In June, AOL customer Vincent Ferrari calls to cancel his membership.
The call lasts 21 minutes, highlighted by a conversation with a "retention consultant" named John who doggedly tries to retain Ferrari's business even though he specifically asks to cancel 18 times. "You're going to let me speak," John says. "If not, we can just argue all day. I really don't care."
Ferrari posts a recording of the call on his blog; it soon spreads across the Web. AOL then announces a "streamlined" protocol that nonetheless calls for pitching would-be cancelers at least two offers.