Portal:AOL-Files/Articles/An AOL Halloween True Horror Story

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(Originally by AOL-Files staff member duckers55)

It was about 6pm Halloween eve and I went to my mailbox and got my mail. I ordered a pizza and sat down to read my mail. I opened my bank statement and could not believe my eyes when I saw a charge for $855.44 from America Online. My face flushed with anger as I recalled that AOL had done this to me twice before but only for a few dollars or at worst a double charge. I had a BYOA for about 2 years and the charge should have been $9.95 a month.

I could hardly wait to see what the AOL billing dept had to say. After being disconnected a few times while on hold I reached a rep. I told him my story and once again put on hold for a few minutes. I was livid at this point. Soon there was a voice introducing himself as Scott Hollan a billing account supervisor. He told me that I changed my account to a by the hour account. I told him that I didn't and he insisted that I did or someone with my PW did it and it was not a mistake by AOL. I insisted that I didn't change it and that my password was not stolen. (Of this am sure). He put me on hold for a few minutes and came back on line and told me that the best he could do for me was to meet me half way. That's all I needed to hear to completely loose it. I assured him that he was not dealing with an idiot and that not only will I call my bank and have the funds reversed but will also consider legal action. At this point he asked me to give him 24 hours to 'See what I can do". I told him that he better do more then just see what he can do and credit my account with the full amount. In the middle of all this my pizza arrived.

I then called my back to get the paperwork started. As I was explaining this to the woman on the phone she said out loud; "I have never seen one this big before from America Online" I asked her what she meant and was informed that this is a common occurrence with AOL members. Many being doubled billed or over charged. But never an amount likes mine. I gave her all the info and was told that the paperwork would be sent to me to sign. As long as I was talking to the bank I decided to open a checking account just for AOL and keep a balance of no more that $20 at any given time. The reason for this is simple. I don't trust AOL. Plain and simple.

As expected 24 hours came and went and no word from the supervisor Scott Hollan. I called the AOL billing dept and asked for him but was told that he was not with the office I called and they would have no way of locating him. So I got yet another supervisor Ms Corie Tucker. All was explained and I was then informed that since the amount was so high that the corporate office had to approve it. (Right) I was then told that Hollan had gotten my credit for half the amount and discharged my current bill, which was over $500 at this point. I THEN TOLD Ms Tucker that this was not acceptable. She said that she would have to call me back in a few minutes.

Minutes later she called back to tell me the good news. (Guess she woke someone up from the corporate office) That they would credit my bank with the full amount LESS the three months I would have had to pay if I still had a REGULAR account. This would total $60 and since, as she explained, it was MY FAULT for changing my account that I should be happy with that.

Well that didn't fly! I had a $9.95 BYOA in the first place; never changed my account and nobody had my password. Not only did I tell her this but also insisted on a few free months for my aggravation. And that I was not going to accept her oh-so generious offer and fill out and sign the paperwork from the bank. She told me if I did that that I would loose my account and at this point she said she could not give me ANY credit at all. "So be it," I said. "Good luck collecting your money" And with that she did a complete turnaround and said, " Ok I will only charge you the BYOA amount". Pushing my luck I once again mentioned the free months and I think I heard a 'NO'.

How sad for me and how sad for America Online and mostly how sad for its subscribers. I write this true story not for revenge of any kind. I just feel that it's a story that must be told.