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Boingo Wireless Complaints & Reviews - Scam

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Boingo Wireless

Posted:    Welp


Complaint Rating:  100 % with 7 votes
Contact information:
United States
When it comes to Boingo, it's way way worse than "accidental" charging.

I paid for their one-day pass, out of desperation since I usually don't give out my credit card details online, one year ago.

ONE YEAR AGO. Since then, I have clicked "Cancel" and closed down the GoBoingo! pop-up whenever it shows up. Since there was no setting for disabling the pop-ups (fishy fishy!), and since I had no intention of using the service ever again save for emergency, I went into my computer settings and made sure Boingo wouldn't automatically start up.

So you can imagine my surprise when, going over my account bills for the past three months - this would be about 10 months after originally using the Boingo "service" - I see four separate charges from Boingo Wireless.

I have been nowhere near an airport these past months. In fact, I have been nowhere near wireless - being abroad, the only place I have access to internet is through my DSL line at home.

Yet Boingo has charged me somewhere upwards of $50 over these past months. They do it extremely cleverly: no single amount is greater than $15, $25 - easy to miss unless you, like me, are abroad and have no other activity on your American bank account to distract the eye.

Since the Boingo pop-up stopped showing up, I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A CLUE THEIR SOFTWARE WAS RUNNING. I checked my statements for the past year, and this isn't the first time they've snuck in a charge, so in no way is this just a technical glitch about me disabling their pop-up.

I am guessing their "service" recognized the fact I am currently in an underdeveloped country, and figured I'd be less likely to report this to my bank. There is no other way to account for the brazen way in which the charges started accummulating once I got here.

I have never, ever, EVER logged in during the three months they raped my credit card. I have used nothing but my own broadband connection. I have not been notified of the program even running.

Needless to say I'm pretty pissed at this under-handed practice, not to say outright credit card skimming, and I'll be copy & pasting this sad little tale to any other blog and forum dealing with the issue.

Please do not sign up for Boingo, no matter how big and modern the airport! It is a sophisticated scam from a seemingly presentable company - but a scam nonetheless.

What galls me the most is their PR campaign: any forum where this same complaint is lodged, a super-polite rep of theirs will inevitably show up, explaining it all away with misunderstandings and glitches. This, dear sirs, is no glitch. It is a fully intentional, quasi-legal way of ripping off anybody stupid enough - me included - to give out their credit card details to Boingo.
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 5th of Aug, 2009 by   Jim 0 Votes
I was pissed too, they did the same thing to me and refused to refund the extra charges. I live in FL, but "Bogus" Boingo Wireless is based in South Santa Monica, California. I wrote the attorney general there and asked him to investigate Boingo business practices. I've also filed a complaint with the FL state attorney and the CA Better Business Bureau. That's not all, I am on a mission. I bought www.ihateboingo.com I am currently working on the website. Boingo needs to be exposed, they are conducting the same business practices that Blockbuster had attempted and looked where it took Blockbuster. If you do a search online, you'll see people complaining about fraudulent charges from all over the world. They'll give you access alright as long as you give them unlimited access to your bank account. Here is my story:

I was on vacation flying from ATL (Atlanta) to CDG (France). Since I was going to arrive to France late, I needed to contact my hotel and the car rental agency to let them know that I would arrive late. Unfortunately I had no way to call, my only option was through the Internet. When I fired up my browser, one of the option was Boingo = Bogus. I thought I sign up for just a month – a month later I was charged for another month. When I called to cancel the service, I was on hold for almost half hour. When I finally reached someone from customer service, she was very unhappy with me because I was canceling the service. The last monthly charge was on 6/15/09. I had sent an email to them instructing them to cancel the account and refund the $9.95. I got an email back saying please call customer service to cancel. To make a long story short customer service failed to refund me the $9.95 even though I have only used their service once. Boingo just made the biggest mistake because I will let the world know how sucks their service is. I enjoy demolishing greedy companies like Boingo. I was a big advocate when Blockbuster decided to sell movies to customers if they didn’t return them without making customers aware of the charge beforehand – that has resulted http://www.blockbustervictims.com . I predict that Boingo will go out of business pretty soon if they continue on this path. The service itself is a mith, they are doing the same greedy things that several companies have tried and continue to do until someone like Math and others say enough is enough. It’s good that they monitor blogs, but I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up – soon the internet will be flooded with hating Boingo Wireless website and I’ll be the first one to put one up and report them. Bogus Boingo, you are in for a fight – see you on ihateboingo.com and how about Bogusboingo.com GREED MY FRIEND, IT WILL TAKE YOU NOWHERE

Refund the 9.95 they stole from my account, change their business practices and leave free hot-spots alone.
 8th of Aug, 2009 by   Rick 0 Votes
I signed up for their service at ATL airport for a 24hr period. Apparently by doing so I signed some kind of contract that they can charge that credit card again if I use their services again. I was at Brussels airport a few months later and because of a popup that they installed, I was automatically logged into their account. They ended up charging me $20 for the service. There wasn't even a window with a rate or a do you agree to sign in window. I found it bordering fraudulent. I emailed them numerous times. They were quite dismissive and told me I should have read the fine print when I logged on at ATL airport. As if anyone does that. I didn't bother disputing it with my credit card company although I think I might have a case, but this company is quite deceptive to say the least. Do not give them your credit card info, they will use it again and again to charge you.
 1st of Sep, 2009 by   Lauren Sanyal 0 Votes
I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve had such a negative experience with Boingo. We focus on outstanding customer service every day, and we appreciate the opportunity to attempt to make things right! For absolute clarity, I will try to explain what happened.

It sounds like you inadvertently signed up for our Boingo Unlimited monthly subscription plan for $9.95 per month, believing it was for one month only. During sign-up, we provide a clear description of the selected plan before charging your credit card. The plan description you were presented with states: “Enjoy Unlimited Wi-Fi access at thousands of Boingo hotspots throughout the Americas for only $9.95 USD each month. Please note, charges recur each month, but Boingo is flexible, so you can change your plan at any time without penalty. Wi-Fi connections made outside the Americas will be billed an additional $0.12 or $0.18 per minute, depending on location.”

We understand that it’s possible you were in a hurry (as you likely could have been, given that you were in an airport) and simply missed this point. To ensure that our customers have a clear understanding of their Boingo plan, we also send a “Welcome” email that outlines their plan once again.

Again, I sincerely regret that you found our sign-up process confusing. I know you have been in touch with our Customer Care team and that your charges have been refunded in their entirety. If there’s anything else we can do to help you reach a satisfactory resolution, I hope you’ll let us know.


Lauren Sanyal
 1st of Sep, 2009 by   Lauren Sanyal 0 Votes
The last thing we ever want is for our customers to be unhappy, so I hope you’ll give us the opportunity to make things right.

As you noted, during sign-up at ATL, you downloaded the Boingo software. The software automatically pops up to let you know when you’re in a Boingo hotspot. If you hit the “Connect” button, you can get online with a single click at more than 125, 000 different hotspots worldwide. Most of our customers love the software because it makes finding a hotspot and getting online fast and simple.

The software won’t automatically connect you unless you click the “Connect” button, and assuming you are using version 1.6 or later of the client, the software actually alerts you to what you will be charged at each location, depending on your plan type. It sounds as though you might have been using an earlier version of the software.

In any case, we want to be sure you have a great experience with Boingo. Please email me at lsanyal@boingo.com, and I’ll make sure we take care of that mistaken charge.
 29th of Apr, 2010 by   Lauren Sanyal 0 Votes
I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a negative experience with Boingo. We would *never ever* intentionally charge your credit card when you weren't using the Wi-Fi service. I promise.

I would really like to make things right for you. Will you please email me at lsanyal at boingo dot com with your username?

I'm happy to look into your account and determine what happened. Thanks for your patience while we get to the bottom of this for you!
 12th of Jul, 2011 by   markg143 0 Votes
Garbage Do not get or install. People who like it must be insane.
 13th of Jul, 2011 by   xorbisx 0 Votes
Boingo is deceptive and makes fraudulent charges. Boingo deliberately conceals aspects of the "As you Go" $7.95 24-hr. access charge for web connection at U.S. hotspots. I has used the service once, so I had a username and P.W. So, I tried 3 times with my username to switch to the $9.95 montlhy plan, as I planned to use the service as I travelled to several different airports over the course of a week. After not receiving a confirmation or instructions otherwise, I accessed a connection, so I thought all was ok. Days later, I found I had been billed $7.95 4 times within a 24 hr. period (all without a confirmation at the time of log in). When I called Customer Service to complain, they said I could only switch plans by calling and creating a new account with a different username and that the terms of service are clear. Well, if one spends at least 30 minutes trying to find all that on the website, it is still not to be found! Try to find "Terms of Use" or the hidden "surprises" of the $7.95 plan. Most people are probably too busy to even bother to ask for a refund, much less to spend hours to get to the bottom of this.
 14th of Jul, 2011 by   Lauren Sanyal 0 Votes
We're so sorry to hear that you've had a negative experience with us. Please rest assured that we would never, ever intentionally deceive our customers.

We'd like to look into your account, explain what happened, and try to make things right for you.

Would you please email lsanyal at boingo dot com with your Boingo username and your billing address? Thanks so much for choosing Boingo; we'll get to the bottom of this.

Warm Regards,
Lauren Sanyal
 23rd of Sep, 2011 by   buck200097 0 Votes
I was in an airport terminal and needed to connect to the internet. So I decided to pay the 8 bucks to connect "unlimited for 24 hours". I connected, paid the fee, and accessed the internet. After that, I walked to my airport terminal, and connected again. This time (not to my knowledge), I connected to a different Boingo hotspot. Well, they charge you for each different hotspot another 8 bucks. You get the idea. It's all in the fine print, so when you complain to them, they basically tell you to quit crying. DON'T DEAL WITH THEM, USE A DIFFERENT SERVICE. THEY SUCK.
 24th of Sep, 2011 by   Lauren Sanyal 0 Votes
We *really* appreciate it when customers take the time to let us know about their experience and give us the opportunity to respond to their concerns; we believe this only helps us improve the service for our customers. So, thank you!

Will you please email lsanyal@boingo.com with details? We'd like to look into what happened and try to make things right, with our apologies for the bad experience you had. You shouldn't be charged twice for simply moving within the airport, so we'll get to the bottom of this.

Warm Regards,
Lauren Sanyal
 31st of May, 2012 by   boingo must go 0 Votes
The SAME thing happened to me, except it was MORE money and for a longer period of time. I used the service in Paris in 2010 and they have been charging me 49 euros a month ever since... that's $60-70 per month... over $1100 dollars later, I am in complete shock. Was unaware of the charges, and haven't used the service for a second, since I knew nothing about it. Don't EVER sign up with Boingo. If I know what I was getting into, I never would have. It is the most expensive hour or two of wifi connection I could imagine.
 5th of Jun, 2012 by   Lauren Sanyal 0 Votes
Oh no, that doesn't sound good at all! Really sorry to hear you've had such a negative experience with us. We'll be happy to get to the bottom of this and try to make things right. Email lsanyal@boingo.com, and we'll investigate, pronto.

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