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More AOL Deceptions and Fraud Revealed

AOL made embarrassing headlines last month, thanks to a tech-savvy consumer who taped a phone conversation with an overly zealous customer service representative while attempting to cancel his account. Ever wonder why a AOL representative would treat a customer that way?

Apparently, AOL reps are trained to be attack dogs, albeit quasi-polite ones, based on the tactics described in an internal manual on Enhanced Sales Training for AOL Retention Consultants. The real reason why AOL reps work so hard to keep their customers: Employees are instructed to regard service cancellations as sales leads.

AOL's six-stage system for retaining customers:

  • Greet and verify
  • Discovery
  • Tailored value
  • Right offer
  • Resolve concerns
  • Motivate to activate

What tripped up the aggressive AOL rep in his nationally aired rant against his customer, according to The Consumerist: He stayed stuck in the discovery phase, never bothering to learn his customer was an IT professional.

The one thing you can say about AOL is that they've been consistently evil for the past decade. That's why I never had an account with AOL in the first place and influenced thousands to stop using them.

The Consumerist July 18, 2006

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