September 22, 2004

Sometimes I forget things...

...Like updating my billing information, or cancelling before the trial period is over.

Back in June, when I was off-line for 5 weeks, I was trying to figure out just where the problem was. Was it in Juno? Internet Explorer? My hard drive? I didn't know.
I installed AOL just to see if I could get on-line with it. If I could then that would narrow the problem to my Juno software. If not then Juno would be ruled out as the infected program.

The AOL disk gave me free service for X amount of weeks --about three months -- during which I would have to proactively cancel the service or else begin having to pay up for monthly service beginning in September.

I installed the AOL disk, fiddled with it a few times, had to put the disk back in again, tried to get on-line, couldn't. I uninstalled AOL.

So, I was able to rule out Juno as the infected software, but didn't bother to immediately phone AOL to cancel my account. Hey, I have three months t' do it and it must have been late in the evening by then.

Long story short: I reformmatted the hard drive and reinstalled Window98 and Juno.

I recieved a letter in the snail mail from AOL telling me that they'd been unable to process a payment for my account. HUH?! Oh, right, I set up an account in June and never cancelled it. Not to worry, though: The problem was that my debit card had expired in 08/04, and I hadn't yet activated the new card.
My options were to update my billing information or call Customer Service. I did neither 'cause I didn't have AOL on my computer and didn't want it.

I didn't contact AOL, but I did activate my new card after that.

Like I said; sometuimes I forget things. That's why I go to my bank and ask for a print-out of my checking account once or twice a week. I want to make sure that I didn't withdraw funds at an ATM and had forgotten to mark it down in my checkbook when I got home lest I suffer cascading overdraft fees. Gotta keep the thing balanced as it's been a tightrope walk recently.

I got a print-out yesterday morning and, surprisingly, I had a negative balance. Crap! Why?!
There were two debits posted the night before (Monday) for $47.80 each. WTF?!!!

I phoned the bank and talked to Myra. She identified the debitters as AOL.

CRAP!!! I never contacted AOL to cancel the account that I created back in June and they've gone ahead and tried again to get two monthly payments!!!

I called AOL. It took 45 $#@^&*% minutes of wading through the voice-activated phone web to get an actual live person on the line.

Apparently I was billed $47.80 ($95.60) for two different accounts I'd set up because I had re-inserted the disk to correct what I thought might have been a problem with missing files.
Long story short: Both accounts were closed, but I'd have to go through a reimbursement proceedure if I wanted my 95 bucks back.

I went back to my bank and Myra and Ellie both told me that the bank isn't allowed to cancel a POS Transaction. Shite! I muttered "I deserve to be shot" and left for work again.


But, while walking back to work, I thought of something.
I phoned AOL again.

Nevermind how long it took to get a live person on the line again. Once I had a guy on the line, and had explained the situation thus far, the conversation went a little like this:

Me: ...And I'm out $95.60. I need you to flag the accounts to return the funds as soon as they come in.

AOL: I see that two accounts were created at nearly the exact same time, that's not unusual. So I'm going to go ahead and settled that second one.

Me: But, I need both of them settled with a return.

AOL: Well, now, you know you never cancelled the account, sir...

Me: I didn't think I had to. The letter told me to either update my billing info or contact AOL. I did neither.

AOL: That doesn't mean we're not going to attempt another debit...

Me: Attempt another debit with what authorization?

AOL: The authorization you gave us.

Me: That expired in August. I never updated the billing information. What you have on record is a card that expured in 08/04, and the billing date was September 2nd. You billed an expired card. AOL has no authorixation from me beyond August 31st. Do you see what I'm saying? I didn't update the billing info and so ya billed me in September on a card that expired in August.....

AOL [pregnant pause] Yes, I see. Let me take care of that second one for you, Mr Jones...


I don't know for sure if the experation date in my AOL Billing Information entitled me to a reimbursement, but I believed it at the time... and maybe thus convinced the guy on the other end that it did.

Bottom line: My $95.60 is being returned!

I've missed my calling.

Posted by Tuning Spork at September 22, 2004 10:02 PM


Posted by: Ted at September 23, 2004 06:13 AM

Sounds like you flim-flammed a slower witted feller with purty soundin' double talk. You'da made a half decent lawyer, Spork. I'm proud'a ya, counselor.

Posted by: Freedom's Slave at September 23, 2004 03:31 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter