Monday, October 6, 2008

AOL is Blocking Email For You And Why I Like Gmail or Yahoo

I've ranted before about AOL and how they treat you like crap, don't care if you're a paying customer or a freebie rider and they filter your email for you. Yes, you heard right, filter it for you.

Why Do I Still Insist On Using AOL?
Admittedly, I use my AOL email accounts to sign up for junk, crap and noise.

I rarely check the accounts but once a week, and it's usually to empty the in-box, spam box and just box boxes. I do need to do that so I don't get restricted.

I use AOL accounts because I find it very convenient. It's not my primary communication route and I don't care what hits it. My only crux with AOL is that I still have my very first email address I've ever gotten when I jumped onto the internet, and until AOL goes down, I will do my dang-dest to try and keep it.

I'm stupid loyal that way.

My Suspicion On Restrictions
As far as restrictions, if your in-boxes fill up with too much stuff, you will (At least in my experience) stop getting email. I also suspect that they add up all your in-boxes, so be thorough.

Do They Really Filter E-Mail On You?
YES!! They do. On a few occasions, I've signed up for a service and wait expectantly for the confirmation email. As I was writing up an entertainment website review over on ScreenRant, I signed up a service to see how it is, but I just ended up waiting. I went off and made my bed, still nothing. I went off and had breakfast, and still nothing! I considered going out and running a marathon, but decided against such foolishness.. Nothing ever showed up in my in-box of my spam box. Poof!

Subsequently, I went back to the website and re-registered using a Yahoo.com email account that I have. (Don't get me going on if Yahoo and Microsoft ever merge... eww.) I got the confirmation email instantaneously!!

This isn't a consistent behavior, but it has happened to me several times in similar scenarios. I'm kind of tired of it, but since AOL serves a purpose and I'm sentimentally stubborn, I get to constantly review AOL for you.

My latest disparity of frustration is that they have blocked my investment company's emails too. The investment company is one of the top 10 in size and reputation, and yet when I conducted a transaction on their website, they indicated they would send me a confirmation email. (Finger tapping on desk sound: tap, tap, tap... The next day; tap, tap.)

Supposedly they shuttle junk to your spam folder, and sadly, the do. It is full of spam, but my legitimate email doesn't even get there. Thanks for thinking for me AOL. I've started changing my email preferences in my serious accounts due to this behavior that I've seen over the last year.

AOL Web Interface Behavaoir
The other day while I was using my web based interface (I'll never use their spammish, virus-ish application anymore) I suddenly got a blank screen that said email was updated. When I reloaded, I didn't notice anything.

The next day though, I now have an advertising banner on the right side of the screen that I always have closed or minimized and it is asserting itself into my screen real estate. Despite my minimizing it to begin with.

Of late, I get an Error Splash screen every single time I log in on the AOL web interface. It says something to the affect that:

Service Error;
There was a problem handling your request. An unspecified error has occurred.
Try Again

The Technical Stuff:
Error Code: C0FE1700
Report ID: 40095-webmail-20080926-135146
All I do is clickon "try again" and it takes me to my mail.


Spammsih Application: Not really, But:
I already got tired of their AOLVR software package that kept trying to force me to upgrade.

I've removed that hack-like software. I say hack-like because when it wanted to upgrade itself, to the uninitiated computer user, you don't realize you have options to NOT upgrade, but after so many heckling pop-ups, I don't blame people for just saying yes when they don't realize they have the option not to.

When I got those pop-ups to upgrade, I just went into my Task Manager and killed the process. As I've mentioned in the past, I stopped paying for AOL (Even if it was only $5 a month because they would not pull off their own banner advertising at the bottom of any email. Free access, I can understand that... but to turn their nose up at their paying customers... shame on you.)

Why Gmail or Yahoo?
I've started (Or was coerced by AOL) to start using other services so I actually get the email I want. I've had no real issues with Yahoo or Gmail and you get your confirmation emails as expected.

Gmail takes a little getting used to, but I think it's worth it to try. Once you acclimate, the organization of your email with labels and archiving makes it incredibly easy to find older email if you've labeled them properly. It's almost... awesome. Almost.

So AOL, in case you're wondering why it seems that I am forwarding all my email to gmail, that's one of the reasons.

This concludes my vent on AOL... for today.

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce