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What is AOL Call Alert?  (Updated 8-Mar-05)

AOL is promoting a "Call Alert" service in various advertising that doesn't fully disclose what this service is all about. (V.92 provides superior call handling - at no charge - however, AOL has required its V.92-capable access number provider - Level 3 - to disable modem-on-hold for AOL customers with V.92 modems!)

Call Alert is described as a "premium feature" (although there may be promotions to offer it free for a time). 

The catch: 

"AOL Call Alert simply uses a feature already offered by a member's telephone service known as "Call Forward Busy." When someone calls when a member is online with AOL, the call is automatically directed to AOL Call Alert." (AOL site)

The truth: Call Forward Busy is an extra-charge service offered by the phone company that may not already be included on AOL members phone service.

A year or two ago, AOL purchased InfoInteractive - a Canadian firm that started the pre-V.92 Internet Call Manager service

The fact is - V.92 offers a much better choice for the consumer: you don't need to pay for call forward-busy, you don't need extra software running on your PC to communicate with a server about your calls, and you don't need to pay for an Internet Call Manager solution when you can use a V.92 modem and V.92 ISP and put your Internet connection on hold. (Call waiting service is required.)

Bottom line: Offering the better solution for the consumer interferes with AOL's business plan - they need money.

IF YOU ARE AN AOL CUSTOMER and want to stop (getting billed for) AOL Call Alert - you will need to contact AOL Customer Service: 1-866-265-4415. is not affiliated with AOL.

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