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Internet News   Internet News : Tough Times For AOL
   posted by Adlib on 2-Feb-2003 10:52:38 (1650 reads)
AOL, arguably one of the UK's most annoying ISPs are finally facing tough times after the last 6 months seeing a rapid decrease in the number of subscribers.

Analysts have warned for more than a year that weakening demand for dial-up Internet access in the United States would likely cut deeply into subscriber growth at the AOL Time Warner division. Even so, it was a surprise when the company reported Wednesday a net loss of about 170,000 subscribers in the final three months of 2002 compared with the previous quarter.

The reversal, just months after the company took the wraps off the latest version of its Internet service, shows how badly AOL has faltered in the two years since the company acquired media giant Time Warner. In Wednesday's earnings statement, AOL Time Warner reported a loss on the year of $98.7 billion, attributed largely to noncash accounting charges affecting the AOL unit. In addition, it said Vice Chairman Ted Turner would retire from his post in May, when Steve Case is also stepping down as chairman.

It looks as though some people are finally discovering that there are better ISPs out there.

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 2-Feb-2003 14:00:40
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Dec-2002
Posts: 2630
From: Glasgow, UK

Poor old connie will be looking for a new job shortly.... I can think of a few jobs she`d be good at!

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 2-Feb-2003 16:48:13
#2 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 4-Jan-2003
Posts: 720
From: South Wales, UK

I spent a whole year as a dialup subscriber to AOL when my PC was the only computer with an internet connection.

Their internet service was great for beginners - you're booted straight in to a nice pretty custom home page, there are many AOL services to check out and play with, the AOL chatrooms were fun, and just generally the whole surfing image was a much prettier one.

That said, the custom AOL Browser was very slow, and the internet connection itself was annoyingly unstable - some nights I'd find myself being cut off every 2 minutes. They seemed to go through bad phazes with that.
If I ever had a query or even a complaint, there was nobody that you could really speak to - there's no proper support page where you can get contact Email addresses, only mailing lists where you can post your questions.

The Email was by far the worst aspect of AOL. It was CONSTANTLY flooded with Spam, usually of the Porn variety. The trouble is, with AOL your screen name is also your Email address, so when you're visiting pages throughout the internet, potential Spammers have instant access to your Email address - you don't even have to input it at a site for them to get it. It's instantly available to them!
The "Children's Protection" settings don't work, and I regularly found porn related spam in my sister's inbox. Also, if the Young Adult restriction was turned on, AOL would deny her access to the most honest and clean of sites - so if she was trying to get some information for homework purposes we'd often have to turn her young adult restriction off, which of course defeats the object. The whole idea just didn't work.

In addition to that, AOL would only allow you access to the internet via their own custom browser. You couldn't, for example, run some settings into IE and connect with that instead. So if you didn't want to use AOL's Browser, you had to connect with it, minimise it, and THEN use IE for surfing purposes. Not ideal, as I'm sure you'll agree.

When I left my Parent's place 6 months ago I decided I wanted my Amiga connnected in the new place instead of the PC, and because AOL don't supply a version of their Browser for AmigaOS (and are not willing to entertain the idea) I was eventually FORCED to ditch them for another ISP, so I don't think AOL are doing themselves any favours by insiting you use their custom browser.

Alot of ISPs have been angered by AOL because apparently AOL don't have to pay any tax to supply internet access in this country. That may have changed now, because I know Freeserve were shouting that if AOL didn't have to pay Tax, neither should they. AOL were making a lot of money in this country for the sole reason that they weren't being taxed.

To sum up, AOL have brought their failiure all on themselves, and I hope they will take this opportunity to now listen to their customer's advice and improve the service.


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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 2-Feb-2003 16:56:29
#3 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 792
From: England, United Kingdom

Well if AOL did release it for Amiga, I wouldnt get it because I dont like it.

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 2-Feb-2003 17:44:40
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Dec-2002
Posts: 2630
From: Glasgow, UK

Getting tech support from ISPs must be a pain if you surf with your miggy, most tech people probably won`t have any knowledge of Amiga OS!

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 2-Feb-2003 21:33:53
#5 ]
Team Member
Joined: 5-Jun-2002
Posts: 2731
From: Belfast, N.Ireland

Must tech support people will say "what's an Amiga?" or "Sorry! our ISP doesnt work with Amiga's"

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 3-Feb-2003 10:35:43
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 792
From: England, United Kingdom

Most Amigans will be very annoyed by this

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 3-Feb-2003 11:13:11
#7 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 24-Jan-2003
Posts: 486
From: Back in the dales

Most PC companies just dismiss the Amiga like it is a piece of crap Which does anoy me. I tell ya what this is a true to life story. Friend went into a computer shop and asked for a simm for his miggy. Tehy asked him what platform her had, He said Amiga then tehy replyed with, "Amiga thats just a games machine not real computer" When i heard this story i was really peaved of as the Amiga is no games machine it is moer reliable then a PC will ever be.

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 3-Feb-2003 11:38:39
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Dec-2002
Posts: 2630
From: Glasgow, UK

It was best at both worlds, serious and games....but now it has slipped away and the PC reigns....for the moment anyway!

Roll on OS4 & A1!!!!

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Re: Tough Times For AOL
Posted on 8-Jul-2004 19:52:19
#9 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 4-Feb-2004
Posts: 197
From: :morF

Another company that either seriously needs to change their product, their service, and they way they do business... or just go close down.

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