Response To AOL Controversy


The article "America Online, while you can" by Bob Woods is all about
the hoopla concerning the fact that America Online, or AOL, has not been able to
accommodate its vast amount of customers. This is due to AOL\'s new flat rate,
which substituted their original hourly deal. Many AOL users experience busy
signals when trying to log on. When and if they do get on AOL, the service runs
extremely slow because of the overload of users. Woods threatens that AOL will
lose many of their customers if they don\'t improve their resources. Other
companies should beef-up their advertising and try to cash in by targeting the
unsatisfied AOL users.
In this day and age of internet use, people in any given location can
choose from at least fifteen national companies, such as sprintlink, compuserve,
ameritech, erols and so on. Using these services are less expensive than
America Online. Per month for unlimited use they average at around $10 to $15
dollars as opposed to AOL\'s hefty $19.95 a month. AOLers are paying for the
appealing menus, graphics and services AOL uses to drive their customers to the
internet. These same features can be located anywhere else on the net with the
aid of any search device, such as infoseek, yahoo, microsoft network or web-
crawler. These sites are no harder to use and they provide lots of helpful
menus and information.
In Wood\'s article, he states that he lives in Chicago, and AOL has
several different access numbers to try if one is busy. He writes that often
when he has tried to log on using all of the available numbers, and has still
been unsuccessful. This is a problem for him because he is dependent on AOL to
"do the daily grind of (his) job as a reporter and PM managing editor." If I
was not satisfied with the performance of my internet provider, which happens to
be sprintlink, I would not complain to the company. I would take my money
elsewhere, especially if my job depended on using the internet. With all of the
other options available, wasted time and inevitable frustration using AOL could
be eliminated. I live in Richmond, Va., which is a fairly big city and have not
once been logged off or gotten a busy signal using sprintlink. And I only have
one access line available with my provider as opposed to AOL\'s multiple lines.
I agree with Woods in the fact that people will (in most circumstances) get
better internet service and customer service with a local, smaller or more
specified company.
I think it is safe to say that America Online has done too little too
late. In the internet business, or any commercial mega-cooperation, I believe
that you shouldn\'t advertise and try to get more clients that you are prepared
to handle. AOL most definitely should have put more thought into the response
their extensive advertising campaigns were sure to bring. I think that
eventually people will realize that many other options exist and break away from
AOL and will find other providers. I think that Compuserve also thought this,
by placing an ad during the Super Bowl stating "We have the best internet
service, call 1-800- NOT-BUSY." America Online users have recently banned
together and filed a class action suit about all this. I don\'t see that
necessary because they could easily find a smaller, localized company that would
be more than happy to help out with today\'s demand for internet service. I do
not understand why the unsatisfied AOL customers have not already taken their
business elsewhere. Well, I can\'t make decisions for other people, but this
should have not been such a big deal.
Throughout my life, I have found that if something is not working out
for you, it is better to evaluate your other options and find something more
advantageous to you than to complain to the source and ask them to do the
changing. Basically, what I am saying is if you have a problem, fix it yourself
and don\'t whine or cry to everyone else about your misfortunes. It would save a
lot of time, trouble and controversy.

Category: Technology