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After ten minutes on hold:

Posted by on February 15, 2003

“Hello, thank you for calling AOL customer service, my name is James, how can I help to make your online experience a magical one this morning?”

“Well, James, I would like to cancel my magical online account.”

“Heh. Okay. Let me just pull up your information.”

(Takes all my information, prefacing each question with “Now in order to protect your privacy can you please tell me…”) “And can I have your reason for cancelling service with AOL this morning?”

“I’m giving up the internet.”

“You’re…why are you giving up the internet?”

“I’m moving to a commune in Minnesota and they don’t have access there.”

(Totally floored) “You’re…a…commune? Wow, that’s a first for me. That’s a…really? A commune? Wow. How come…um…they don’t…why don’t they have access?”

“Well, it just kind of runs counter to the whole belief system.”

“And, so, what’s the belief system?”

“Oh, you know…getting back to nature, Thoreau, eating lots of dairy. Except the vegans, obviously.”

“Right. Right. Right.”

“So, do you have a confirmation number for me?”

“Look, are you sure about this commune?”

“Oh yes.”

“When do you leave?”

“In a week.”

“Okay. Okay. There’s no checkbox for this in my ‘Reason for Cancellation’ section.”

“Uh huh.”

“Just…okay, well I have your cancellation number ready. And look, if you change your mind, you can always reactivate your account, okay?”

“Sure, thanks.”

Gives me my confirmation number. “You know, I’m not going to even bother asking if you want to try our new phone news service.”

“That’s probably best.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Well, okay. Good luck to you.”

“Take care, James.”

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