" AOL will only talk to you if you are a paying customer. I pay a significant sum to Verizon, but that does not appear to count. " I went through the same issue, with AOL attempting to charge me for support for which I already pay Verizon. (AOL also attempts to put ads on my server-side account even though it is a paid rather than a free account, but my ad-blocking software keeps the clutter away.) Now I am having the same problems you are having in downloading your E-mail. I think Verizon used very bad judgment in selecting AOL, and should find somebody else before AOL's poor performance starts to drive away customers. Trying to charge somebody twice for the same service ought to be a disqualifier and deal-breaker for anybody.
The bottom line is however that the AOL E-mail system has not been working properly for a full week, and needs to be fixed. The fact that it has persisted for this long shows AOL's lack of pride in the quality of its services.
"Support emails to AOL get no response, and I see that today there is no email support available." Verizon should find somebody other than AOL very quickly unless it wants to drive away customers. I've reached the point where I would like to do that myself, except I would have to spend hours changing my primary E-mail address with dozens of places (i.e. cost of switching), and I heard that Comcast's reputation is not very good either. Nonetheless, I would give a "Do Not Recommend" rating to AOL noting especially its attempt to charge me for support* even though I am already a paying customer--that is a VERY serious issue that should disqualify them from consideration for any new business, by anybody.
* They told me I had to open a support account, and give them a credit card number, even though I made it unequivocally clear that I am already paying for the service through Verizon.
Yep. I think it's time to find another email service. I get almost daily outages from their pop3 server and no support from aol. I find unsent emails due to server errors, even though no settings have changed. I need email to work reliably even if it's noncommercial.