Slashdot has a post about how AOL routinely and deliberately tries to screw its customers into continuing with the service, no matter how hard they try to cancel the service. This is news to no one who’s ever tried to quit AOL, of course. Just read the comments for more.
I’ve had the same thing happen to me when I (in desperation) signed up for AOL and then tried to quit. Of course, that was my plan the whole time. I didn’t want to pay for AOL so I tried to quit every month and every time they would give me a free month. Every now and then I forgot to cancel, but for the most part I used AOL as a dialup ISP for close to free. That’s a little judo technique for you.
When it came time to quit for real, I refused to take any more free months and demanded that they cancel my service. I can be a bit of a hardass, so it wasn’t hard for me. But if you’re “too nice” and trying to quit AOL you may need to build up a head of steam first. Just wait until you’ve had a really shitty day and everything is going wrong and you want to tear into somebody. Then just call up AOL and cancel. If you lose your cool, so much the better. Don’t let them fuck you. Be firm and demand your rights as a customer and don’t take “here’s a free month” for an answer!
America Online: where being a jerk is the only way to get them to treat you like a human being.