America Online has suspended its advertising campaign and promised to spent an extra $100 million to expand its Internet network in a bid to calm its angry customers.
The company also promised to add 600 employees to the 3,900-strong team of customer support staff who run AOL telephone helplines, after the online supplier was inundated with complaints. Earlier this week, five users bought class action lawsuits against the company after its unlimited Internet access scheme left its networks saturated and customers spent hours trying to log on (see story, 15 January).
But the company admitted the moves will make little difference to its clogged modem lines for months. AOL Networks' president and chief executive Bob Pittman admitted: "It will be the end of spring before we are where we want to be."
Some AOL members have stayed continually logged on to the service to ensure they do not have any problems. AOL has written to them asking them to desist.
Pittman conceded that the past few days have been difficult for the company: "Do my eyes have circles under them? Yes," he said.
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