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5,000 AOLers find out the cost of free

5,000 AOLers find out the cost of free

There's no such thing as a free lunch--and 5,000 soon-to-be-former AOL employees are finding that out the hard way. About 25 percent of the company's workforce will be laid off as a result of the recent restructuring that's making e-mail, instant messaging, and other services free for broadband users. Ouch. Who knew it took that many people to keep autocharging your credit card and refusing to let you cancel your service?

In other news, did you know that if you are a current AOL subscriber who's paying $25 a month for access to the elements of AOL that are about to become free, you'll actually have to call AOL to let them know you don't want to continue paying? You could keep paying, if you wanted--and then, I guess, you'd get some "tech support." You'll probably want to call today, because there might not be anyone to take your call by the end of the week.