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Overloading the Machine -- Day [entries|friends|calendar]

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Do you suppose there is anything that can be done legally to stop these AOL CD mailings?

Probably not. I don't know what the grounds would be. It bothers me that a company can create such a huge amount of trash, and problematic trash at that, and not suffer any consequences nor bear any of the costs associated with disposing of that trash. This amounts to a public subsidy for AOL. They send these CDs out fully aware that the vast majority of them end up in the trash. Witness their own advertising campaign, where they show people using them as coasters and such.

I receive at least one AOL package per week. That is not an exaggeration. They don't even come in useful containers anymore. The containers keep getting bigger. In fact, it seems that they are intentionally making the packages less and less useful.

What prompted me to complain about this is that the latest package contained TWO CDs. So, they are now doubling the amount of trash they are generating, and the amount of the subsidy. They are probably more than doubling it, actually, because even people who decide because of the arrival of the CDs to sign up for AOL can probably only use one of them. One of the CDs seems to be for broadband and one for dial-up. Which, by the way, doesn't make any sense. A different connection type does not warrant an entire CD of different software (Hm, well, maybe with AOL-quality software, you would need a whole other CD to pull that off). The packaging has now ballooned to the size of the old-school cardboard CD-boxes (I remember plastering my high school locker door with those things). In fact, I think it might be bigger.

And the package bears the bold claim "DOUBLE THE SPEED OF YOUR INTERNET!" I didn't know I had an Internet. The copyeditor in me wants to point to this as a good example of why preserving capitalization of words is important. If Internet were still widely capitalized, AOL would have a hard time hijacking the term and sowing confusion, although they'd still get some traction out of the all-caps. There are a lot of people out there who have a DSL/cable provider, but still subscribe to AOL because they think they need it to get on the Internet.

Is there a way I can get them to stop sending me these things? In the meantime, I guess I should start recycling them. There are places that take CDs; we send CDs at work off to one every now and then. I'll send the bill to AOL.
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[ viewing | January 9th, 2005 ]
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