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States Settle AOL Billing Practices Dispute

Posted July 11, 2007

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— AOL has reached a $3 million settlement with North Carolina and 48 other states over the company’s cancellation, refund and billing practices.

The settlement resolves allegations that AOL made it difficult and confusing for consumers to cancel the company’s Internet service. The settlement also provides refunds to consumers who complained about unauthorized charges.

In the past, AOL limited the methods consumers could use to cancel their accounts, which resulted in the majority of consumers calling AOL directly. Once on the phone, AOL customer service representatives often tried to talk the customer out of canceling. AOL gave its representatives incentives for retaining customers who called to cancel, and consumers complained that cancellation was difficult if not impossible.

“Consumers told us that it was virtually impossible to cancel their Internet service, even when they followed the required steps,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “Now they can cancel without getting the run-around.”

The Attorney General's Office has received 137 complaints from North Carolina consumers about unauthorized AOL charges, Cooper said. Those consumers will receive notification from AOL about the status of their refunds.

11 Comments

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  • Iwasasoldier4u Jul 11, 2007

    Now that they have taken care of AOL they should go after Direct TV. They are no different when you try to cancel their service and send you an inflated bill when you do.

  • NCTeacher Jul 11, 2007

    AOL is the worst. They always took things out of my bank account on different days. I caould NEVER predict which day they were going to debit my account. And even after I canceled, they continued debiting my account for several months.

    I have been with TWC for almost a year now and I love them.

  • isabella731 Jul 11, 2007

    There are millions of horror stories with AOL. I cancelled my account after a "free" trial, then went on to another service. Well, they charged my account for service. When I called and complained, they went thru the whole spiel while trying to get me to stay with AOL, then said that the account was cancelled after I didn't relent. This went on for like 6 months. I finally called them about it and when they gave me another run-around, I told them that I'd have my attorney contact the company. I got my refund, at least partially. I got four months, instead of six because I was told that four months was all the refund that company policy allowed. BUYER, BEWARE. It isn't nicknamed AOHell for nothing.

  • grenlyn1 Jul 11, 2007

    How can I get my name on that list? I canceled AOL because they kept billing my account over and over. After complaining about it, I didn't get results. I had to cancel my bank account and open a new one because AOL messed up my banking account so much. Grrrrrrr... The ironic thing, when I dropped them and took on a new internet service, they offered me one year of free AOL for opening an account with them.. I gracefully declined by saying "hell no!"

  • dryhumper Jul 11, 2007

    You've got to pay millions. *New AOL slogan*

  • then who cares Jul 11, 2007

    They fleeced more customers than they'll ever have to repay!! Thieves!!!!

  • Say it to my face Jul 11, 2007

    I left AOL many years ago also due to the billing and horrid customer service. When I was in middle school we used to just dial up to other peoples computers on a 9600 baud and call it a day. Now, it's so advanced and such a huge part of our culture, you almost HAVE to be connected to the internet.. Of course, that may just be my generations way of thinking...

  • outsidelookingin Jul 11, 2007

    Thank goodness some has done something. I called and canceled my service in Jan of '05. They charged me for the service in Feb. I called and requested a refund for the charge since I had canceled my account. This charge appeared in March, April and in May. When I called in May, the representative would not refund me my money, she said and I quote, "You have had the maximum amount of refund that our policy allows" I asked for a manager, who told me the same thing. I not very politely told him that it wasn't a refund for service but for a fraudulent charge. He still refused to refund me the money. I informed him that I had records for all my calls to AOL from Jan up to May and names of all individuals that I spoke too and that if a charge appeared on my account in June, I wouldn't be the person calling back, my lawyer would be. I'm out like 20 bucks but they haven't charged me again.

  • wab44579 Jul 11, 2007

    Duck Cheney is working on free wireless for all.

  • lilwil Jul 11, 2007

    I'm glad I cancel my Internet service with them. Nothing is simple anymore. People just can't seem to understand the word "NO" anymore(I no longer want this service)anymore. I wonder which letter is keeping them from understanding.

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