From an AOL Watch reader...

The other day I was in the position of having to call AOL's Billing Phone Support to rectify an issue surrounding a changed credit card number. Essentially, my credit card number had been changed by the company who issued it as a result of them changing their numbering sequence.

The first person I talked to would NOT change the number without me providing the last 4 digits of the number they had on record at the time. Nor would they discuss anything regarding that account. This is as it should be. This person was quite thorough, even noting that I was calling from a number different from the one listed in my account information. I told them I would call back when I had the last four digits of the now expired number.

When I called back, I got a different person. This person allowed me to change the number WITHOUT first giving them the last four digits of the old number. Not only that, they volunteered the Master Screen name for the account. I'm certain, that had I asked, I could have gotten the rest of the account information as well.

When I pointed out the discrepancy between the two calls to this second person, they giggled and said "Oops!..I guess I should have asked for that!" I asked them if they would like the last four digits of the old number and their response was. "Well, if it makes you feel better, sure!"

I then gave them what I thought was the last four digits of my old credit card number. Apparently I was off by one number, as it didn't match what they had in the system. She said: "Well, that's close!" I asked if she'd like me to call back after I checked again, and she said "No, no problem!" I asked at that point if she WAS going to be able to change the number given that I didn't have the correct four digits currently, to which she replied that she had already done so.

She then proceeded to offer me 20 free gallons of gasoline. I passed on the offer.

BTW, this was an account that had been canceled, and I was just attempting to clear up the last billing for that account.