Back in January Time Warner's American Online (AOL) agreed to pay customers as much as $25 million to settle claims that it wrongly billed customers for online services and products without consent.
Consumers also complained that they were billed for accounts after they tried to cancel them.
Well, AOL may have settled those lawsuits, but it appears it may be a case of out of the fat and into the frying pan for the highly criticised online service provider. AOL customers are not happy customers. In fact, MSNBC estimates that nearly 800,000 jumped ship in the last quarter alone.
Why are there so many unhappy AOL users? You'll soon have your answer if you spend a few minutes scrolling through the customer complaints over at [Consumeraffairs.com] - a web-based consumer news and resource center. Among the many, many gripes against AOL, double billing seems to be a huge issue.
You can feel the frustration as you read some of the customer's stories. One man from Houston, Texas writes, "For two years, AOL double billed me for one account for a total of $600 plus. It's the old 'you had two screen names' routine. Nothing is ever explained to my satisfaction and, of course, nothing is ever resolved. They are truly the best BUNKO artists I've ever encountered. My experience is duplicated thousands of times from every corner of the country."
Many AOL users have multiple screen names but the company seems to be having a great deal of difficulty managing this service. Another woman from Florida alleges that she called AOL when she noticed two deductions coming out of her checking account every month. When she reached customer service she was also told that she was being double billed because she had two screen names. "I asked them why they would bill the same individual for two screen names and they couldn't explain it. I was never refunded any money as they said that they had a policy that would not allow them to do that."
What sort of policy can AOL possibly have that allows them to bill their customers twice? And if there's no such policy, what explanation can they offer to all of their angry and confused customers?
AOL has faced numerous lawsuits over billing disputes and yet it appears as if they haven't gotten it quite right yet. That is, if you ask their customers who pay for their services twice every month.
If you're an AOL customer be sure to check your payment records carefully. If you have been double billed you should seek legal counsel to reclaim the money that is owed to you.
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AOL likes you so much, they Bill you Twice!
|. By Jane Mundy|
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