I've been with America Online for over 14 years now, almost longer than I've been with my wife. I was an AOL customer back when the rest of the world was still using Compuserve and Prodigy. Remember those? I've had the same America Online email address since way before AOL even allowed direct access to the internet.
Couple years ago, AOL began to offer free email accounts in addition to paid accounts. Not wanting to mess with my account, I never switched. I didn't want to take a chance on losing any service, so I remained a paying customer.
Recently I discovered that AOL had been charging me 4-times the amount I should have been paying. Angry, I gave them a call to find out what was going on. Turned out to be a misunderstanding. My daughter who lives in another state recently began to use an account I'd set up for her years ago, when she was still a teenager. For whatever reason, she was using it again, and she has dial-up. I was getting charged by the minute! Not too big a deal. I spoke with my daughter, asked her to start a free account with Google or Yahoo or something.
While on the phone with AOL, I asked about the free account, and it turned out there was absolutely no reason for me to pay. Basically, I had been paying $10.00 per month for my email account so that I could have "free" online technical support if my email ever stopped working (which hasn't happened in 13 years). I canceled my pay service and retained my email address for free.
Two weeks later, I can't access my email. Is this some kind of trick?