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AOL Offers E-Mail Service Closure Clarification

Posted: 16th Dec, 2008 By: MarkJ
Last week we reported that customers of AOL Australia and some USA users were logging in to find that their .com e-mail addresses had been cancelled (news). AOL's Corporate Communications man, Allie Burns, has now confirmed to us that this issue should not affect UK users and issued the following statement:

Firstly, I want to clarify that AOL does not own any ISP businesses outside of the US and Canada - our international businesses were closed and/or sold, including the AOL UK ISP service, which is now owned and run by Carphone Warehouse; as well as the Australian access business which is now owned by Primus.

In many cases, such as in both the UK and Australia, the companies now running the businesses have license to use the AOL brand name, and we provide content and certain services (i.e. instant messaging) to those customers, so I can see where it might cause some confusion. Now to the points that you raised in your article:

1. The issue you refer to is isolated only to a small number of users who are subscribers to the AOL-branded service run by Primus in Australia, who were affected by a price plan change that Primus put into place beginning November 1, 2008. Some users had their accounts canceled by Primus as they were required to take action following notification of the price plan change on Oct. 1.

Unfortunately I have to revert any specific questions you might have about the price plan changes to Primus directly, but I can tell you that anyone who has had their account canceled can have their e-mail address reinstated.

2. AOL is not canceling AOL.com e-mail addresses without explanation, nor is there a worldwide issue with this taking place. Please let me know if you're hearing that customers are affected in other areas, and if so, the source - as I believe they may be misinformed.

Unfortunately AOL Australia removed hundreds of complaint comment posts from its FEEDBACK PAGE, which originally contained the back history of the problem and a lot more detail. At the time of writing there are now just 26 posts because the system appears to wipe any comments after the 300+ mark is hit.

Sadly there are still new messages being posted, like this one from customer John Hicks on 15th Dec: "I have been with AOL for more than 5 years and for some unknown reason AOL has cancelled my e-mail address without notice or apparent reason."
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