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


The Crissey's said...

Oh, many, many, many years ago AOL was called PC-Link a a division of a Sears company and back in the day it WAS all about customer service, and it's wonderfull icons made tasks like typing in a hyper-link easy for even my Mother could do this. She thinks Hyper-link is a name from the Starwars movie. Needless to say it became AOL, which (I think it was version 7.??); grabbed hold of your computer, and you could never completley rid yourself of it. Then I knew it was time to leave, it was hard but I did.
I really knew things we as screwy as you mention in your posting, when Highspeed was just starting out and the "HOME OFFICE" of AOL right here in Atlanta, GA. and guess what AOL HIGH SPEED WAS NOT OFFERED IN ATLANTA.
I switched long before that thank goodness, I have my reservations about "FREE" but I backup my address book often, even store my messages on a seperate hard drive (I volunteer and have thousands of e-mail addresses). I have found FREE better than PAY, and Google works great for me, not alot of junk advertising (just a little).
Sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Right in the middle of this disaster. 10 Year of AOL use and I cannot get any answers. Of course I haven't backed anything up because it never even occured to me that this was a possibility. Hundreds of emails, contacts, links...this is how I make a living so they have made a very large financial decision for me. Unfortunately for them, I am a pissed of New Yorker and if I have to drive to Dulles to find this MESH team, so be it

Anonymous said...

I too, have had my AOL account suspended. I too, called AOL. I too, have been a paying customer of AOL for many years.
Their telephone customer service representatives advised me that they could not discuss it with me. They told me to write a letter to Dulles, Virginia.
I have two main issues. The first being, who really owns my personal data. Regardless of their Terms of Service Agreement, is it legal for them to hold my personal information captive?
The second is with regard to subjective termination. Why are certain screen names suspended for reported violations, while others are not? Why are certain members able to have others suspended, while other members can not? Is this a form of discrimination? Is this legal?