German group warns against installing AOL 5.0
by Mary Lisbeth D'Amico
MUNICH (IDG) -- Several days after U.S. consumers filed a class action suit against American Online Inc., a German trade group is warning customers against installing the latest version of AOL's Internet access software, AOL 5.0.
Eco Electronic Commerce Forum e.V., an association that mainly represents the interests of German Internet service providers, Thursday advised German consumers to "inform themselves about the difficulties that can occur, and what they should do about them" before they install what it called the "crash-prone" program.
Eco's Internet service provider members have received a flood of user complaints about the new software, eco said in a statement released Thursday.
In its statement, the trade group alleges that AOL 5.0 software interferes with other programs installed on a computer, making it difficult, if not impossible, to establish online connections using software from other service providers. In many cases, the entire network functions of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows have been destroyed, eco said.
Eco is also demanding that AOL "lay open the facts" about its software on the site.
The move follows the filing Monday of an $8 billion class action lawsuit against AOL in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. (see "Suit slams AOL 5.0 for changing system settings," link below).
The suit claims to represent the estimated 8 million people who have already downloaded the allegedly faulty AOL software and have had the operation of their computer altered as a result.
AOL officials have called the allegations groundless.
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