Wednesday, April 2, 2014

AOL Sucks. And Other Happy Moments.

I confess I still have an AOL account. Keep your thoughts to yourself, thank you. Not only that. I've got an AOL account that costs money. Oh the humiliation! Especially when I forget to turn off my computer's sound and "YOU'VE GOT MAIL!" blasts all over wherever I happen to be, which is usually Starbucks. 

But sometimes I'm in a meeting [OMG] and the looks of pity and sounds of derision cause everyone to look up and stop whatever we're doing, so people in attendance [always under forty] can make shit out of me. And don't get me started on my lack of a smartphone.

Not that I don't have other emails besides AOL -- thirteen in fact. None of which embarrass the crap out of me the way AOL does when I forget to turn off the sound and [argggh] sign on. 

With this plethora of emails, it's not like I couldn't live without AOL, but that's not the point of this entry. In fact, have you noticed that I rarely start out my posts anymore with the actual subject I intend to flog? Probably not, since most of my readers have ADD or know someone who does. Or they're robots paid to track down any mention of AOL and report back to headquarters. 

As part of the oxymoronic fee I keep paying to enjoy the perks of AOL, I enjoy a smattering of complimentary "benefits." The benefits, however, are rarely for people who own MACs. 

For instance, there's virus protection via McAfee which is offered for free. lf you have a PC. In fact, more than half of AOL's benefits aren't worth do-dah to me or my MAC. Like my personal favorite, unlimited dial up access.

But today, they offered a free AARP membership [have I mentioned that I pay a fee for all this free stuff?]. I already have my AARP card -- good through 2016 -- but I can add another two years to my membership. For FREE. Since I pay a monthly FEE for this complimentary perkarama. 

It's worth noting, before I get to the subject of this rant, that joining AARP is a right of passage we all experience at the age of fifty. First there's the shock. An envelope arrives in the mail this close to your 50th birthday. The nerve!! How the fark do they know I'm turning fifty? Goddammit. I haven't even told my family yet. 

I think the letter I received started out, "Ha, ha bitch, you're fifty. Suck it up." What followed was an invitation to join their insurance club, sorry their Addled Adults in Retrograde Poopypants club. Without so much as an apology. Jerkwads. But you get over the awfulness of it, join the club, and get discounts. Assuming you like to eat at Applebee's and stay at Red Roof Inn. 

The email I got invited me to take advantage of an AARP membership NOW and practically begged me to ENROLL TODAY. Which I tried to. Here's the evidence.
All of a sudden during the-fill-out-the-form stage, I ran into a problem, when I claimed that I had an AARP membership, but mistakenly used a variation on my first name. And I still had the problem even after I checked my card and used the exact name on my AARP card. 

So I was told by a message on the screen to contact AARP, who confirmed that I did in fact have a membership. However, that was all they could do, confirm the membership. Something I already knew.

Now I had to call AOL @800-827-6364 to confirm that I had an AOL account and I was the same person who had an AARP membership, too. That was stupid enough.

This is when it gets stupider. Maurice -- or Morris -- answered and asked how I was. I was short on time and low on patience, so I said, "Fine, thank you." After explaining that I was just trying to add two years to my AARP membership, per the email I had received, he put me on HOLD.

Maurice [or Morris] came back an hour or two later [okay I exaggerate] to say that the offer doesn't go into effect until April 4th. I said, I don't care when it goes into effect, I just want to get signed up. 

Well, you can't. 

I can't sign up until April 4th? Then why did AOL send me an email inviting me to sign up NOW. It says right here, ENROLL NOW.

It doesn't go into effect until April 4th.

I know that. But what has that got to do with when I can sign up? 

Because it doesn't go into effect until April 4th.

Then why do I have an email in my inbox telling me to sign up now. And there's no mention of April 4th. 

It doesn't go into effect until April 4th.

Do you know the difference between going into effect and signing up? Probably not. I want to speak to your supervisor.


Because I want to talk to someone who isn't such an idiot.

But I can't do anything if it doesn't go into effect until April 4th.

Yes you can. You can go fark yourself. 

NOTE to readers: Some of this conversation has been changed to reflect what I was thinking, not what I said. I'll leave it up to you to decide when that occurred. 

Okay. Let's see what happens on April 4th.  

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