Wanted: a workaround for closing an AIM email account

By jwazevedo
Sep 23, 2005
  1. This question is a bit different from the usual virus/spyware messages, but it's concerned with Web privacy and I'm hoping someone has a creative solution.

    I used to have a standard AOL email account for many years. I recently cancelled it. Against my wishes, they converted my AOL "screen name" (email address) to a free AIM email address. So, anyone who sends a mail to my old account will go to this new one rather than being bounced, meaning they won't know that I didn't receive it. After many hours and many long talks with AOL support, I'm convinced that they cannot change this.

    I've set up an auto-reply, with the generic message: "unavailable to read this message now", but I'm hoping for a more elegant way of closing down this email address. I suppose I could break their terms of service, but that would require a degree of rudeness I don't have in me. Any ideas?

  2. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Why not have the auto reply specify your new contact email?
  3. jwazevedo

    jwazevedo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    It's a "dumb" auto-reply and doesn't allow a user-defined message. And actually, I was looking forward to just erecting a blank wall. Privacy issues.

    Thanks for the thought, though,
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    How about sending an email to your contacts, that you want to receive email from, and tell them about your new one?
    That way you get rid of all your 'spammers' also in one fell swoop!
    And give the boot to your AOL/AIM account anyway, I would have nothing to do with AOL in the first place.
    They break their rules by changing your account, so screw them!
  5. jwazevedo

    jwazevedo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I updated my contacts when I switched to the new account. That's not the concern. It's just a privacy thing, perhaps a silly one. I don't want people who send an email to the old address to think that the message actually got through. When a person decides to close an address, it should be closed, really closed, not just hanging around.
  6. jemacuser

    jemacuser TS Rookie

    I, too, am having a problem relating to mail sent to my old AOL account. I can't retrieve it.

    When I cancelled my AOL account, I was assured that mail to my old AOL address would be forwarded to an AIM account using my AOL screen name. Now, I cannot retrieve any such mail, as I cannot AIM mail using the screen name that I had on my cancelled AOL account. I have tried logging into the AIM mail using my AOL screen name and password and have been met with error messages that say I have entered an incorrect user ID or password. Mail I send to the AOL account has not been bounced back. Even more perplexing, the AIM service is working for my old AOL screen name. I just can't get into the supposed AIM e-mail account using my old AOL screen name.

    Naturally, hours and hours on the phone with/waiting to speak to AOL reps have met with, at best, no success and at worst, well . . . . you can imagine.

    Has anyone else cancelled an AOL account, with the understanding that the e-mail to that account would be "migrated" to an AIM account? How did you retrieve your mail? I would really appreciate your letting me know if, and if so, how, you were able to get into your AIM account.

    Any help you can offer would be very much appreciated.
  7. jwazevedo

    jwazevedo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Well, this is exactly the opposite problem I'm having; you might get more replies if you post your problem as a new one rather than piggybacking on this one, but I'll tell you what I know, at least.

    I was told that the conversion from AOL to AIM Mail was automatic. The account would stay open for 30 days (or 60 or forever, depending on the support rep you talk to). If you're past that time, I wonder if it's been cut off.

    To get my mail with the old screen name, I go to:

    I log on with the old screen name and password. This takes me to AIM Mail, not AOL, but it's the same thing. For the last year, I've been using my AOL account from the Web, and this is the procedure I've always used. The conversion to AIM has been seamless. (Of course, that's my problem. I want it closed, not remaining open.)

    If I were you, I'd clear the browser cache and try using that address I use. If that doesn't work, there's obviously a problem on the AOL end. If so, you can continue to try tech support or you can beat yourself over the head with a hammer. In my experience with AOL support, it amounts to the same thing.

    Good luck,
  8. jemacuser

    jemacuser TS Rookie

    Thank you very much for your reply, Jerry. Cleared the cache, tried again, no go. It clearly is on the AOL end. But try to get it resolved . . . .

    The last word I got from their tech supervisor was that yes, your AOL mail gets forwarded to your AIM account, but this is just an internal thing and you cannot actually access it since, according to her, you've cancelled your AOL account, causing the server to reject any attempts to log onto your AIM mail account. Given your experience, however, this clearly is just another line of hooey. Other reps say other things, but no one has been able to get me to the AOL mail I was assured by AOL would be forwarded and readable via AIM. Of course, I was told by a couple of reps, I can still get my AOL mail by reactivating my AOL account. What a surprise. Unless and until I do that (when hell freezes over, given this nightmare), anyone sending mail to my cancelled AOL account will get no response: they will assume I got their mail and I will have no way of retrieving it. Now I know why people hate AOL. I'm kicking myself for having stayed on there to keep my AOL address for so long. I could have saved a ton of money by having this nightmare years ago.

    Now, where did I put that hammer . . .???

    PS As for your situation, I believe the AIM terms of use at may offer some hope for your situation. Under Inactive Status, it states:
    Granted it says that AOL "may" deactivate an inactive account, but maybe it's worth a try. You could check if it's working by sending mail to that account after not signing on for 30 days and seeing if it gets bounced. Just a thought . . . Then, if it that doesn't work, I have a hammer you can borrow . . .
  9. msusue

    msusue TS Rookie

    Got two hammers?

    I too have just recently had my AIM Mail address freeze up. I had this address as an AOL address for years, cancelled AOL in January and had been successfully logging on through my AIM screen. In the last couple days I am getting sign on error messages and there is no way to get help. I am so angry with AOL after this whole experience that I will never have it again. If you ever get a solution, please let me know.
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