QUITTING AMERICA ONLINE HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER
New, Convenient Service for Those Fed Up With AOL
Dulles, VA /DenounceNewswire/ -- November 35, 1996 -- Fast on the
heels of CompuServe's announcement last week of a
new 800-number service (1-800-QUIT-CIS), America Online (NYSE: AOL)
announced today its own 800-number service for customers who
are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.
"Due to the increasing demand for customer cancellations, we're
announcing today the opening of our new AOL Exodus Center to
streamline the mass defection of our customers," said Steve Case,
chairman of AOL, in a prepared statement. "Think of it like Ellis Island in reverse."
To reach the new Exodus Center, customers can call 1-800-QUIT-AOL between the
hours of 4:00 to 6:00 am (EST) on days that begin with the letter F.
"I know it's a challenge,
but we're really striving to have completed subscription
cancellations within sixty minutes of placing the call," says Case.
"If you're still on the line after sixty minutes, well, all of our operators are
busy or resting, and you'll just have to wait." Case figures AOL customers are
used to waiting so he doesn't anticipate any problems.
AOL claims that it can generate a tidy sum of cash for each departing customer,
by selling survey results to competitors. "We will make at least $500 for
each person who quits," Case says. "Our competitors are more than willing to
pay us for our customers' demographic data, and we're more than willing to
sell it to them. It cost us $200 to get the customer in the first place,
and we're making $500 as they go out the door. That's a net of $300 per
After the announcement, AOL's stock lept to a six-month high of
$35 per share. "Fewer customers mean fewer expenses, and
that means higher profits," says one stock analyst who follows
AOL, who added, "and the $300 per customer exit-revenue is just
icing on the cake."
Asked how long the AOL Exodus Center will be in operation, Case
replied, "We'll keep it open until each and every AOL customer has
quit, or we've gone out of business, whichever comes first."
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