Make Them Stop

USA Today: America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider, will pay $1.25 million in penalties and change some customer-service practices to settle an investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
About 300 consumers had filed complaints with Spitzer’s office accusing AOL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner (TWX), of ignoring their requests to cancel service and stop billing.
The company, with 21 million subscribers nationally, rewarded employees who were able to retain subscribers who called to cancel their Internet service. For years, AOL had minimum retention or “save” percentages that customer-service personnel were expected to meet, investigators said.
An employee could earn tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses if he or she could dissuade half of callers from ending service. That led many employees to make it difficult for consumers to cancel or to simply ignore such requests, Spitzer spokesman Brad Maione said.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.