AOL User Fee and How to Get Around Them

Winter 2003 CSANews Issue 49  |  Posted date : May 02, 2007.Back to list

As many services come of age, they evolve their pricing strategies, and you, the customer, begins to see the start of nickel-and-diming practices. Well, it used to be nickel and dime. Through inflation and aggressive revenue forecasting, it's now $5- and-$10-ing.

Look what has happened to your bank fees in the last 10 years. Pretty soon banks will be charging you to stand in line for a teller. American hospitals charge patients for friends and family to sit in a waiting room. Phone companies have almost doubled the price of residential features in the last five years. Companies look at free features and services on which they can capitalize to make more money of the existing customer base.

Snowbirds on the Canadian AOL service will begin to see an additional charge levied when you access your AOL account while you are in the U.S. This feature was previously included in your monthly charges. On August 4, 2003 AOL Canada Inc. launched the Unlimited U.S. Local Access Plan, and began to offer two charging methods: an hourly rate of $2 for each hour you spend online, which can add a significant expense if you are a heavy user; or a flat monthly fee of $5 for unlimited online access. The $5 option is certainly the recommended choice. But wait, is there a better solution that can SAVE you money. Of course there is!

Snowbirds who are committed to using AOL as their ISP (Internet Service Provider) should consider the six-month prepaid package for $114.75, which is a savings of $22.95 over the regular six months of unlimited access. You will also receive the Unlimited US Local Access Plan for FREE. That amounts to a total savings over the six month period of $55.95 plus taxes. Call 1-800-AOL-HELP to get yourself switched over and begin saving.

I still believe that the AOL service is perfect for the Canadian Snowbird and like other things ­ cars, movies and anything else you might purchase ­ prices increase, but the smarter companies always have an option to retain clients in exchange for some form of commitment. In this type of relationship, both sides win.