Communication key to race relations

U.M. curator calls budget increase unfair

County, city cope with slippery storm

'Star Wars' strikes back

Ratliff sues city, police

Zinc might be surprise contender in fight against winter ills

Victims of rape get help

Local users welcome AOL refund proposal

Local users welcome AOL refund proposal

The settlement

AOL has agreed to refund membership fees for December and January for some of its users.

If you’ve been online for:

  • Less than two hours, you are eligible for a full refund.
  • Between two and eight hours, you will receive a 50 percent refund.
  • Between eight and 15 hours, you are eligible for a 25 percent refund.
  • More than 15 hours a month, you are not eligible for a refund.
  • If you have had problems accessing AOL and want to apply for a refund, send your request, including your name, address, master account screen name and phone number to: AOL Member Refunds, P.O. Box 511, Ogden, Utah 84402-0511.

    If your complaints are not covered by the terms of the settlement, you should lodge your complaint by calling AOL Member Services at 800-827-6364.
    For more information:

    AOL’s home page is http://www.aol.com;
    a press release is also available.

    If you’re one of the estimated 8 million America Online subscribers affected by what’s now known as the “world wide wait,” a settlement reached Wednesday between AOL and the 36 states threatening consumer fraud suits should ease some of your frustrations. It could also put a little money back into your pocket.

    AOL, the world’s largest online access provider, said it will grant refunds to users dissatisfied with problems caused by a marketing ploy to attract new users. The surge of new subscribers wishing to take advantage of the $19.95 per month flat fee for unlimited access clogged AOL lines and led to numerous complaints.

    Users experienced slow access times and long waits when trying to reach customer service agents.

    M.U. student Chrissy McBride was glad to hear about the settlement.

    “I can’t get on,” she said, “I get a constant busy signal for every number it dials.”

    McBride is on an account with her parents in California and uses AOL to keep in touch by e-mail.

    McBride also complained she was cut off in the middle of Internet searches and was unable to access her e-mail in a timely fashion, even when logging on at 3 a.m.

    Not everyone is upset about the effects of the rate change, however. Columbia resident David Crass thinks it’s part of a process.

    Crass, a relatively new AOL member, said he spends an average of $100 a month to access the World Wide Web and chat groups such as the “Joni Mitchell Cafe.”

    “I haven’t had one bit of trouble getting online,” said Crass.

    Crass said he wonders why AOL charged so much for their service initially and is concerned about the effect the settlement will have on the company.


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