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Tech: Update on AOL

JohnInKansas 26 Jan 11 - 05:10 PM
RTim 26 Jan 11 - 05:30 PM
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Subject: Tech: Update on AOL
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 05:10 PM

Hopefully, no one here needs this; but maybe someone knows someone who does?

Is AOL Scamming Old People?

Note to all current AOL subscribers: You don't need to pay for e-mail anymore.
By Dan Costa
25 January 2011
PC Magazine

The decline and fall of AOL is one of the great stories of the digital age. At its peak, AOL was a subscription service and Internet gateway for more than 35 million Americans. Then the Web took off, telcos started delivering broadband services, and AOL got left with the ruins off its ill-considered marriage to Time Warner. Today, AOL has just 4 million subscribers. But here is the kicker—those people are still paying.

AOL.com, of course, is free. It used to be a pay service, but has been free for years. You can access the AOL.com, read all of its content, and check your aol.com e-mail without paying a dime.

If you already pay for an account, however, AOL will continue to bill you. And evidently, that makes AOL a LOT of money.

The New Yorker's Ken Auletta did a profile of AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong this week and it includes the following whopper:

'[M]any of [AOL's subscribers] are older people who have cable or DSL service but don't realize that they need not pay an additional twenty-five dollars a month to get online and check their e-mail. "The dirty little secret," a former AOL executive says, "is that seventy-five per cent of the people who subscribe to AOL's dial-up service don't need it"'

Setting aside the ageist overtones, the implication here is that a large number of AOL subscribers are already paying their phone company or cable provider for Internet access. That inevitably comes with both full access to the Web, an e-mail address, and even the opportunity to register for an AOL.com account. So there is no need to pay for an AOL subscription. And yet people still do, perhaps because they don't realize they don't have to.

What's more, Auletta estimates that these subscriber revenues generate 80% of the AOL's profit. How much is that? In the third quarter of last year these suspect subs generated about $244 million! All because AOL subscribers don't know they don't have to pay anymore.

...

...you already know all this of course, but chances are you know someone who might be among that sad, sorry 4 million that is paying every month for something they don't need. Forward them this story and tell them to go here to cancel their AOL account.

And let them know they don't need to pay for e-mail anymore.

[end quote]

Does anyone know why this might not be true?

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Update on AOL
From: RTim
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 05:30 PM

I have been using AOL for nearly 15 years, and still have the same e-mail address, where as many friends change addresses like socks!!
I DON'T pay for my E-mails.

Tim Radford


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