Even Dead People Can't Escape AOL

How can the once dominant internet service provider AOL top their recent customer service fiasco in which an IT professional tried and failed to cancel his account? At least, that customer was still alive to make the call...

For the past nine months, a St. Louis woman has been repeatedly trying to cancel her late father's AOL account that was still accumulating monthly charges and late fees, even though the account laid dormant and the credit card he used had been inactive.

Typically, the woman's calls to AOL ended when a customer service rep or manager hung up on her, even after offering to send them a copy of her father's obituary. In fact, one rep told her to "stop complaining and learn to use a computer." The catch: The daughter didn't know the answer to her father's security question that service providers like AOL use to prevent strangers from changing or accessing private account information.

About the time the IT professional's tale of woe with AOL hit the airwaves, however, the problem was mysteriously resolved, and all those monthly charges and late fees vanished. But that didn't stop AOL from sending the deceased subscriber a letter to his Florida address, hoping he'll come back one day.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 4, 2006

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