me figure out how to keep the account. Help me to CANCEL the account.

Anyway -- the website itself may not be SFW, but the audio clip definitely is. It's pretty impressive that the customer never shouts...

http://www.break.com/index/aolhell.html

As recounted on the Today show, this guy runs an anti-AOL website and was doing this to verify the myriad horror stories re cancellation. Another good part of the call was after he stated that he hadn't used the service for years, the CSR responded by claiming 550 hours of use last year.

BL, how did you get involved in Cutco? If memory serves, I responded to a blind "make $9.75/hour" sign in college and it was Cutco.

sedated
06-22-2006, 12:06 PM
When you offer a lifetime guarantee. Cutco is unmatched. It's not uncommon for them to just send a new knife.
They've been around almost 60 years and do $130,000,000 of business anually. They're not going out of business in any of our lifetimes.
We've sent utensils back expecting them to just drop a rivet in to repair it and they send brand new replacements.

it sounds like you still work for 'em.


shouldn't Monkeylook4food be doing the sales pitches?

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 12:10 PM
As recounted on the Today show, this guy runs an anti-AOL website and was doing this to verify the myriad horror stories re cancellation. Another good part of the call was after he stated that he hadn't used the service for years, the CSR responded by claiming 550 hours of use last year.

It's irrelevant that he runs an Anti AOL site...he didnt bait the CSR into doing what he did. The one thing that is interesting is if this is so common and so many people have had this happen, why this hadnt received media attention prior to now?

Cave Johnson
06-22-2006, 12:30 PM
It's irrelevant that he runs an Anti AOL site...he didnt bait the CSR into doing what he did.

Amnorix was surprised that he maintained his composure during the call. The circumstances suggests a good reason why.

The one thing that is interesting is if this is so common and so many people have had this happen, why this hadnt received media attention prior to now?

I'll take "Shortage of recorded cancellation calls by anti-AOL site operators" for $100, Alex.

Phobia
06-22-2006, 12:33 PM
it sounds like you still work for 'em.


shouldn't Monkeylook4food be doing the sales pitches?

Never worked for them. I'm pretty loyal to people who treat me right.

Baby Lee
06-22-2006, 12:43 PM
BL, how did you get involved in Cutco? If memory serves, I responded to a blind "make $9.75/hour" sign in college and it was Cutco.
That was my story. Did it for a summer, scheduling evening visits, while I had a great paying Security Guard job [relatively, for summer work] during the day. Made like an extra $800 overall, in about 40 appointments.
A good friend of mine took to it big time. He was in the summer between graduating HS and starting at Notre Dame, and sold $38K in 3 months, where everthing after the first $15K or so was 50% commission.

KCTitus
06-22-2006, 12:45 PM
Amnorix was surprised that he maintained his composure during the call. The circumstances suggests a good reason why.

The good reason would be his recording of the call...

Predarat
06-22-2006, 01:00 PM
Jim Rome was just talking about this and it happens with CellPhones, Credit Cards, just about anything. They just wont let you cancel.