RealTime IT News

AOL Makes it Official on Dial-Up Defections

AOL has put up a $3 million settlement as part of a deal to ease off on how it handles customers who want to leave the dial-up service. If they want to leave the service, they won't get a hard sell, or lengthy argument -- a practice that sparked consumer complaints and the ire of regulators in the first place.

The $3 million will be spread among 48 states and the District of Columbia. An AOL spokesperson said the company was pleased with the settlement.

"It codifies a number of changes that were already made by AOL to improve our service to our members and puts to rest any remaining issues related to our old access business model," said Amy Coll, spokesperson for AOL.

AOL is in the midst of switching its business model to that of an ad-supported, media company from its dial-up model as broadband becomes a mainstream business in Internet access. It also offers content and services, such as free e-mail, as MyAOL.com, as part of its switch to a new model that services Web users with broadband.

The changes to customer service, so that departing dial-up customers didn't get such a hard sell when they tried to leave the dial-up service, had been implemented in 2005, AOL said.

As of March 30th, AOL counted 12 million subscribers to its dial-up service, which costs anywhere from $9.95 to $29.95, depending on the terms.