I’ve finally, finally cancelled my AOL account. From now on, I will access AIM with AOL’s stand-alone client (or, more accurately, with Trillian). My new screen name is Tinmanic73; when I cancelled AOL I had to give up my old name. And for some reason, “tinmanic” by itself was already taken, which is odd, since I invented the damn word. So I just tacked on my birth year. Tinmanic73 it is.
It is so frickin’ hard to cancel AOL. I got DSL in March 2003 (along with a new computer); before that, I used AOL dial-up. But when I tried to cancel AOL last spring, the guy on the other other end of the line told me that they have an AOL-via-Broadband package at a lower price; if you have broadband Internet access, you can still use AOL’s features at the lower price. I figured it would be nice to have an extra e-mail account and keep my screen name. Plus, the irrational side of me wanted an Internet backup in case something happened to the DSL. But most importantly, the guy on the phone offered me two free months of AOL. Figuring there’d be nothing wrong with getting something for free that I didn’t really need, I accepted (plus I wouldn’t have to get a new screen name). Two months later, I forgot about it, and they began charging me again. So I called back and got another two free months. This happened several times, and now here it is, May 2004, and I’ve still got AOL. It came in handy last week when I was in San Diego, but I’ve finally decided to get rid of this stupid AOLbatross.
So I called up today, and I must have had to tell the guy four or five times that no thank you, I really appreciate the keywords you want to send me that could show me some great stuff, but I’d really just like to cancel.
I was beginning to worry that AOL cancellation was really a myth and that they actually didn’t have a cancellation process and that I’d get stuck in AOL-purgatory or they’d threaten to kill my first-born if I didn’t keep my service or something.
But no. I managed to hold my ground and make it to the end of the obstacle course. At the end of my current billing cycle, my AOL service will end and my billing will automatically stop and I’ll finally be AOL-free. This was according to a legal statement that I had to listen to.
It’s always nice to get rid of clutter. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything — even cancel your AOL service. Hallelujah.