AOL: Are you being billed every month without knowing?

by Dion Almaer

I was looking over my credit card bill, and noticed an entry under "AOL * SERVICES". Hmm. I am not an AOL users. I have never been an AOL users. I am not even a fan of AOL in any way. Are you being charged too?

I firstly called my credit card company and they blocked any future attempts and opened up a fraud ticket. I was also amazed at how fast the operator let me know the number to AOL. It was as though I wasn't the first person to call on this matter.

So, I call AOL, and wait for 30 minutes whilst it tells me "why are you on this line? logon to aol keyword blah and we have lots of people waiting to IM with you on your matter". However, since I don't have an AOL account, I can hardly logon. At some point I awoke, and an operator greeted me. I told them the story and they quickly got on the defensive, letting me know that they could *try* to end the account (which could take until after the next billing period EXCUSE ME), but I couldn't get any money back.

I asked them to look at my usage, and they showed that I had never once logged on... HOWEVER "AOL is membership based, not usage based" so I still didn't deserve any money back.

After patiently trying to persuade them, I got the secret AOL number for "people who can actually do something" and then the scene changed. This operator was VERY helpful, credited my card back for the full amount, and I could be on my way.

The question I have.... is HOW many AOL users are being charged without them even KNOWING that they are. I know for a fact that not everyone goes through their CC bill like I do.... so I bet a lot of people are getting screwed.

Wow. AOL truly IS evil :)