AOL's latest scam: 1000 free hours (but they must be used in 45 days)

Brian Perry

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I am surprised that AOL hasn't been told to stop their deceptive advertising campaign. It used to be "700 FREE HOURS" with the fine print being that those 700 hours had to be used in the first month. In other words, unless you spent more than 22.5 hours per day -- every day -- on AOL, you could never use those 700 hours.
Now they've expanded the offer to "1000 FREE HOURS," this time to be used in the first 45 days. Same bogus deal.
I liken this to offering someone "10 FREE MOVIE PASSES" with the catch that they must all be used in one day by the same person. While not technically fraudulent, it's blatantly deceptive. I would hope that everyone sees right through it, but the fact that AOL is using the "1000 hours" wording instead of "45-day unlimited use" means that they know at least a few people will fall for it.
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MikeAlletto

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Except for ease of use there is no reason for AOL anymore. It used to be because of their content, but everything they have you can get on web sites. I never understood why they did 700 hours free, 1000 hours free...when you pay a flat rate for unlimited time anyways. Why don't they just say, 1 month free? Stupid marketing people.
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Michael Alletto
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Jeffrey Forner

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Last summer, while I was home from school, I decided to take AOL up on their introductory offer. I think it was the 700 hours for 30 days deal you mentioned, Brian. I'm not a big fan of AOL (You mean I shouldn't mind getting bumped offline for no reason?), but since I didn't have much money for Internet services, I figured, the price was right. And when it was all over, I could always cancel the service and go to CompuServe, which had the exact same deal.
Anyway, before my month with AOL was over, I called them up to request that they cancel my service. I was very surprised when they told me that the free trial period actually lasted a full 90 days. So, I stuck with them and as soon as I moved back to my college (where I had a marvelous T1 connection), I canceled the service. Essentially, I got a full summer's worth of Internet access for free.
I'm not sure if this applies to everyone, but it did for me. I just thought I'd share.
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Graeme Clark

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It's a bit deceptive, but I wouldn't really call it a scam. It's not like 1000 Free Hours! (with signed 12 month contract) or 1000 Free Hours! (maximum 1 hour per day, each additionaly hour $2) where they're trying to get money out of you.
It's really just an offer with a restriction, like a coupon that can't be used on stuff that's on sale, or has an expiry date.
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Chad Isaacs

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I bought a new computer from Gateway back in may.Well they included a year of free aol.For some reason I still get all the silly discs in the mail,on average one a week.This week's came in a nice metal "collectors" tin.
If I were paying for it,it would not be aol...but its free so...
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Philip_G

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I'm not a big fan of AOL. But I recently moved and I'm without DSL and free AOL is better than free university dialup.
I don't see how it can be considered deceptive, it quite clearly states on the front of the cd (I'm looking at it now) "1000 hours free! for 45 days" seems perfectly clear to me... even though the "for 45 days" is slightly smaller print it's not so small it's un-noticable.
 

Todd Hochard

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You know, Philip, your computer would run faster if you didn't have all those tray icons running.

Is that a naked reflection I see in the monitor screen??? OH MY GOD!
ACK!
Just kidding.
Todd
 

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