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Old 10-31-2008, 03:49 AM
karen's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 412
Thumbs down Boingo

Update: Dave is now gone from the company. Boingo read what happened here and compensated me for all the charges and then some. I guess the power of THOUGHTS helped. Since my dealings with this one lame tech support person all my other dealings with them have gone beyond my expectations for customer service.

I should have followed my own normal advice: if you get a lousy tech support person, hang up and dial again. It's not worth it wasting time with someone who does not care about customer service.

I travel a lot and have had a Boingo unlimited wireless account for ages. On a recent trip to Berlin, I used their service at the hotel when I arrived...for a few minutes. I was well aware that foreign roaming often incurred an additional charge, but I was too tired after my flight to go back to the front desk to get the login information for the complimentary guest access.

That cost me $2.28. No problem.

The next morning I got my hotel guest login information and logged in, carefully cancelling all the attempts that their nifty "helper" application did to help me get logged in via Boingo everytime I opened my laptop.

However, when I returned home, I received a bill for $75 more for the connectivity in Berlin. It turns out that just cancelling that little buggar of an application does not stop a laptop from logging in to the Boing network.

So I asked to be credited, as it appears there is no way to opt out of connecting to Boingo for certain.

I was passed along to "Dave, the Colleague" who was very snippy. He tried to compare my usage in the US & Canada, which is free under the unlimited plan, to my usage in Berlin, which is not free. I kept saying that this isn't a fair comparison as I'm intelligent enough to know the difference between "all you can eat" and "pay as you go". He blathered on and on about how many users don't understand how all this networking stuff works and that it is common for Americans to go to Europe and end up with extra charges because they assume that it is free everywhere. First, I'm Canadian and do tend to understand that Europe is not America and second, I did manage to not log into the Boingo network for the vast majority of my stay in Europe. Just a couple of minutes here and there to get directions or to make a Skype call.

In fact, I cancelled that annoying widget so many times that I considered uninstalling it. I should have, because somehow it managed to log me in while I was sleeping on the last night of my stay. It stayed logged in for 11 hours, resulting in the unexpected charge. It also managed to stay logged in for 2 hours after I left the hotel to go to the airport. Miracle technology, if you ask me.

Anyway, he kept going on and on about how users don't always realize what they are clicking on and what they are doing when presented with many screens. He offered me a discount on the charges, but not to clear them.

So I asked for all the charges to be waived, but he refused, saying that I had used their network and I had to pay. Then he started on the upsell - I could have avoided all this mess if I converted to the Boingo Global plan, which is $60 a month. If I upgraded, he'd waive the rest of the charges. I said no, that it didn't make sense for me to pay $60 a month to save $50 now. He said that he saw that most of my usage was foreign (Toronto)...duh, that's where I live! And that usage is part of my unlimited plan! His whole conversation at that point on was to insult my understanding of computers, then upsell. Back and forth, back and forth...until I told him to put his customer service hat back on.

So I asked him to credit me with what he had offered, then cancel both my unlimited account and my mobile wi-fi account. He hung up on me after putting me on hold for a long time.

Oh, and he did read me a long script about how to uninstall that nifty gadget in order to avoid these types of charges. Jee, thanks, I think I know how to uninstall software.

Anyway, this post is partially a rant and partially a warning for any of you using Boingo on your laptops or Windows Mobile devices. You can be charged for roaming even when you have opted out of their nifty "Boingo is Available" app. And you won't even know it. You can successfully avoid connecting for days, then on another day you are magically connected, even for hours after you have left the building.

Last edited by karen; 04-18-2011 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 323

The title of your post reminds me of two items from PC Magazine's "Abort, Retry, Fail" page in years past.

A man bought a book with a title something like, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Networking." It came with a mail-in rebate. In the lower-left-hand corner of the rebate check, where one customarily puts the purpose of the check, was "Complete Idiot's rebate."

An instructor was teaching a class on Excel spreadsheets to a group of visually-impaired students, using PC's equipped with voice synthesizers. One of the students complained, "The computer just called me a total ass!" Apparently she'd tabbed to a column header containing "Total Assets," and the column width truncated the text.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2
Default called you idiot?

Originally Posted by rocky_raher View Post
A man bought a book with a title something like, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Networking." It came with a mail-in rebate. In the lower-left-hand corner of the rebate check, where one customarily puts the purpose of the check, was "Complete Idiot's rebate."
That's funny. : ) Rocky. But I think you just have to check every time about their terms before signing up. These days providers do all the tricks and "set up" a trap for their customers.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:18 PM
Brad Adrian
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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I find it ironic that THEY tried to make you feel stupid, yet THEY'RE the ones with a goofy name like "Boingo."

Isn't it also funny (not "ha-ha funny" but "sad funny") how often we find out that we're more tech-savvy than many/most of the support people we encounter?

Just curious... How many people here feel like they've been elected as official tech support person for their friends/family due to their IT prowess?
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Default Sorry we didn't reach out to you sooner to warn you about Boingo

Boingo actually think all their customers are idiots especially those who take a stand against their fraudulent billing practices. I applaud you for your post. I've seen people getting ripped off by Boingo over and over, but for some reason they continue to do business with this awful company. It's no secret, just google Boingo complaints, Boingo sucks, Boingo Scams and I hate Boingo. You will see massive number of people complaining from all over the world. In my lifetime I have never seen so many complaints about a single company. Boingo stole my hard earned money out of my account, I was furious and they failed to refund me the money. As result I started I get attacked from left and right and I've also receive a lot of support from folks who have been victims as well. Boingo attempted to give me a full refund in an effort to buy me out, but it's too late. This fight is not about me anymore, it's about people like you that we can get to and warn them about the Boingo scam before they fail for their bogus service. Please joing us at , you can also reach us on twitter at ihateboingo. We will make sure your voice is heard and I am sure once your blog starts making noise on the web, Boingo will offer you a full refund to buy your silence.
I suggest you file a complaint with the LA attorney general:

Call Boingo to cancel your account to avoid continuous charges
Call your bank and attempt to have them removed the charges
DO NOT File Complaint with the LA Better Business Bureau, Boingo bought them out:
File a Complaint with the CA Attorney General with the info below:
Boingo Wireless Headquarters
1601 Cloverfield Boulevard Suite 570
South Santa Monica, CA 90404.
United States Phone: 310-586-5180
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