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Warning: This is a gripe post.

I have had an e-mail account with Erol's since perhaps 1997 or so. Erol's was subsequently purchased by RCN.

Eventually, too many spammers had a hold of that address, so I decided to drop it. I established a new address with Yahoo, and told my contacts to e-mail me there. Once that account was receiving most of the e-mail I actually wanted to get, I tried to cancel my Erol's account.

Not so fast! I e-mailed RCN, from my Erol's account, but they told me that, for security purposes, I could only cancel via an 800 number they sent along. Now, that seems very odd -- to send mail from the Erol's account, I obviously had to have access to it, meaning I knew the password. I was already in control of the account. If I weren't the real Gene Callahan, it would hardly be in my interest to cancel an account I had stolen!

Well, so be it. I called the 800 number. I was left on hold for 15 minutes. I called again. Another 15 minute wait. I e-mailed RCN again, telling them that the number they sent me was too busy, and that I wanted to cancel via e-mail. They were sorry but they couldn't do it. I then placed three of four more calls to the 800 number, never succeeding in reaching a human.

So my account is still open, and I occasionally miss important e-mails because they are sent to it. But I think RCN has an interesting scam going -- only let people drop services via an 800 number, and then just don't answer that number!


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