Autoworkers To Get AOL

America Online (NYSE: AOL) said Thursday it has reached an agreement with General Motors (GM) and Daimler-Chrysler to provide discounted Internet and interactive TV service to the automakers’ 300,000 employees.

The agreement gives AOL access to thousands of new customers for both its main online service and its fledgling AOLTV offerings. It also strengthens the company’s ties with the auto industry by linking it with two of the world’s five largest auto manufacturers.

Under the deal, workers at the two companies will get AOL basic Internet service for $3 (US$) per month, AOLTV for $5 per month, or a combination of AOLTV and DirecTV — sold by GM subsidiary Hughes — for $31.95 monthly.

Following Ford’s Lead

“It is imperative that all our employees have access to the Internet,” said Jim Holden, president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler. “The concept of having a Web-savvy workforce is at the heart of our business-to-employee strategy.”

The agreement, which the United Auto Workers (UAW) union helped broker, comes seven months after Ford Motor Co. said it would give its employees the chance to buy computers and Internet access through PeoplePC for $5 a month.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner said since 75 percent of all his company’s employees already have personal computers, that type of deal made less sense than a pure Internet-access offer. “Making it easier for employees to access the Internet puts us on the leading edge,” Wagoner said.

Analyst Support

Responding to the deal, Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Bodget said the move is important not only because it could generate up to $40 million a year worth of subscription revenue for AOL — as well as additional advertising and e-commerce revenue — but also because it continues AOL’s practice of linking with traditional companies.

It underscores the notion that Internet access is “a must have utility for the mass consumer market,” Blodget said.

Portal Deal Included

The deal also calls for AOL and the automakers to take a stake in Workscape, Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based provider of corporate portals enabling employees to access company information from their home computers.

“This agreement builds on our commitment to make going online as easy and convenient as possible,” said AOL President Bob Pittman.

The automaker deal came a day after AOL announced a multi-year marketing agreement with General Mills, Inc. The number one Internet service also linked with Charles Schwab & Co. to offer financial services to AOL users.

27 Comments

  • I’m an active Chrysler Auto Worker. I was getting AOL at a discount price. AOL told me there is no record of me ever getting the service at a discount price, pleas help. Also, as a Chrysler employee for 33 1/2years, how can I get the discount for AOLtv and DirecTv. Please answer, need big help.
    Winford H.

        • I’ve also lost my book with numbers,etc, regarding getting aol for gm retirees. Everywhere i’ve looked, it says retirees not eligible. Please help! I’m really tired of dial up!

          • No comment just wanted to sign up for the GM Retiree discount. I already have AOL and want to keep the same service.

          • I have wasted many hours trying to find out the discount from General Moters Retiree. And how to register. Is there some one who can email me and help me out. Not one phone number that I have has helped me.

          • I need help with getting my discount on Aol, I’ve
            been trying for months now, last I read, I had
            35 years in with Gm.

          • Hope you have an answer by now. Have had no trouble with the discount from GM. Just retired 4 months ago and have talked with Aol on the phone, talked with a nice young lady who directed me to my browser, type in GM Retiree click on search and the information will come up for you. You get the discount if you provide the information requested and are retired. Some discounts apply to folks who are still working and some other ones apply to those who are retired. Check with your benifit rep or union floor rep. Just to make things easy have the info that aol asks for when you go to GM RETIREE on your browser and they will walk you through it. For some strange reason you must be retired to get the retiree discount. They do check it out.

          • i have been trying to get aol gm discount for sometime and still no luck!….can u help please?

          • Come on guys, this is a symptom. AOL is a bloated, obsolete dirigible that is going down. Not only are they technically incompetent (littering your computer with crap galore and never-ending redundant copies of their own software), but they are arrogant and ignorant of their customers.
            In case anyone out there doesn’t know, everything you need to get on line is built into your operating system. AOL is NOT the Internet; it’s a glorified bulletin-board system that tacked on Internet access years after its inception. If you have DSL or a cable modem, you already have everything you need.
            If for some reason you have to go with dial-up, find a local Internet service provider who doesn’t make you install any special software. All you need is a number to dial an account on the computer that answers.

  • I received one of those letters from General Motors stating that i could and I quote the letter.(Get Unlimited America Online* Service for just $5 per month)I AM a retired auto worker from General Motors Plant 75 in Pontiac, Michigan. An I did exactly what the paper said to do for my discount with AOL. The people were very nice and helpful. But I found out almost two months later after my initial call to AOL. They were double billing me. When I called the business office to complain. I wasn’t given the best reception. They don’t really want to help you. I was suppose to be billed only $11.95 a month because I was a retired GM worker. If I had been still working for GM. Then I would have received the rate of only $5.00 per month. But I was being billed the full price of $23.90. The phone representitives don’t tell you there is a waiting period to verify your actually a GM employee. So there for AOL charges every one the full rate of $23.95 per month. Please make sure when you receive your letter from GM. That you point out the fact of the charges so this doesn’t happen to you also with your checking account. They began charging me from the time of the first contact by phone. I still have not found the proper site to fill out the necessary paper work for my GM discount. Even though I did every thing that is explained on the original paper. The one explaining the discount for GM Workers. An the proper procedure you must make to not be charged the wrong fee from AOL billing. I believe AOL really doesn’t care about our so called problem. If they charge us the regular AM mount instead of our discount. They make twice the AM ount of money from our checking account each month. I have lots more to say but this is enough for now.
    Sincerely
    DRi797@Aol.Com

  • Our Company was the Court appointed liquidator in eToys. Instead of Liquidating we tried to save the company. You can still buy from eToys.com today thanks solely to us… when we tried to save the Public Company the CEO of eToys allowed us to be canned and has stiffed us on our payments for sales done.
    It has now been 3 years and the case was going to wind down,,, we are the last issue and we can get paid. However we found proof of Federal violations of Bankruptcy Code punishable by fines, fee returns and incarceration. The CEO of eToys Barry Gold and Paul Traub attorney for the Creditors Committee are secretly Partners. This violates 20 different rules and the US Trustee made a statement in the Transcript Public record that it is apparent these Violations Occurred. Pacer Public Record Docket in Jan 2005 of Transcript of Hearing Dec 22 2004 Any one that can help publicize these public facts and help us save the public company would be appreciated.

  • To Anyone who can help me,

    I don’t even know if you are the person I should be writing,

    but maybe you could give me a number to call or an address to write if I’m in the wrong place. I AM trying to find the right person who handles the GM employees signing onto AOL server. I have a CD disk to use signing on with AOL through General Motors. My problem is, the disk does not get past the message:

    “Error Logging onto server. Internet must be congested or busy.

    Please try again later.”

    We left the computer on all night and tried signing up again

    Many Times and still always got the same message. I AM totally convinced the problem is in the disk. Everyone else that received a disk just put it in the CD drive and it took off with no problem. I could mail the disk back to you if you wish.

    I have spent 2 days on the phone, getting nowhere except

    transferred around and around and given numbers to call that

    don’t get me anywhere except more numbers. All I want is another CD that will hopefully work.

    Can you help me or direct me to someone who can? I sure would

    appreciate anything you can do. Thank You

    Connie Pizzo

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