AOL Broadband Review

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1.2 / 5
11% of users recommend this
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  • Reliability

  • Customer Service

  • Speed Consistency

  • Value For Money

JamesG830's review of AOL Broadband


“AOL is one of the biggest - if not- currently the...”

Written on: 31/01/2007 by JamesG830 (5 reviews written)

Good Points
Good Home Page
Free broadband modem
Good web site/email box/Toolbar
Free connection and software Unlimited downloads
Good connection speed

Bad Points
Bad modem/Software
Internet constantly freezing
Won't cancel subscriptions
Show no sympathy if you e.g. subscribe mistakenly 2 times
Exaggerate censorship on their message boarders

General Comments
AOL is one of the biggest - if not- currently the biggest Internet service provider in the world. How do they manage to do it? The answer is simple: Marketing.

AOL knows how to attract customers by constantly mailing free AOL CD's to people's homes where they offer free Internet trial and you can hardly buy one PC magazine where a AOL CD doesn't pop out.

When it comes about the good points, the AOL's Home Page is exceptional.

Everything is on the same page: email box, news, Instant messenger, free pop-up blocker, a very good Tool for easy access to web sites etc.

AOL's search engine is powered by Goggle, which is known as one of the best search engines - but on the other hand you can always just use google with any Internet provider.

The email box is very good, nice to look at and e.g. if you want to report junk mail, then there's a button below which says 'Report Spam', just click on it and vollay - the junk mail has disappeared and being forwarded to a junk mail office that prevent the spam sender to continue to send you the ever-annoying junk mail.

AOL also provides free Pop-up blocker, chat rooms, chat message rooms, private conference rooms and a handy photo uploader, the speed is satisfying.

My partner and I originally signed up for AOL few years ago for dial-up connection, my partner did once sign up for another Internet service but did the mistake to simply forget to inform AOL for one year and they renewed her 1 year contract.

When I noticed her mistake, I called up the AOL but there was no sympathy there. They didn't offer to refund a penny, give us free subscription or knock o0ne single day off the 1-year renewed contract. I would have expected more sympathy than that.

Around 2003 we upgraded to broadband. AOL provide a Voyager 105 modem, free of charge if you sign up for one year. However, the quality of the 'Reliable, always-on connection Voyager 105' modem is very poor, I cannot count the times when I tried to go online when the screen appeared 'AOL is not responding'.

I probably did talk more often to their Technical Help Support Line than to my family members!

The Indian based Technical support staff speak very poor English - yet are friendly and helpful. As I'm a patient man that does value politeness above poor communication skills, I didn't bother too much, however, I cannot speak up for what others that are less patient would say.

There have also been countless complaints from customers that AOL does not send their 'Reliable, always-on connection Voyager 105' replacement modem when the customers ask for it.

The AOL software takes up a lot of space,and slows your PC down. The year 2006 AOL's software was 'honored' as the worst software ever by the respected PC magazine PC World:

What is less acceptable is that they do charge extra for calling up their Technical Help Line and you often have to wait on the phone for ages to get help. There are also complaints from deaf people that have to use Typetalk, that phoning them is a nightmare.

One thing did also surprise me; once I couldn't connect to the Internet for more than a day. When I called up their Technical Help Line, they blamed the BT and claimed that the 'BT telephone line was down' but when I phoned up BT (I had no problems phoning them?), the BT staff explained to me that this wasn't true and that AOL does know very well that broadband has nothing to do with telephone line.

When I phoned AOL Help Line again, they admitted that this was true. In other words, I had being lied to.

Rumours are that AOL does also charge 'hidden charges' every time you go online with broadband and for each email that you do send.

Now I come to the main point; if you are an subscriber or will ever subscribe to AOL, wait until you try to leave AOL and see what fun you have. If you want to cancel online you will have to spend long to see a site or a link that provides that option; it doesn't exist.

If you want to email any enquiry's, no matter if it is canceling, requests for technical help, complaint etc. just don't bother - they never answer emails.

AOL is notorious for dishonestly continuing to charge people that want to cancel AOL's and if you don't believe me - be my guest and take a look on other comments on this site or take a look at those links:

What I do consider the most disgusting thing about AOL is their unfair censorship on their message borders. I used to publish posters there and soon went popular for my articles.

However, AOL censor(ed) interesting posters while they do let bigots that poke insults at others be left alone so my friends that used to publish interesting posters have left the AOL message borders in disgust thanks to this. This is simply not fair.

I'm currently writing a book but AOL eventually disconnected me. AOL once gave me a warning me for telling my political views despite it didn't contain any swear words. They eventually disconnected me - when I once replied to a bigot that had insulted me and wouldn't leave my IM/email box alone - in a manner that I shouldn't have.

I wrote a long letter to AOL where I told the other side of the story. There are certain bigots that BOAST on the AOL message borders about how they insult others with name calling and swear words without ever even have their posters removed.

The insulted me with name calling and swear words for no reason at all and continued to harass my IM/email box ages after they chased me away from the message borders and wouldn't leave my IM/email box alone despite I asked politely to be left alone.

Thanks to AOL's disconnection, I lost several months of hard work linked with my book writing, permission from other authors to refer to their articles etc.

I told AOL that if they think it's all right with them to warn or even ban people for telling your political views without using one single swear word while they allow bigots to insult others with name calling and swear words and harass the IM/email box of paying AOL subscribers with unwanted debates and insults - then something is seriously wrong.

AOL as far as I am aware never replied.

A Internet Company that provides a poor Internet connection, blame others for their own technical faults, use dishonest ways to take your money and doesn't value to respect the freedom of speech - while at the same time do let bigots get away with harass paying subscribers with insults, is simply not even worth considering.

I have used BT and do currently use SKY and I guarantee that they are a much better alternative, e.g. I once did cancel my BT Internet subscription, they told me politely that they would cancel my subscription the same day and not charge me one day more - and kept their words (I do neither work for or know anyone with BT).

How I wised that I would have stayed with BT instead.

AOL is a big mean machine, which has forgotten about basic customer's rights. But the day will come that David will hit against Goliath and I am one amongst them. Dishonesty doesn't pay. As the old saying goes, the bigger they are - the harder they fall.

If you don't use AOL and are looking for an honest Internet service provider that doesn't give you a hard time to cancel your account or sort out other problems or support fair debates - look elsewhere.

But if you do use AOL, cancel your account, expect that your phone call will take a long time, talk to your bank and let them block AOL from taking your money.

Goodbye to AOL.

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Bertie's Response to JamesG830's Review

Written on: 01/02/2007

Thanks for a good read James. I've been with AOL since I came online 4½ years ago and have been on their Gold broadband for just over 18 months which they upgraded free from Silver for being a "loyal customer".
<br/>I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of disconnections I&#039;ve had since going broadband and every time I was almost immediately automatically reconnected.
<br/>But my internet needs are very modest and at my age I simply don&#039;t want to get involved with the esoterics of computing. I would think that many in my situation don&#039;t mind being mollycoddled as long as they have a reliable connection.
<br/>I can&#039;t understand why people have a problem dumping AOL. Why not send a recorded delivery letter giving a month&#039;s notice and instruct their bank to stop payments? Am I missing something?
<br/>Anyway, for ME, AOL works fine but I do sympathise with those for whom it does not.

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Jamesg830's Response to JamesG830's Review

Written on: 22/04/2008

You're welcome Bertie.
<br/>I do admit guilt of charge that I was probably too harsh in my judgment on AOL, and I do indeed admit that AOL has at the very least, some good sides.
<br/>I cannot, however, but help feeling dissatisfied with their censorship on their message boards.
<br/>How comes that their censorship can warn you and eventually as far as I am concerned ban you for using inappropriate language, despite you do not use any swear words nor point the post personally at anyone.
<br/>Why this injustice in their censorship? However, I will eventually write a letter to them and tell my side of the story so perhaps there is still some justice in the world - time will tell.

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Puretoon's Response to JamesG830's Review

Written on: 02/06/2007

It's such a shame that JamesG830 has had so many problems with AOL-even in cancelling, as I had none at all regarding this bit.
<br/>You either hate or love AOL-simple as that, and when people DO hate them, its with a passion! I'm not saying for one minute James hates them, but it seems he's had bad experiences all round which is not good.
<br/>When I decided to change (fed up) I'd heard all these nightmare scenarios of trying to cancel, so was filled with apprehension, no need at all! it was simplicity in it's self-I was even told that as I'd been with them that long they'd be delighted to welcome me back! and it's looking like that could be happening.
<br/>AOL couldn't have been more helpful or charming regarding my migration to another ISP and all went very smoothly.
<br/>So whilst we all know AOL has it's many faults, personally speaking I actually like them-everythings in one place and one page-as James has said.

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Puretoon's Response to JamesG830's Review

Written on: 02/04/2007

After being with AOL for many years (using dial-up, monthly charge and broadband), I decided to change (seemed like a good idea at the time). I now wished I hadn't! Come back AOL! Contrary to the initial review, I had absolutely no problems cancelling. They were superb and instant! They also said that as I'd been a good customer, they'd welcome me back immediately. I migrated to Pipex, but with using the old router I'm getting dropped connections now, and I don't like using Outlook Express for my emailing. Plus, Microsoft are shocking with all their securities via IE.
<br/>With AOL, as previously mentioned, everything's in the one screen, so it is good. Their emailing page is smashing - I miss that.
<br/>When I was with AOL I put loads of friends onto it, and they haven't had any bother whatsoever.
<br/>AOL's 'hidden charges'??? I don't think so. Everything's up front! You know how much you're going to pay when you sign up. My bills were always correct.
<br/>Yes, their helpline leaves a lot to be desired though. But I'd still recommend them to anyone. Their software is now very good. I've actually not long since installed Wireless Broadband for someone, and through past bad experience of bad AOL software then, I was dreading it, but by the cringe, how it's improved! It was a doddle to install.
<br/>And as for hitting you with advertising? Yes, they did do that a while back, but not now. In fact, it;s quite the opposite.
<br/>No, I think come this winter when my years contract is up, I'll be moving back to AOL, and personally I can't wait!

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