AOL Sucks. I didn't know it at first as a new Internet user. It didn't take a long time to figure it out though. Read the following complaints I had about AOL, and see if you don't have the same complaints. If so, why are you still using AOL?

AOL has its good points. It's easy to use for the most part, has it's own chat rooms, and you get 5 personal Email boxes. Plus, the Favorite Places was pretty cool (but once I learned how to use IE's favorite places, I like it better).

But, none of these features made up for the lousy crap I had to deal with. So, I found a great ISP that had features and pricing I wanted, and I moved. I kept my AOL account for a month to make the move easier by catching Emails from people I hadn't added to my address book and informed of my new Email addy. I now have a great ISP and the Internet has been a much more enjoyable place.

Ahhh, where do I begin? I'll start with the thing that made me the most ill, and add them as I think of them.


Those damned AOL timers. You've seen them. While typing an Email, surfing the net, reading a page or an Email, or sitting in a chat room, a timer message would pop up.... You have been inactive, if you would like to remain online click OK. Inactive my big ol' butt! I was typing a letter! And boy, if you don't catch it, off you go! Or, if you are surfing, and have two windows open, the timer will pop up between windows, and you won't see it in time, and bam, you have been booted. Forget a download! You might be downloading something large (LIKE A BETTER BROWSER!), and if you are not right there watching, off you go, and you have to start over.
And how about the other timer.... You have been online for 45 minutes. Would you like to stay online? DOH! What are they really saying here? "Hey, you have been online long enough! You might pay for unlimited service, but we don't really want you to use it! Get off now!'

AOL's Browser

Has there ever been a worse browser? You might not know it, but you are missing out on a beautiful Internet when you are stuck with the AOL browser. It doesn't support so much that I can't list it here. My website for instance has orange links,  and another orangy color for links that have been visited. My graphics are very nice and sharp looking.  ( what my site looks like to a real browsers.) You didn't know that did you?  The links were hard to see, there was no mouseover effect, and the graphics looked like crap! I was horrified, and then I was pissed. (I have since changed my link colors to an orange that AOL supports... it only supports a limited amount of colors... I hated the thought that some people couldn't see my site correctly). You don't have to deal with that! Even before I left AOL, I went and downloaded IE 4.0. Still, there were bugs, seems that AOL wasn't very compatible with it. That didn't surprise me, you will find a lot, and I mean a lot, of programs that clearly say that they will not work with AOL. Filling out online forms was an awful experience. I went to countless sites where a form was available to fill out for whatever I was there for, and sure enough, there was a note that the form wouldn't work with AOL, and to send them an Email with all the information instead, which meant a lot more typing, AND the fear that they might not even ever receive my Email
If you have a website, did you know that your graphics are corrupted and might not even be showing up? That's because AOL has an option that compresses graphics the AOL way, and only other AOL users can see them if you save them like that. And the option is automatically on when you install AOL. They never tell you about it. I had countless pages up before I found it out. I kept getting letters from people telling me my site was awful, that my graphics were broken, and you couldn't see the light text on the page. I said "what"! I had a beautiful background and it was dark, so I used a light text. Come to find out, the background was not showing, so all they saw was the color behind it, usually light gray or white. DOH! You can turn this option off and then go around the web and resave all the graphics you had collected, but doesn't it piss you off that they had this setup in the first place?
You are also going to miss out on other very cool effects, like a lot of java scripts, and Cascading Style Sheets (like I use) and stuff.

AOL's Personal Publisher

It sucks!! Bad! There are countless problems. Especially with html codes you copy from the web for something like a banner exchange. The html code is read differently by aol than any other isp. Go figure. Plus, you have to become very proficient at html to link an image with it. You can't use the normal code, like <img src="raybudbanner.gif". You have to either upload the image and link to it, or figure out how to find the file path... something like C:\\\mypage\images\raybudbanner.gif. Okay, it took a while, but that's how I learned html, so I could make a nice looking page. Still, I had to not only learn the html (which was okay, I wanted to learn html) but I had to learn aol's funky way so I could make it work. Plus, the Personal Publisher was unavailable a lot of times. Lot's of AOL's services were unavailable a lot of the time, like Email


Okay, the five free Email boxes, individual, were cool. BUT, how do you like files coming in as mime files that you can't open? This is because aol can't seem to handle the encoding. I heard it explained once on TV, but it didn't help the fact that I had to write people and ask them to resend me files they uploaded, and one at a time, because more than one at a time and they would become a mime file. I dislike making other people inconvenienced because I had a crappy ISP. I get 3 Email accounts (plus a free alias for each Email account) with my new ISP, and if anyone in my family wants a private box, they can use web based Email
Also, I can't tell you how many times I would go to read or send mail, and I would get the message that Email couldn't be used right now, please try again later. Too many times!
Have you ever gotten a letter from someone asking why you didn't write back, or why you didn't send something you promised? But, you know full well that you sent it! DOH! AOL lost it. How about the times you didn't ever receive something someone swore they sent? AOL lost it. Every once in a while, it wasn't lost, it was delayed. I had an empty Email box once and was surfing the web. I heard the familiar "You've Got Mail!". I went and opened it and it was a question from a friend. I answered it, and sent it off. Next thing I know, he writes back... "Brenda, you're just now answering this? I sent this 2 weeks ago!"
Hey, dontcha love this new feature AOL 4.0 has where you can put a picture in your Email? Well sheesh people, only another AOL user will see the thing! Don't send it to me, cause all I see is this... [image not available]. But I'll tell you, I can see all pictures anyone attaches from any other isp. If you want to send me a picture from aol, be sure to attach it as a file and not as a picture in your Email If you send me a letter and use a dark background and white text, I will never see the words, and ask you why you are sending me a blank Email, because I don't see the background.
How about the cool option that lets you just drag and drop a link? Cool, but only for other aol users. Other Email programs will get the code instead. Forget neatness when you are adding the link in a letter.
And forget getting a html code in your Email If you have a webpage and join a banner exchange, a referral plan, a webring, or whatever, and they send you the html code in your Email to copy and paste, you can forget using it people, it won't work. It has been corrupted. Just ask me and I'll send you the code to add my banner to your site, and you'll see that the code will not work. And if I want to send you just the link to my site, I have to type out the whole code. With my Email, if someone with a real isp sends me his url, I can click on it and go. Non_AOL users will be able to click on my url and go. But, if I want to make it clickable for an aol user, I have to use html. There are more Email problems, I just can't think of them off the top of my head while typing this.

Busy Signals

Nuff  said!

Getting Booted

Getting booted right and left! Nuff said!

Connecting To The Web

Have you tried to access the web yet and not been able to connect? All you get is an error page? Know why? I called a tech person with aol about it. It is something in their AOL Adapter. You have to sign off, go to Network, remove the aol adapter, restart the computer, and viola! You can get on the web. Why?? Okay, once I found that out, I could get on the web, but what a pain in the butt!

AOL Pop-Up Windows

How about all the stuff that pops up when you sign on? I got tired of clicking it all off. You can go into preferences and disable the channels window when you sign on, but after a while, I even got tired of having to click off the welcome screen, the buddy window and various others.
Plus, I hate all the advertising! In your Email, on your welcome screen, on your downloads....


You will get 100 times more spam mail with aol. This is because spammers are able to get your Email address from the profiles and the thingybob that lets you find people. I get very few spam letters now that I left.

TOS (Terms of Service)

Watch what you write at all times, or you will violate AOL's terms of service. Anyone can turn you in for anything you write, and you will get a warning from aol, and after a few warnings, you will not be able to sign on. Our service was disconnected once because my teenage son went into an "illegal chatroom". Next thing I knew, I couldn't sign on. I called aol, and they informed me that all names were tracked when entering this chatroom, and my son was one of them, and since it was in violation of AOL's TOS, they made it where I couldn't connect. Now, why didn't they just remove this chat room?
Know what? My new ISP has a Freedom of Speech button on their site! Right on!

Chat Rooms

You like chat rooms? Okay, I used to like to go to AOL's Big Twin chat room when I first got online. But what a joke even that room eventually became, with all the macros and the idiots that went there just to cause trouble. Then, many of these jerks had hacking and Warez programs called booters to boot you.
You can still chat with other isp's. The ISP I use has a chat community, and you can always download ICQ or IRC. Much better, and no booters. Something else, have you seen the language and the way the jerks act in AOL's numerous chat rooms? Where is TOS then???


Got a virus yet? They are numerous with AOL 10 new 1's every week.

Slow Connections

Nuff  said!

Look, there are countless other things that I hated about AOL. Still, I think I covered the main things that made me leave them. Do yourself a favor and find another ISP. What finally pushed me was when AOL raised their rates. Why pay more for this crappy ISP? You do not have to put up with this! I love my new ISP, and now I know the pleasure of a faster and nicer Internet and web.

If you do want to leave AOL, and are looking for a better ISP, there called www.crnet.net

Related Sites - In case you don't believe me, LOL.

Why America Online Sucks - Awesome, great information on spam, hackers, security, service and more.

Why stop supporting AOL? - Another fantastic one, lots of info.

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