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Last updated: Dec. 15, 2017

1471 AOL Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 15, 2017
I have been an AOL customer since dial-up days of the '90s, have been moderately happy with it, but am now a most unhappy customer. Does AOL care about its users? No. Who in the world thought that AOL Desktop Gold would be an improvement? No one will own up to it. Who in the world thought up the new email situation? Why does it take a while for the new emails to drop into the "NEW" slot. What's with the "OLD" slot? Why, when a photo, etc., is attached it is not accessed separately by the reader instead of the new way of showing the attachments right after the text so that a one page email text turns into a six page email when printed because the attachments are blown up giant size. What happened to the "Insert in Email" icon for the news articles? Who in the world decided to put all Favorites folder content in alphabetical order? Who in the world decided to make AOL Gold run so slowly?  And why?

Who in the world decided to make AOL Gold load slowly even on broadband? It takes me four or more times to click on the icon and hope that the program will load. Who in the world has written or called AOL to complain and received a response? No one. Why do my AOL alerts, from the AOL Calendar, not always show up in my mailbox? On the other hand, there have been days when I received a double dose of my alerts. Three plus years of dealing with the exec techs and the problem still exists. Is AOL Gold worth the monthly fee? No. Am I preparing to move from AOL to another server? You bet. Consumer Affairs says about AOL: "Still going strong: Positive associations and nostalgia for the AOL brand over the decades tend to keep customer engagement high." Anyone believe that?

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 15, 2017

Horrible -- See other negative reviews and add the fact a very unprofessional person from a 3rd world country claims he must have 20 min remote access to my computer to "fix the problem". No way am I providing 20 min remote access. Ever heard of stealth access? Once he is in you have the false confidence that you can see what they are doing, meanwhile someone else has downloaded all your files then infects your computer with future access codes.

The guys could hardly speak English and there is constant chatter in the background. It sounds as though he is in a kitchen. I called, got a recording and was told "less than 25 min wait", then - HE CALLS ME within 2 minutes from the time I hung up, demanding remote access. The virus known as AOL strikes again - for years it has bogged down my computer, now they want to charge $60 a year for even worse service. Do yourself a favor and transfer your files and emails to Outlook, Gmail or whatever while you can!!!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 9, 2017

I was unable to download my E-mail from my Verizon E-mail account (now handled by AOL) starting on Wednesday. When I called Verizon, a recording told me that Verizon no longer handled support. When I followed AOL's instructions for updating the POP and SMTP settings, they did not work. When I called AOL, they refused to provide technical support until I signed up for a paid technical support plan (first 30 days free but I still had to give them a credit card number) even though I made it very clear that I did not have a "free" AOL account because I am paying Verizon more than $80/month for Internet and telephone. In other words, AOL refused to provide the support for which I am paying through Verizon until I gave them a credit card number.

I obtained the support but it did not work until I guessed correctly on my own that AOL E-mail would no longer work with my D-Link modem firewall set to maximum security; I had to lower it to normal security to retrieve my E-mail. This is something other users need to know; you may need to reduce the security level of your hardware firewall to allow you to retrieve your E-mail. (This was not a problem for me until this Wednesday, Dec. 6 though.) AOL needs to pay more attention to the very basic issue of the potential unwanted consequences of changes to any system.

Needless to say, I canceled the paid support option the next day. The bottom line is however that (1) Verizon outsourced its E-mail service to AOL, and (2) AOL refused to provide technical support until I opened a paid support account even though I am already paying Verizon for the service in question--that is, I emphatically do not have a free AOL E-mail account. The attached receipt is from 2016, with my bank information redacted for security. My current monthly bill is now higher as I added unlimited long distance phone service, and a rate increase also occurred.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 8, 2017

AOL Gold is TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE. You even messed up my favorite places. Sites that I wanted near the top because I use them frequently are now down in the pile alphabetically. You made changes without thinking about the user. In addition many times when I try to log on to a site the page comes up blank. Then the next page and the next page comes up blank. I have to delete the pages and start all over. In addition my mail is difficult to navigate. Give me back the old AOL. I had been using it since the old dial-up days. Therefore unless you return to user friendly old AOL I will be switching my mail to Gmail and using any number of search engines to look for new sites.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 3, 2017

AOL Gold, besides being very slow, has some weird quirks--for what reasons? 1. The email box has ADs attached on the right--you can't see the whole subject to know if you want to open without spreading the whole box to the right. 2. The "mark unread" box OFTEN puts mail into "old". - especially during holiday shopping, I have to keep "REFRESHING" email which doesn’t work every time. So need to keep checking Old mail & refresh again during the same session. 3. Overall, the time it takes to handle mail, the WEIRD way the Unread mail goes to Old mail, & having to spread the email box to even read a bit more without opening yet, takes forever & leaves me pretty bothered so I finally stop before finishing what I wanted to look for on my mail. 4. My husband keeps wanting to terminate because of all my cursing throughout the problems, but I’ve had it since beginning & also am not crazy about the other email sites.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 28, 2017

I was smart enough MANY years ago, to abandon AOL! But I am now stupid enough to stay bamboozled! I was with very reliable Verizon. I was a happy subscriber of a bundle - Verizon internet, TV, and home phone services. But Verizon announced they were dropping me and other longtime subscribers, who love e-mail! Hooray! So now, I use e-mail not with Verizon anymore, but with wow, AOL!!! My brain shouted, "Oh, HELL no! Not AOL from hell! The same AOL from decades ago, the one that crashed, leaving all of America incapacitated?!!" But my foolish heart thought, "Oh. come on! That AOL nightmare was many, many years ago. And surely AOL must be better now, especially since it is now hooked up with wonderful Verizon." But my original horrors are confirmed. AOL is STILL lousy!

I still can't use e-mail like I want (I now can't even log in to see my mail)! I liked the fact that Verizon let me keep my old, e-mail address, and that I sometimes access AOL mail at no extra charge from my original, Verizon bundle that I signed up with years ago. But is this worth it? Maybe I'll just need to get another, Yahoo, or Gmail address. Thank God, the old roll-around phone dial is gone. It means I won't have to hear that annoying "dune, dune, dune," sound that we ALL heard back in the 1990s?? When AOL screwed all America, with its horrific, newsworthy crash! Things are at least quiet now, as I still get screwed. But, damn! I STILL have no AOL e-mail access 20+ years later, as I write this candid review!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 24, 2017

I have been an AOL subscriber almost since the beginning. AOL Gold is total crap. The only thing that works is the ads. I have stayed with AOL through thick and thin, mostly because I have been too lazy to change to a new email address but, I am about ready to make the effort. I sent them a message about my problems but they didn't bother to respond. We should send whoever designed this system to the Russians. Then they would never successfully hack us again.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 22, 2017

Don't get hoodwinked into signing up and trying to cancel "AOL Live Support Plus," you'll don't get through, despite their 24/7 service claim, it's BS. I just spent an hour trying to get a refund, it's all done overseas, you'll regret it, big time.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 21, 2017

I am beyond disappointed with AOL Desktop Gold. I have been an AOL subscriber for so many years and I can't imagine what whoever designed this so called upgrade was thinking? It is a complete downgrade! I see that I have new mail but it isn't easy to navigate to even find it! When switching screen names you used to be able to see how many email (if any) you had on other names on your account but that is gone.

Now they are taking away instant messenger. It's like this is bare bones with nothing left and to think I am actually paying for this. I will be canceling my paid subscription at the end of the month just before my next billing. I am sad about this and wish that AOL realized that they need to fire whoever developed the latest "upgrade." It's not user friendly at all. It looks as though AOL will be losing all of the strongholds that have hung on for so long. A big part of me thinks that AOL is on its way out and this is just the beginning of the end... there is nothing that makes me think that they want to keep the desktop subscribers. :(

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 19, 2017

Always slower, more clunky than AOL 9.7. Frequently the e-mail service just freezes up. But it's worth noting that while this is occurring the ad functions are working normally. IT APPEARS THAT AOL IS SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN ITS SOFTWARE AS AN ADVERTISING PLATFORM. AOL doesn't seem to be interested in providing a competent e-mail service. Bottom line: don't even consider AOL Desktop Gold until AOL gets off its fanny and fixes this turkey.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 2, 2017

AOL Desktop Gold? Desktop lead is a better description. What a horrible piece of software. I won't even dignify it by calling it a premature beta release. It just isn't ready for prime time. It doesn't remember size/position of open windows. There is no way to access the download manager. The "Windows Manager" tab announces that it is coming soon. The groups function from the old AOL address book simply doesn't work... and has managed to lose everything from the old version that actually worked. These folks took something that actually worked, and turned it into a piece of garbage. Stay away!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 2, 2017

Just adding my voice to the chorus against new AOL Gold Desktop software. Don't know all the details about why old software was discontinued but new Gold is a disaster, IMO. Definitely NOT user friendly. Lots of mail features changed, dumbed-down. For me, Gold has taken enjoyment out of composing mail with photos. I used the old features ALL THE TIME.

I don't like the visual appearance -- everything looks like a cartoon. I suppose I could live with that, and the increase in advertising, but for heaven's sake don't eliminate the features I use daily and pretend it's an "upgrade". I would say AOL Gold is like "New Coke" -- but I don't think anyone working at AOL would remember that fiasco.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 18, 2017

AOL upgraded to AOL Gold and now paying $5.29 for something that's not worth it. There are no upgrades. Can't use font changes, deleted emails come back into in-box and other things as well. AOL should have made sure this new system of theirs was working in tip-top-shape before telling customers they have to pay for something that's NO GOOD. I want the old AOL back without paying, which this should have been an option to its customers, pay for gold or stay with what you have. There has not been any improvements since changing to this AOL Gold stuff. When you call them, they don't understand you and you don't understand them.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 15, 2017

I continually contact AOL to find out when they will restore the ability to resize photos embedded into emails. All versions prior to Desktop Gold had a simple interface permitting resizing photos to one of three options. Please restore this option!! The first option in Desktop Gold allowed an editing box permitting manual resizing of photos (not at all user friendly but at least resizing was possible). Then, sometime about Sept of 2017 even that option was deleted. HELP. I have been with AOL for 22 years. I don't want to quit but you may leave me no choice.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

AOL has decided that everyone needs to upgrade to gold. I'm the only person who pays them $9.95 a month. I have several thousand emails and a ton of favorites. Due to that I decided to bite the bullet and pay up. The biggest problem that others have stated is the mail situation. Each email comes with an AD. It's bad enough that I have to pay but to look at ADS is kind of crazy. Now here is the craziness, it takes forever to load. I have broadband and it sucks. It will take me a lot of time to get rid of the emails and I'm not sure how to export the favorites but I will go to Gmail or somewhere else.

My advice to everyone... Stay with the FREE version if you have to but don't get roped into the AOL merry go round. Also when I upgraded I let them do it so that I wouldn't mess stuff up. One of my questions was if I would lose any passwords. I share Netflix etc and lots of passwords I don't have. Long story short is that every password was gone. They screwed me big time. AOL wants your money so they are selling ADS. Sooner or later people will get sick of them and leave.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 8, 2017

24x7 support only applies to chat. The support is foreign. Then the only way they could supposedly help me was to connect to my machine. I do not think so. If they knew their product and were forthcoming, they could tell me without having to connect to my computer. It was not that difficult of a question. In fact, I found the answer on Youtube.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 4, 2017

AOL (now Oath) bundled the (free AIM and email) service and created a forgery of an AOL Client. It is designed to look exactly like the AOL Client. But it is NOT. When you click "Instant Message" it opens up a web browser to sign on to AIM. When you log on, you are also opening a web browser. When you enter a chat room, the back end is actually connecting to AIM servers. When you open email, it's actually in a web browser which is why it's god awful slow. You are also now paying a subscription price to stare at the Ads they place all over the place. AOL GOLD is essentially an insult to peoples intelligence. The truth is AOL (Oath) Shutdown the original legacy servers that have been in service since before 1995. Erasing decades of historical content and functionality. The server Protocols are now lost forever as well making all previous versions of AOL obsolete forever.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 28, 2017

We pay for AOL service and do not think we should have to tolerate the constant ads and the clutter that comes with them. Some cases I've had to pay AOL to get rid of some of the issues that these ads have caused. This was told to me by AOL at one time... there is a free AOL that should have to tolerate the ads.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 20, 2017

Always some hype and confusion and never just easy. Wait time is awful for the system to actually access. I started using Google as my main connection.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 17, 2017

I have Aol email on only. I use to have Aol internet. Not anymore but I get my email through them. Now the problem I have with them is news. They keep on have the same news story over and over 9 times. Am sick of it and they have no way to just email about to complain about that. Just support. I had a problem with the email website. It was on their side and they tried to charge me for that.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 15, 2017

AOL forced the upgrade to AOL GOLD. I use the term "upgrade" even though this is not an upgrade. It is if the login wants you to save your password because you have to go to a second page to enter your password. This is ludicrous! Email should be private. The view is cluttered with advertisements. So let me get this straight. I have to pay to keep and email that is cluttered with huge advertisements. I HATE this "upgrade"!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 14, 2017

I plan on ending my relationship with AOL. In the past few years, they have raised their prices and it is not worth the price I am charged every month.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 22, 2017

Ever since Verizon dumped our email accounts to AOL when they sold out to Frontier we've had nothing but problems but the one that really pisses me off the most is their mailer daemon bounces back any email I attempt to send to with a "553-Sorry, your IP address has been 553-blacklisted." message. I followed the instructions to check my IP address and Symantec claims my IP address is NOT blacklisted. I have no idea why it would be anyway or why it would only be blacklisted when sending to one particular company. And I have contacted Soundcraft by phone and they say the problem isn't on their end (i.e., they aren't blacklisting me).

So after spending many hours attempting to debug AOL's problem I called their Tech Support number. The guy who answered was worthless and told me that I had two options: 1) try their online, or 2) pay for technical support. I informed him that I had already tried their online help and that Symantec (or as both were in the returned email) verified my IP address was not blacklisted and that I didn't think that I should have to pay to troubleshoot a problem that is clearly within their system and not mine. He said he understood, but that that was my only two options. So if you have a free AOL account you are totally on your own regardless if the problem is on your end or theirs. What a crap company! Time to look for another email provider...

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 22, 2017
I am 71 and I - unlike most people - have a lot of friends on AOL - all over 65. I can always tell the age of the person if they have AOL - they will be 60 plus years.

So you are going to start charging the demographic with the least amount of money who have used AOL for years and will have a problem learning another system. I have 6 Gmail accounts - I don't pay a PENNY for them. Not one cent! I have 3 phone lines with Verizon - I have been considering changing servers and I will now as soon as I have time to do so - after I spend some time figuring out how to migrate all of his stuff off of AOL and changing the email addresses. I guess Verizon isn't making enough money. I also recently got an offer from Sprint - for elderly clients. I am definitely going to look into that. My loyalty to Verizon is gone!!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 28, 2017

What an excuse for an email service that one now has to pay for monthly. AOL GOLD loads slowly my emails, there is a pause in their system. I have complained to AOL about this and they tell me to do some sort of refresh to clear the system. Tried it a couple of times and it did not help at all. Seems when one complains to AOL, you get a canned response and they could care less about the customer. The new AOL GOLD is worse than the program was back in 1997, yup have had my AOL account that long and about to toss AOL and go with GMAIL. What a nightmare that AOL has become to the customers that they now charge for their ** program.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 27, 2017

I did not ask for Verizon to switch to AOL. It was dumped on me-today in the middle of reading my email on the AOL site (I was told I could use my Verizon email name there and have the AOL sign on my desktop). The mail suddenly vanished-I spent from 2 02 pm to way after 6pm attempting to get help-Verizon had me on hold for over one hr then was told they couldn't help me. Had to go to AOL. The man at AOL one didn't listen to I. He was extremely nasty and asked me who I paid my internet money to which was Verizon. I stated that Verizon didn't cover emails anymore. He then hung up on me.

I phoned Verizon again and got another person who tried via google to get help. She too gave up-it seems that no one covers anything-BUT AOL can bombard my AOL main page with loud tv type commercials down the middle of the page and flat advertisements along the side but no emails. So why am I paying for this??? Have had it. Verizon and AOL are not responsible for something one of them is getting paid for - trying to sign up on line cannot be done they require a cell phone which I do not have just the landline so it too bounces back line the site requires, disgusting. They don't even deserve one star.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 15, 2017

I have a couple of simple issues with the email (one involving my home security system). I tried to get help from AOL and they told me in order to get tech help I have to purchase a tech service plan. It would seem that since they took over Verizon's email they should provide upfront tech help for all us customers at least during the transition, especially since AOL doesn't even have their act together on this yet. The problems are with the AOL system. However, I refuse to buy a plan just because I need tech help. I already pay $200/month for my computer and online services to Xfinity. When I called yesterday (6/14/17) I told this to the rep. I then asked for the dept mgr and was told he was on telephone with someone else. I asked to have him call me back. Got double talk and finally got so angry I hung up after telling him I plan to switch to another email service.

I have had major issues with AOL years ago and canned them then. It seems their approach to customer service hasn't changed. I will never pay them for any service. Their rep wouldn't even listen to me. He just kept talking over me. Disgusting customer service and what a heck of a way to a new customer - one drafted at that. I told Verizon how unhappy I was about their sale of the email to one of the most disreputable companies out there. I bet I'm not the only person (a senior at that) who can't get help and gets duped into purchasing a tech contract that is only available to their "prime customers" (that's what the rep said to me). Everybody STAY AWAY FROM AOL!!!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 11, 2017

Recently Verizon dropped their email service (but not the costs) and dumped us on AOL in a version that does not provide or interact with a calendar. And suddenly I'm getting all sorts of offensive sexual ads and drugstore offers that are offensive. Verizon and AOL are the lowest.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 2, 2017

Soon AOL will be charging me $3.99 for a service that no longer has the abilities it had before Gold. Everything is marked "Coming Soon". No more mail Status button. No more icon to "Insert in email". Spell check doesn't work well - just to name a few that come to mind. I think it's awful that they disabled my installed 9.8.2 without my permission. They've left me high and dry for some of the functions that I had before. Version 9.8.2 had everything I needed. I don't understand why they removed what was working well and are now going to charge a service charge. There something not right about that.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 28, 2017

They had my parents paying 37 dollars a month for 6 years even though they had a cable modem. Then when my parents were incapacitated, they sent a bill. I didn't know about to collections without sending a paper bill. Rude is an understatement in describing their phone service. I really feel they ripped off my parents because of their age. I am talking about thousands of dollars for a service they never used, then damaging their credit.

AOL expert review by ConsumerAffairs

This is the company with the most Internet experience, going all the way back to the 1980s -- 10 years before the World Wide Web was created. Over the years, AOL has been at the center of many of the most important developments in Internet technology. It merged with Time Warner in 2000, then split off again in 2009. In 2015, Verizon purchased the company.

  • Still going strong: Positive associations and nostalgia for the AOL brand over the decades tend to keep customer engagement high.

  • Experts in security: Security is among its strongest suits, making this a preferred choice for businesses. Through their partnership with McAffee they can provide a wide range of defenses, including AOL Tech Fortress to catch non-traditional viruses and SuperAntiSpyware to weed out malware.

  • Online backups: Agreements with cloud services and Microsoft give customers the benefit of keeping backups of important documents and pictures online.

  • Best for: Businesses who are concerned about online security and storing their documents in the cloud.

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AOL Company Information

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