AOL Taking me for a ride

  cacoe 02:40 24 Jan 2007

Just the other week, my connection speed with AOL plumitted, from my 8mbit connection running like a 512Kbit one. So over the course of a week, I spent 8 hours (clocked on skype) wasting my time on AOL reprasentatives.

I finally felt like it all came to a conclusion when a rep offered to send me a free router and reduce my monthly bill by £5, it seemed fair enough but I said, send my MAC code also, because I'm still considering moving to another ISP. She specifically said I would maintain my current connection speed, there was NO talk about a downgrade of my account. So anyway, it must of been BT doing some works on the local exchange, who knows. So today, just by chance I tested my connection speed and it maxed out at a perfect 2mbit.... fishy. I check my AOL email (which is something I rarley do) and guess what I find?

"Further to your recent request, we are pleased to confirm your telephone line has now been successfully re-graded for AOL Broadband Gold from AOL Broadband Platinum."

I never asked for this but it seems that this reprasentative had the fantastic idea of downgrading me rather than simply giving me a discount (if I wanted to be downgraded to 2mbit, I wouldn't be here complaining).

So it seems they've tried to bugger me.

Mostly because I was considering moving to another provider, in fact I was in the process of doing it. Pipex sent me an email saying for some reason or another, (unknown to them) the transfer to them had been blocked by my current ISP.

Why was it blocked? Because seeing as they've decided to downgrade my subscription, that also binds me to a new 12 month contract:
"By agreeing to the AOL Broadband Downgrade Agreement, you are entering into a new minimum 12 month contract, after which your contract will run on a month-by-month basis."

The only thing is, I don't use their application so I havn't been promted with their new agreement and havn't agreed with it.

I'm just wondering how you would cope with this situation because after waisting so much time over this, I am so angry, I can hardly talk to anyone at AOL now!

  The Brigadier 07:16 24 Jan 2007

AOL are not known in the industry as AOHell for nothing.

Get away from AOL will take many hours & will cause you much heart ache!

  Miros 07:46 24 Jan 2007

I know from the tone of your posting you want this sorted 'yesterday' but stay with it, all changes on the 14th February read here

It could be useful should you not get sorted immediately and it may be useful to quote. Good luck.

As it happens I have AOL and I'm reasonably happy using their Silver Service @ £9.99p a month, they have just supplied a free wireless router and things just got better since. Being on a limited pension the monthly charge is important to me, so in my case better the devil you know, especially after reading some of the entries in these forums.

  cacoe 08:48 24 Jan 2007

I phoned them up earlier, they put me back on to their "platinum" package but took back their "good will" gesture and said I had to pay £29.99 a month again and I'd have to send back the router otherwise would be bound to a 12 month contract. Unbelievable! So much for good will. Can anyone advise another provider? I was looking into Pipex, but all I really need /as much/ transfer qualitity as possible. Thats why AOL were good until their current change of user agreement!

  RobCharles1981 10:09 24 Jan 2007

I got another 6 Months left on my AOL Contract - would I still be able to get a Mac Code from them If I want to move to another ISP?

Considering BT or Pipex??


  Miros 10:20 24 Jan 2007

Read the link I posted above, I think you will find that from 14th Feb they will have to supply Mac code regardless. See copy below...

In Summary, from 14 February 2007:

ISPs will be required where possible to provide End Users with MAC codes within 5 working days free of charge; and
An ISP will not withhold a MAC code for contractual reasons or to assist in the recovery of any debts; and
If a MAC code is not available for a valid reason, ISPs will be required to explain this to the end user; and
ISPs will be required to take reasonable steps to assist end users in provisioning/migrating of broadband services; and
Wholesale providers will be required to provide MAC codes to retail ISPs/resellers regardless of any commercial disputes.

  RobCharles1981 10:36 24 Jan 2007

I must say that looks very good.

  Miros 10:37 24 Jan 2007

That message you received from AOL re: Downgrade from AOL Broadband Platinum to Gold, could be an error, because when I renegotiated my latest deal with them I also got a similar message to say that they were sorry I had decided to cancel my AOL Broadband Platinum A/C blah, blah.

The thing is I have never had any AOL service other than AOL Silver.

  Kate B 11:17 24 Jan 2007

Have you got anything from them that you replied to saying your account had been regraded? If not I'd get on to them rejecting the regrade and pointing out that you didn't agree to it.

  cacoe 18:05 24 Jan 2007

No, I'm pretty certain what happened went like this:
I threatened to leave AOL and requested my MAC code. The rep that I talked to then went on to try and convince me how amazing AOL is compared to every other ISP and said that because I was a long term customer of theirs (three years), that as a sign of good will, they would reduce my monthly payment to be on par with the GOLD package that they offer and send a free router. She did not say that she would be re-grading my connection speed and I did not ask or imply that I wished that to happen. It did happen, when I talked to them earlier yesterday, they said my account had indeed been downgraded at "my request". I have the feeling that this was done to attempt to bind me into a new 12 month contract, a contract that I would only be prompted with, through the AOL browser software which I do not use, therefor couldn't possibly of agreed with it and this has forced them to upgrade me back to an 8Mbit connection with no additional contract (monthly just as it would of been before). I feel like they tried to catch me out so that I was either forced to stay with them for a further year or would have to pay the contract breaking fee of (something like) £56. Very sly but I think I managed to sort it out. I'll be certain to get back to you if things don't go well.

Thanks for your time.

  PaulB2005 18:11 24 Jan 2007

See the last few posts at click here

Free router and discount promised - free router arrives and account downgraded....

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