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AOL scoffs at class action

Punters gets their defaults in a twist

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The class-action lawsuit filed against AOL, which alleges that its software displays cuckoo-like tendencies by displacing other Internet accounts when loaded, is nothing more than a storm in a teacup. Well, that's according to Rich D'Amato, the AOL spokesman who said that the lawsuit had "no basis in fact or law." Filed on behalf of eight million AOL users, the lawsuit alleges that AOL 5.0 disables other ISP services when installed on a PC. The man behind the lawsuit, Internet lawyer Kenneth Yates, is deeply unhappy about this, claiming AOL is indulging in dodgy trade practices, among other things. But AOL appears unfazed about the threat of the lawsuit -- which could cost it $8 billion (£5 billion) if it loses. In fact, far from accepting any blame, AOL reckons its users who are at fault. D'Amato said: "The 5.0 software provides users with the ability to select AOL as their default Internet connection, but only if they make the choice to do so. "It's designed to provide a more stable online environment, but it doesn't prevent users from accessing the Internet through another provider." So, the error doesn't lie with AOL 5.0 -- it's the punters' fault for selecting it as their default service. No? Anyway, that's for the courts to decide. But if you're interested, a spokesman for AOL in Britain said it had not received one single complaint about this matter from any of its users despite AOL 5.0 being the most successful and popular client ever. ®

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