It is common knowledge that breaking up with AOL is not an easy thing to do. Canceling your AOL Membership is often down right emotionally and physically painful. AOL is desperate to get you to stay and is reluctant to take no for an answer. Here are some tips to let the retention team members down easy.
Gather Your Membership Information
In order to even consider canceling your AOL, you will need to arm yourself with an arsenal of information. You will need to know: The master screen name; the answer to the account security question; and the last four digits of the payment method. This is the minimum amount of information you will need when you call up AOL.
It is also a good idea to have a secondary screen name; the complete billing address at the time of sign up; and the phone number used to sign up. The customer service representative is going to quiz the hell out of you. AOL refers to this as “protecting your privacy and security.”
The person you will be speaking to wants you fail in verifying the account. No verification means you have no right to cancel; the customer service representative gets to end or pass the call along saving their save/cancel ratio for the day. Make sure you have all the information you could possibly need. You do not want to have to call back and wait in queue all over again. Once you have all the information, it’s time to prepare your game plan. Think of it as letting AOL down softly.
Make Up a Game Plan
Once you pass the privacy and security test, you will be blessed with a series of personal questions. A lack of a quick answer is a sign of weakness. You need to get your story straight of why you want to cancel before you call.
The first question they will ask you is: “What’s causing you to want to cancel your AOL today?” Insert your primary complaint here. Then they will ask you, “Is there any other reason why you want to give up your AOL membership today?” Insert another reason there.
If your sole reason is just to get rid of your AOL, you may want to be creative on your answers. They have a plan of attack ready for the common reasons such as: Switching to a low cost provider; switching to high speed internet access; and I don’t use it much. On my final attempt to cancel my AOL, I claimed it was causing my husband to gain weight.
AOL will probe for more information on whatever you answered. Then, they will repeat what you just said and say something retarded like “that’s reasonable” or “I can understand that.” They will then ask you about your online activities. I would suggest saying that you only use the internet to view pornography or just to check e-mail. This puts a damper on their plan to instill the value of AOL in you. There is not an AOL Keyword for adult content that I know of and e-mail doesn’t give the customer service representative much to work with. Once you know your excuse to escape your jealous ISP provider, it’s time to pick a good time to make the call.
Pick a Good Time to Call
It’s going to take you anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour to cancel your AOL. Keep this in mind when you pick the time to call to cancel. AOL’s customer service is available twenty-four hours a day. Take advantage of this. I finally managed to cancel my account by calling at two in the morning. Do not attempt to call AOL when you are pressed for time. There is no such thing as a short phone call at AOL. You do not want to start cursing and swearing. Besides, the person you are talking to really doesn’t want to torture you. They are just doing AOL’s dirty work. Just be patient and calm as they go about begging you to stay. It’s going to take a lot out of you, but it’s worth it. Start cursing and you will end up on hold or disconnected.
AOL’s Bag of Dirty Tricks
AOL claims that you can simply call and cancel anytime, but they never promised you that it would be easy. As a valued member of the AOL community, they couldn’t just simply let you go! AOL thinks that you really don’t want to leave. They believe that you’re just not bright enough to see the value in AOL. As a matter of fact, AOL doesn’t think you appreciate the true ramifications of canceling your membership. AOL needs to have a lengthy private talk about their relationship with you before permitting you walk out the door forever.
The customer service representative at AOL has four tricks up its sleeve for you. First, they gather information. Second, they force feed a lecture on all of the benefits of AOL. The third trick is scaring you into submission. If all else fails, they make you another offer. In my experience, the events above occur in groups of three.
Events in the Call
AOL is a smooth talker. While on the phone with a customer service representative, you may not realize the amount of information they are harvesting from you. Every question has a purpose. Every answer you provide yields a series of opportunities for AOL to badger you to stay. Do not volunteer any information that will give AOL a chance to appeal to your emotions. Keep your answers vague and general. Do not confess to having children, pets, or hobbies. Do not confess that you are out of work, in college, or have DSL. Keep it simple and state that you no longer require AOL’s services. When they push for more, tell them that you really didn’t care either way for the service.
AOL wants to know all about you, so they can lecture you on why leaving them will ruin your quality of life. AOL will push the premium content on you and spew out several keywords for you to visit. They will even demand you to get a piece of paper and a pen to write it all down.
If the preaching did not persuade you to change your mind, the customer service representative will try to scare you into keeping your membership. They will suggest that your computer is not safe without AOL. They will also argue that your children are not safe on the internet, unless protected by AOL. If you keep your stand after the scare tactics, AOL will offer a different price plan or a free month. At this point of the call, you need to pay attention.
AOL is going to try to play a fast one on you. Listen closely when you hear the words: “This is what I’ve done for you.” They are offering you another price plan or a free month. Do not say okay or yes. Keep on saying no. Once you say okay, they will go into their disclosure statement and hang up. Tell the representative that you just want a cancellation confirmation number. If you do not get this number, you’re still a member of AOL.
Life After AOL
If you successfully ended your troubled relationship with AOL, you should receive an email confirmation and a letter in the mail. If you did not receive such a notification, you will have to call AOL back to confirm that your account is closed. It is also a good idea to check your credit card or bank statements to make sure AOL has stopped billing you. Remove the AOL software from all of the computers in your house. AOL accounts can be reactivated by someone logging on and clicking okay on the permission to reopen the account button. Many AOL account nightmares begin because other household members sign on to the service after it has been cancelled.
Keep these tips in mind before calling to cancel your AOL membership. It will go a lot smoother and be a little less painful and annoying. Try to stay cool and go with the flow. The representative can not keep you on the phone forever. Just keep saying no and keep stating that you want to cancel. Make sure you are given a cancellation confirmation number before getting off the phone. Keep that number handy just incase you continue to get billed. Remember to remove all of the AOL software off every computer in your house. Try not to call up looking for a fight. The AOL customer service representative is a person too. There is no need to be disrespectful to them. They are just doing their job. AOL records all of the phone calls. If you blow up, you may end up the subject of a training exercise titled CallerfromHell.