AOL, previously named America Online, is a subsidiary of Time Warner. AOL is still the world's largest Internet access provider with about 12 million subscribers in the US and several million in Europe.  It has shrunk considerably though from when it had 30 million subscribers in 2001. 
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
AOL has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force, and ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. See ALEC Corporations for more.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Can't Take No For An Answer
Vincent Ferrari managed to make a recording of his hilarious phone conversation with a customer service representative at America Online, in which the service rep repeatedly stonewalled and ignored Ferrari's request to cancel his AOL account. After the recording began circulating on the web, AOL fired the employee and said he had "violated our customer service guidelines and practices." Shortly thereafter, the Consumerist website reports, "A plain manila envelope arrived on our desk. ... Inside was the eighty-one paged 'Enhanced Sales Training for AOL Retention Consultants' manual" which showed that in fact, "customer service John" was just following orders. The manual instructs employees that "every Member that calls in to cancel their account is a hot lead" and tells them to "retain control by redirecting the Member if necessary."
- Randy Falco - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
- Ron Grant - President & Chief Operating Officer
- Ted Leonsis - Vice Chairman
22000 AOL Way
Dulles, VA 20166
Phone: (703) 265-1000
Fax: (703) 433-7283
Resources and articles
- Alexander M. Haig, Jr. - founding board member
- Profile, Hoovers, accessed July 2007.
- Roy Mark, "Worldwide AOL Membership Cracks 30 Million Mark", dc.internet.com, June 25, 2001.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force Meeting 2011 Annual Meeting August 5, 2011 Meeting Draft Minutes, organizational document, October 27, 2011, p. 9, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
- American Legislative Exchange Council, Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Roster 2, organizational task force membership directory, March 31, 2011, p. 46, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
- Executives, accessed July 2007.