Wow, you have to hear it to believe it. Iâ€™ve heard of the term â€œtrying to save a saleâ€ many times before, but this incident is just incredible. Recently a man named Vincent Ferrari heard horror stories on how much grief customers have to go through to cancel an AOL account and so he decided to sign up for the service and after awhile he then tried to cancel it. While doing this, he actually recorded the whole conversation between the customer service agent and himself. Despite how many times he tried to tell the representative to cancel the account, the representative persisted by dragging along the conversation to the point of frustration. Click on the player below to listen to the mp3 file of the conversation and hear for yourself.
Here are also some excerpts from the conversation for those who canâ€™t listen to the audio:
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Hi this is John at AOL…. how may I help you today?
VINCENT FERRARI FERRARI: I wanted to cancel my account.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Sorry to hear that. Let’s pull your account up here real quick. Can I have your name please?
VINCENT FERRARI: Vincent Ferrari.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: You’ve had this account for a long time.
VINCENT FERRARI: Yup.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Use this quite a bit. What was the cause of wanting to turn this off today?
VINCENT FERRARI: I just don’t use it anymore.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Do you have a high speed connection, like the DSL or cable?
VINCENT FERRARI: Yup.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Ok. How long have you had that….
VINCENT FERRARI: Years….
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: ….the high speed?
VINCENT FERRARI: ….years.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Ok. Well, actually I’m showing a lot of usage on this account.
VINCENT FERRARI: Yeah, a long time, a long time ago, not recently….
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Okay, I mean is there a problem with the software itself?
VINCENT FERRARI: No. I just don’t use it, I don’t need it, I don’t want it. I just don’t need it anymore.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Okay. So when you use this…. I mean, use the computer, I’m saying, is that for business or for…. for school?
VINCENT FERRARI: Dude, what difference does it make. I don’t want the AOL account anymore. Can we please cancel it?
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Last year was 545, last month was 545 hours of usage….
VINCENT FERRARI: I don’t know how to make this any clearer, so I’m just gonna say it one last time. Cancel the account.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Well explain to me what’s, why….
VINCENT FERRARI: I’m not explaining anything to you. Cancel the account.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Well, what’s the matter man? We’re just, I’m just trying to help here.
VINCENT FERRARI: You’re not helping me. You’re helping me….
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: I am trying to help.
VINCENT FERRARI: Helping…. listen, I called to cancel the account. Helping me would be canceling the account. Please help me and cancel the account.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: No, it wouldn’t actually….
VINCENT FERRARI: Cancel my account….
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Turning off your account….
VINCENT FERRARI: ….cancel the account….
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: ….would be the worst thing that….
VINCENT FERRARI: ….cancel the account.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Is your dad there?
VINCENT FERRARI: My Dadâ€¦? Iâ€™m the primary payingâ€¦Iâ€™m the primary person with the account. Not my dad.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Okay, cause I’m just trying to figure out….
VINCENT FERRARI: Cancel the account. I don’t know how to make this any clearer for you. Cancel the account. The card is mineâ€¦.in my name â€¦.the account is mine and in my name. When I say cancel the account, I don’t mean help me figure out how to keep it, I mean cancel the account.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I’m sorry, I don’t know what anybody’s done to you Vincent because all I’m….
VINCENT FERRARI: Youâ€™re annoying the s*** out of me thatâ€™s what youâ€™re doing to me.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Well, thanks a lot. That goes both ways my friend.
VINCENT FERRARI: Good. Will you please cancel the account?
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Alright, some day when you calmed down you’re gonna realize that all I was trying to do was help you…. and it was actually in your best interest to listen to me.
VINCENT FERRARI: Wonderful, Okay, yeah greatâ€¦..
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: To process your cancellation request, I have to tell you about a free benefit for valued members like yourselfâ€¦.
VINCENT FERRARI: Donâ€™t want itâ€¦..I know the drillâ€¦I donâ€™t even want it. Donâ€™t even bother.
AOL REPRESENTATIVE: Kay. If you want me to cancel this account, youâ€™re going to let me speak and, and give this paragraph. Kay? Cause if not, we can just argue all day, Iâ€¦ I really donâ€™t care to be honest with you. But youâ€™re going to listen to me if you want this turned off. So, can I speak now?
Apparently the AOL employee was fired shortly after the news broke out. I know most companies offer incentives for its employees who are able to successfully convince a customer to stay with them, but this is beyond disbelief. For myself, Iâ€™ve experienced some shady practices with certain companies such as how when you send in a request to cancel an account, they then request that you go through say another 4 steps to cancel the service and by the time you do that you are in a new billing cycle already. Hopefully the amount of public exposure from this will make certain companies think twice about its customer retention strategies.