AOL experienced a huge backlash when they announced plans to hit subscribers with an onslaught of advertising -- through mail, phone calls, e-mail, and pop-up ads. So many AOL users rushed to keyword Marketing Preferences, AOL was unable to process all their requests to "opt-out!" One AOL Watch reader sent a report on his experience -- and a screen-shot...

Exactly the same thing happened one year ago. This time you could argue AOL should've anticipated the demand -- since they've added 4 million more subscribers! Inst ead, AOL installed five separate checkboxes where there used to be one--a real inconvenience to customers and apparently more than even AOL's own system can handle!

It's almost like AOL didn't want customers to opt-out of the ads....




After I read your mail, I signed back on to AOL and tried marketing preferences again. The time was 7:15 AM ET Sunday morning, (a really low usage time for the system).

I tried all marketing prefs: US Mail from Other Organizations, US Mail from AOL, Telephone, E-Mail and Pop-Up. In each case, I got the spinning beach ball (the Mac equivalent of the Windows hourglass) for one minute, give or take two seconds. Yes, I timed it. This was followed by the message shown in the attached screen shot.

This has happened every day since Thursday.