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AOL dialup users: Kicked in pants or slapped in face?

AOL last week announced plans to increase the price of its dial-up service by $2 a month (to $25.90) to match the price of its high-speed DSL and cable services. The company rationalized that the price hike would encourage dial-up users--the majority of its remaining customer base--to move on to broadband.


Sure, the move will likely lead those price-sensitive customers who were sticking with dial-up just because it was cheaper to consider what they've been missing. Some young bloggers expressed relief that the new price structure will finally force their loyal parents to move into modern times.

But others say it comes at the risk of losing, once and for all, those customers--particularly the ones in rural, broadbandless areas--who feel completely slapped in the face by the company's strategy.

Blog community response:

"It's as if they're mocking their own customers for not moving up to broadband."

"75% of AOL users use dialup. So, AOL is going to do them all a favor by raising prices to encourage users to switch to broadband. Gee thanks, AOL. What about the millions of AOL users who do not have broadband access available in their areas or do not want it for whatever reason?"
--The Caffeinated Duck

"AOL thinks greater adoption of broadband will increase overall usage, thereby increasing advertising revenue. But they still need to address the issues they've had for years: the perception of AOL as Internet training wheels, and the inability to retain members over the long haul."

"I've been slowly getting ready to leave AOL...and this is the last straw. I use my AOL e-mail for 'junk' mail anyway, so no big loss. AOL should consider that there ARE still places in the US where broadband isn't readily available...and I resent being penalized just because I don't want to live in a city."
--Lisa Melvin on CNET's Talkback