Monday, November 28, 2005

Canceling AOL

OK - this should be fun. Thought you might enjoy sharing this experience with me.

I just called AOL to cancel my service. At 8:29 pm precisely.

I'm on hold now after navigating a handful of voice menus (with the requisite duplicates en Espanol). I have been advised that the wait for a "cancellation operator" (no doubt enjoying a nice nan break somewhere in the exurbs of Bangalore)

8:49 pm Still waiting. Nothing like a little Sixpence None the Richer to pass the time and calm my rising anger.

8:43 pm A nice soothing Computer Man asked me to punch in (or say) my phone number (area code first!). Hmm. Couldn't we have done this earlier?

Then: please answer your security questions. "Cleve-land," I state, plainly, clearly. (A special prize to whoever can guess my security question!) It is now 8:53 pm.

Yawn. Think I'll pour a vodka tonic. I'm watching Meet the Press (yesterday's - love my TiVO). Biden and Warner are mud-wrestling over Iraq. Surprise, surprise, to quote Pvt. Pyle. More on that when I have a few free hours.

Yikes! Mid-glug, a click in the line. A lovely, lilting Indian voice. "Hello, my name is Anna." Sure. "How are you today?" I'm fine, I tell her. How are you? "Oh - I am good. You are the first person to ask me that today." She likes me! She's going to be nice and just cancel my AOL and I can get on with Tim Russert getting his undies all in a bunch!

But, no. She launches into her pablum: "You wish to be canceling your AOL relationship? I will most surely be liking to help you with that."

Sure you will.

8:55 pm. We have just gone through the reasons: got me some High-Speed! Don't need yo' stinking dial-up! Etc etc etc.

She is now launching into all the things that high-speed AOL can offer. And because I have been a loyal AOLer for 7-plus years, she's willing to cut me a deal for $7 per month (do her superiors in Reston, VA know about this?)

No, no, and no.

It is 9:05 now. "Tell you what," (she really has the idiom nailed, this Anna). "I'll give you free AOL broadband through January, so you can give it a try. If you don't like it, just call back and cancel then."

Huh? And give up another 45 minutes of my life? Snake my way through the Byzantine phone tree of AOL-Bangalore? No thanks.

"But you do not understand, Mr Jack, what I am offering you..." I tried to stop her, but it couldn't be done. They sure have a good How to Interrupt and Be Persistent Without Being a Total Asshole course over there at AOL University.

9:10 pm She finally needs to take a breath, so I jump in: "Here's what I would appreciate: please just cancel my service so I don't need to call back again and we can all just move on with our lives, sweet Anna."

"OK Mr Jack. I'm sorry that you don't see my point, but I will cancel you."

Thank you Thank you Thank you.

And now, at 9:15 pm, I am back to Meet the Press, and Sen. Biden's forehead wrinkles look like they are about to jump through the screen and squeeze me to death.

Oh, Dear God, he's running for President in 2008! Didn't he try that already? When I was, like, in middle school?

More on that, too, later. Maybe.


Blogger Justin said...

I had a very similar experience - - AOL is so not fun to cancel!!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Mason said...

I too also had a very similar conversation with AOL. Mine....was a very unpleasant experience......Anna and I both were in tears when we finally hung up. :)

8:30 PM  

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