AOL walled garden for nothing

I did some computer consulting a few weeks ago. The following is a true story in its entirety.

This nice lady contacted me that saying that her computer was really slow. I gathered anti-spyware software and mentally prepared for a 3-hour bout.

Fortunately, it was far from terrible. She just had AOL. Her computer was fairly new, too. That was a relief!

I find out that she’s been paying for AOL, even when she changed to a cable internet connection. Lately, her computer seemed to be sluggish.

For at least a year now, AOL offered email for free awhile ago, and the software was now offered for free as well. She didn’t use the dialup service, or any of the features the software offered her. From what I gathered about the latest AOL software, it includes at least:

  • Antispyware
  • Antivirus
  • Firewall

She already had antivirus software. Antispyware software can be found for free, so could the firewall. So what was she paying for? Email!

After confirming that she wouldn’t lose her email and that she could still use the software (provided she uses her own internet connection), she was able to cancel the paid service.

I didn’t hear the whole conversation, but it seemed very easy. However, if you’ll see the following posts, her account isn’t cancelled, just the billing. As of now, she needs the AOL software because she archived the email to her hard drive using the software, and we’re not sure how to find and read them without it.

See more AOL posts at Consumerist

Now that that was taken care of, I helped her setup a Gmail account, then uninstalled extraneous programs that she never touched. Fortunately, Windows was set to automatically update, so that was taken care of. I also installed Firefox and bookmarked Gmail and AOL webmail in the bookmarks toolbar for her.

So, I’m glad I keep tabs with almost everything tech. It saves me money, that’s for sure, and I’ll try to do the same for anyone else that doesn’t know otherwise.

Any solutions on helping this person not have to read archive email within AOL 9.0?

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

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