Friday, January 25, 2008


I discovered last evening that my AOL account, (of almost 12 years) had been arbitrarily terminated. I say arbitrarily, since I cannot find out why this even occured or do ANYTHING about it.

Calling AOL's customer service number, I got to jump through the usual hopes, having to talk to the customer service department which is outsourced to some far-off land, where many times you cannot even understand the operators due to their heavy accents, (no racism intended here Time Warner, but if you are dealing with English speaking customers it behoves you to have support people that can fluently speak the language). Then I was told my account was terminated by something called a "MESH TEAM"...and that the reason for this action would not (could not) be discussed by anyone in customer service. If I wanted answers my only option was to "write a letter" to this Mesh Team at AOL's Dulles, VA address. WRITE A LETTER?!

Besides the obvious irony of having to attempt to communicate with this corporate giant, the slowest, most technologically ancient of methods, when it's focus is speeding communications and the flow of information...I find it particularly disturbing that this is how they choose to deal with customers that have been loyal to them for so long. It's obvious this method is meant to totally cut off any option on the part of the long term AOL customer to discuss this action, or for that matter, see if it is even justified in any way!

SO USE THIS AS A CAUTIONARY not sign up for AOL, or if you are already a subscriber, I would take steps to begin transferring your data, address book and any mailing lists to a new provider, since scanning the web I find this behavior of terminating of long term accounts by this MESH TEAM, with no explaination proveded (even if you do choose to write them), seems to be happening at an alarming rate all over the country. This unethical action by AOL has locked me out of over a decade of my contact information, and allows me no recourse or action to retrive it at this point! Having been a client of AOL for so long I stopped making hard-copy duplicates of contact information long ago, since I had total confidence in their service.

So if you have been trying to contact me through any of my normal email channels and have gotten it returned, please resend the information through the "CONTACT US" page on our website: ....and I will respond through a new email address.

I apologize for any inconvience this may have on the hundreds of people we communicate with monthly, but hope my sharing this information helps other people abandon the AOL ship, figurativly speaking, before this happens to them.

If you have a good referal for a email, group mailing provider, feel free to pass it on to me. I've been locked into AOL so long, truth be told, I don't know what's all out there.

Bob Luedke
Head Press Publishing