I was with aol from the days of Compuserve and had always raved about them; their reliability, speeds, customer service.... oh how times have changed!!
My complaints began about 18months ago with emails I sent not being received and no bounce backs (this caused a lot of trouble and I lost business as a result). AOL blamed everything from filters to the router to Windows, basically anything else apart from them. I'm quite geeky so when I caught them out at each point they finally, after many calls over 3 months offered to upgrade my service and send a new modem - all I'd have to do was sign up to a new contract. I argued them down in price instead and eventually got the deal I was happy with and (STUPIDLY) accepted.
Of course the problems were never resolved, the Indian based staff are clearly dragged off the street, given no training and are just plonked infront of a 90's era PC with a script to read from. They have no clue what to do, are unwilling to escalate and their two main functions are to:
A) get you to sign up for another contract - preferably with line rental.
B) get you off the phone by telling you any lie they can think of, or as a failsafe that you have come through to the wrong department and they can't transfer you.
My main issues were with email not being received, but this didn't worry them. I was promised call backs, escalations, UK based technical team visits..... nothing.
What really angered me were the constant lies, when you have been a loyal customer for 16 years, you expect better treatment that this. I left in March and have not looked back.
One of their original lies told to me 18months ago was that if I left them they would also delete my screen name and I'd lose my aol.com email address - THIS IS A LIE. If, like me, this is a reason to stay, rest assured, they don't. I went to the extreme of changing everything away from my aol email but when my cancellation was complete, my email and screen name have remained active. Basically the lesson learned is that they are a bunch of clueless liars who want your money and no longer care about the customer.
I'm now with Orange as I also have my mobile contract with them and although others may complain about them, I've found them good. Sky are attractive IF you stay on their good side, but my advice would be to go with O2 who seem to have the best customer support and that is what you need if things go wrong.
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