Tuesday, July 11, 2006

AOL to offer free web access?

News Item: AOL considers offering web access for free, in order to concentrate on their advertising business.


Actual Transcript of an unactualized telephone conversation:


[AOL Customer Rep:] Hello, I believe I'm speaking to John Smith at 111-555-2222, is that correct?

[John Smith:] Yes.

[AOL CR]: Your mother's maiden name is Barbaraburg, and your dog's name is Dodo, is that correct?

[JS:] Yes. What is this call about?

[AOL CR]: I'm calling to tell you that as of next month, AOL will no longer be charging your credit card for your access to the Internet. You'll be able to get on line free of charge!

[JS:] Sorry, I'm not authorized to accept that.

[AOL CR]: What?

[JS:] Look, if you stop charging my credit card, we'll just arrange to have you charge another one of our credit cards.

[AOL CR]: Look here, I'm just trying too get you to accept using the Internet for free! This is a small, welcome change to your account, that's all.

[JS:] I'm not authorized to change my account. No can do!

[AOL CR]: (sigh.) Okay, who's authorized to change your account?

[JS:] Only my father.

[AOL CR]: (sob.) And how do I get in touch with your father?

[JS:] He's dead.

[AOL CR]: What?

[JS:] He's dead.

[AOL CR]: Then how am I supposed to get in touch with him?

[JS:] Hey, that's not my problem. But if you want to change our account ...

[AOL CR]: Please, you've got to help me! They gave me a list, and I have to convert 60% of them to free accounts or they'll fire me. Jeez, I'm offering you a FREE account!

[JS:] Sorry, bud. We AOL subscribers are banding together, and we're keeping our money accounts. You'll have to keep charging us, that's all.

[AOL CR]: (Not fit to print; sobs; hangs up.)
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