For $19.95 A Month, Unlimited Headaches For Aol

An online jam-up due to flat-rate pricing leads to legal hassles

Steven C. Borsse is fed up. Last November, Borsse, who runs his own underwater search business in Sebastian, Fla., coughed up $358 for a two-year, prepaid membership on America Online Inc. Borsse uses the service to search for potential customers. But since AOL went to a monthly $19.95 flat rate in December, Borsse tries to go online sometimes 20 times a night without getting a connection. More frustrating, he can't get through to AOL's jammed customer-service center. "It's literally impossible to get on AOL at night," says Borsse. "I do business on the Internet, and this has really hurt me."

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