Friday, June 22, 2007

Boingo - how to run a business - into the ground

Boingo teaches us that great wealth brings great ... stupidity?

Our local airport has outsourced their wireless services to Boingo. Fair enough, I thought, I'll just get an $8 day pass. I've done that with T-mobile and they have a reasonable approach. Enter a credit card number, get access.

So, I click and wait, and wait, finally the service responds. It tries twice to sign me up for a 3 month pass, but I'm trying to keep this simple. I don't want a relationship with Boingo, I want net access.

Ok, I finally get to the day pass. Now sign up requires an email address (so they can send me spam) and an username and password. I guess they really do want a relationship.

I give 'em my spam address (only spam goes there, occasionally I retrieve product trial keys from it) and my usual username. It's in use. I probably signed up once before. Ok, I'll try another. It's in use too. This is getting annoying. I start using scatological usernames, like "idiots" and "stupidboingo" and, finally, fckboingo. In use. All of them. Including the last.

Boingo clearly has a less than delighted customer base.

I give up. Is Boingo some sort of evil psychology experiment? A Scientologist [1] plot to activate deeply buried engrams? More proof that there's no sense to where money flows? Or all of the above ...

[1] Boingo's CEO, Sky Dayton, is a prominent Scientologist.

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