2006/06/23

Customer Retention, AOL Style

I know that each of us has had at least one experience where some corporate phone drone wouldn't let us leave, unsubscribe, withdraw, or whatever, but this recording of a guy trying to cancel his AOL account takes the cake. Listen to this and see if you agree.

11 Comments:

I used to enjoy making a game out of telemarketer calls, to see if I could get them to hang up on me! Of course, now I don't get any of these calls, and I did it with out putting myself on the no-call list!
some days those phone zombie-monsters can really put you in a bad place. I recently overheard my normally pleasant husband screaming into the phone "take me the f-ck off your f-cking list right f-cking now, is that f-cking clear enough for you, f-ckhead?". When I asked him how that approach worked out, he said they told him there was no need for profanity! This after many minutes on hold waiting to talk to a "supervisor" because regular cust service can't do anything. I think that same long hold time is what pushed the AOL customer over the edge. He didn't owe them any explanation & was just fed up after listening to phone muzak intersperced with AOL self-promoting ads. Whatever happened to the customer is king concept? And you just know in a few weeks, he'll be getting a follow-up phone call from AOL making him an attractive offer to resubscribe! Maybe he can use my husband's approach then. D.K.
Lew, you must tell me your secret. :-)

D.K., I never use profanity, but the Frogette says that when the situation calls for it, I go into "I'm dead f*cking serious. Don't screw with me!" mode. My favorite phrase then is, "Have I made myself more than crystalline clear?"
kvatch, i've always preferred the smoldering glare myself, but that's hard to achieve over the phone. and i'd like to hear lew's secret as well. D.K.
I think that post was just a sneaky way for you to push like, a million Paris Hilton links on us.

I had a somewhat similar experience when I cancelled my AOL last year. All I did was say "cancel my account" and nothing else. I think it lasted a few minutes, but the call wasn't as stupid as this guy's.

Stupid AOL.
Wow - that takes the cake. I can't believe that phone rep couldn't figure out that the guy just wanted to "cancel the account". Hello, McFly!
I would suggest that there is a better way to fix this situation.
The 'agent' does not work directly for the corp in question, and is required to retain the customer through this bullshit approach.
If everyone who encounters this situation looked up the corporate contact info and emailed - whatever corporate addy they publish - a note directed to the corp CEO, they will get the message.
They sell off the nasty stuff, but if it keeps coming back to them they will have to act. The corps don't want to deal with your dissatisfaction directly.
I should note this advise comes one removed from inside!
I heard that on Olbermann... man, I would NOT have been as nice as the guy trying to cancel. They would have gotten an earful of screech, and possibly a boat horn.

AOL is sheer evil.
Wow - that takes the cake. I can't believe that phone rep couldn't figure out that the guy just wanted to "cancel the account". Hello, McFly!

Elsa, Cartledge is probably right. The agent probably gets a bonus for retaining "by any means necessary" a customer that wants to leave. I had a similar experience with a credit-card recently, they tried every trick in the book--lower interest rates (irrelevant since we don't carry balances), higher credit limit (again irrelevant since I could already charge a car to the damn thing and wouldn't in any case). In the end they insisted that we speak to a "customer service manager" who resorted in the end to threats..."you know if we cancel this card, you may not be able to get another from us". (Wanna bet?)

Sigh...
...and possibly a boat horn.

Sweet! A boat horn? Where do you get that? Is it like a foghorn, or more of a klaxon?
The AOL rep is either desperate to make a living or sees it as a challenge. Personally, I couldn't handle a job like that.

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