Signing up for Boingo service could be hazardous to your wallet..cancellation policies make customers jump through hoops.

I like to give companies the benefit of the doubt, but in this case after repeated attempts to get our account cancelled with the Boingo service, here is an update on the number of steps that it took to finally get someone to supposedly cancel the account.

In yesterday’s installment, we mentioned that we had called the company several times to cancel but the very long waiting times when calling during our workday made us resort to trying to use the email address published on the Boingo website to try to cancel the service. We received a response back after one day saying that due to security concerns the company couldn’t cancel our service via email. Note: the company allows the customer to sign up automatically via their website and provide the credit card number for immediate access without any security concerns, but apparently does not extend the same courtesy to customers to allow them to login to their secure, online account and cancel their service. Instead , Boingo makes the customer call an 800 number and spend  long times on hold. You may need a good speaker phone once you are connected,  and  if you’re lucky enough to be connected after waiting, will find yourself jumping through more hoops in trying to cancel the service, then it takes to get a loan these days.  And in this economy, that’s saying something.

Our other attempt to reach an agent without long waiting times was as we had previously posted, done in a call placed during the middle of the night in the US, and going this route, we were able to speak with an agent right away. However, the agent after verifying our account information and finding out that we wanted to cancel, and running through multiple options of how we could remain a customer, then informs us that her system is “updating” and she cannot accept cancellations. This, keep in mind readers, after she was supposedly able to pull up the account and verify it etc. So at least part of her system was working, but obviously not the part that accepted cancellations. The agent, took down all of our information and said that she would cancel the account when her system came back up again, and she would email us a confirmation number. We waited for yet another day, no confirmation number came. So, again, we tried emailing the support email address saying that we had called and cancelled our account directly with an agent, and did not receive a cancellation number and could they please email us a confirmation number. We were then given options about responding back using email giving confidential information via email to “confirm” our account, or calling one of their customer service agents again 24/7 according to the company to process our cancellation. (Which, note, we had already done..we had already cancelled the account…Boingo just didn’t process it apparently, as we were not given a confirmation number.)

Ok, so we called again today and reached a customer service agent after about 13 minutes on hold. The agent then proceeded to “confirm” our information and retrieved our account. We then asked to cancel the account, and the agent said that she’d email the cancellation number. “Oh, no, we want a cancellation number right now we told the agent.”  We actually cancelled our account several days ago and were told we would receive a confirmation number for the cancellation which never came.  We asked the agent for her name and for the cancellation number. Keep in mind we were at work and had some patient appointments to attend to, so our patients were waiting. We were then placed on hold for another 8 minutes, before the agent came back on the line and then said she had to verify some additional information with us before she cancelled our account like the last 4 digits of the credit card that was used to sign up.

What do you mean…you need the last 4 digits of the card we used to sign up? We gave that to you when we were purchasing your service.  Right now all we want to do is CANCEL. We have corporate cards and to find out the exact number that was used almost 30 days ago would require us to spend even more time on this issue that was getting to be a huge pain in the “you know what” this point.  After telling the agent that we wanted to cancel NOW, and we wanted our cancellation number NOW, she finally provided the number we had asked for so many times and spent so many hours to try to get.   Talk about wasted time and frustration. This is a really bad idea of how to make your customers angry and how not to do business.

Needless to say when traveling for health care reasons, we would not recommend that anyone use this service or company. There are enough frustrations involved with managing one’s healthcare, especially if being away from home is a necessity and you don’t need a website or company that touts “cancel at anytime” yet makes it almost impossible to cancel a service that’s supposed to help improve your productivity not hinder it.