I updated the AIM client on my iPhone the other day and signed in to check out what the new software was like. As a side effect of this, I have also been upgraded to AOL/AIM’s new “Message Storage” system, where they keep logs of chat messages for 2 months (and hey they’re working on making it longer!) so they can be synced between mobile phones and multiple computers.
While I can see what you’re trying to do, you’ve done it in a intrusive, annoying, and down right shitty way; and it’s just about enough to make me stop using your chat network entirely.
Strike one, it’s not opt-in; it’s fuck-you-you’re-using-it-in.
I’m stuck with it now because I logged in with the new client on my phone. That’s it, no going back, and no warning that upgrading the client was going to permanently change my account to this new service. Nothing more than a note in the feature list that they can store and sync conversations between devices.
Strike two, it’s not opt out.
Don’t want AOL storing your conversations on their servers? Tough shit, you can’t turn it off. Well other than on a per conversation basis, which isn’t what I’d call opt out. However, there’s no where I can find to disable this shit completely and the FAQ does a very good job of indicating that I can’t disable it at all.
Moreover, since I don’t use the AIM client on my desktop, (I use Pidgin), so I can’t enable their “off the record” mode, which is a piss poor way to “opt out” in the first place. Doubly so when you have to enable it on a constant ongoing basis every time a conversation is started.
Strike three, what the fuck kind of dumb-shit programmer did you hire to implement this? The first message you send to someone after being forced into this shitty little service is prefixed with this lovely wall of text!
“%username%” is using a new version of AIM that stores conversation history so they can see their chats wherever they’re signed into AIM (desktop, mobile, aim.com). If you don’t want your messages stored, you can ask netmasteroc3 to take the conversation “off the record” or use the new AIM so you can do so yourself. Visit preview.aim.com/.faq for more information.
Okay, I can see the need to notify people that conversations are being stored. That’s nice, kind of, until you fucking spam someone with this 4 times in a row because they didn’t respond after the first one and don’t provide a way for the person sending the message to TURN THE FUCKING LOGGING OFF COMPLETELY IN THE FIRST PLACE!
Now when I start a conversation with people, and they start asking me what the fuck am I doing, and I have to explain to my non-techy friends that it’s not, in fact, me who’s logging the conversation, but the shit heads at AOL that have decided that every fucking converstation I start should be logged, simply because I upgraded the client on my phone. And guess what, even the techy ones have a hard time grasping that there’s no mechanism to opt out.
Thanks a lot ass-hats. Time to start migrating to GTalk.