A problem with cancelling AOL subscription

  richard2001 23:32 31 Jan 2005

In November I took up a free one month trial with AOL. I gave them my bank details and set up a direct debit for an unlimited access account. At the end of the month I decided to continue using AOL as my ISP and money was taken from my account. I received a lot of promotional material about the various AOL Broadband accounts and had a long conversation with a Customer Service Advisor.
I have decided to move to another ISP (Wanadoo)because their Broadband package seems better value. Having registered with Wanadoo I instructed my bank to cancel the direct debit instruction I then rang AOL and said that I did not wish to continue my subscription. After quite a long conversation with an advisor I established that I had definitely made up my mind and that I did not want AOL services after my current payment had expired/the next payment was due (February 9th). I explicitly said that I wanted to be able to continue to access AOL until the time that I had paid for had expired. I was assured that I would continue to be able to log on to AOL until February 9th.
This evening I attempted to log on and received a message saying that because of a problem with my payments, my access to AOL was 'restricted' - I could not log on.
I contacted Customer Services, as advised by the message. The Advisor told me that my cancellation of the direct debit had been acted on. He told me that because the Direct Debit had been cancelled AOL could no longer allow me access. He very graciously assured me that no further charges would be made on my account! I pointed out that I still had 9 days of paid for access. He reiterated that no further charges would be made and then said that if I reinstated the direct debit I would be able to log on again.
I was, by now, somewhat angry at the way he was trying to evade the basic issue and felt that someone less determined might have accepted the idea that, by cancelling my subscription I immediately lost my remaining, paid for access. When I persisted in asking for what I had paid he finally said that as a sign of 'good faith' he would reinstate my access until February 8th. He made no attempt to apologise and tried to give the impression that I was being granted a favour.
Have other readers experienced similar problems?

  spuds 11:16 01 Feb 2005

This 'instant' disconnection seems to be the general way some ISP's work nowadays.Especially if you want to cancel their service. Most of the customer service staff use a on-screen advisor, which can cause problems for both the customer and the service staff. Not right by any means, but that is the way things can turn out.

I changed from dial-up to broadband, using the same ISP,and I was assured that no interruption of service would occur. It did,with two days break between re-connection. The ISP didn't have a logical answer, when I contacted them.

  CurlyWhirly 14:36 01 Feb 2005

I am with AOL broadband, and I think that as you HAD paid until the 9th February, you SHOULD have been able to access your account.
Perhaps it is just standard policy that as soon as your Direct Debit is cancelled, you lose internet access?

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