PSA: Escaping from Gogo's roach-motel business model


Last month, during my many-city book tour, I signed up for Gogo's in-flight wifi service. Today I discovered that it's much harder to get shut of it.

If you're taking more than one flight in a month, it makes sense to sign up for Gogo's monthly service. However, that service auto-bills you a month later (even if you just needed it for a couple of days), and you have to resign from it several days in advance of the billing date to avoid being rebilled.

My day rolled around today, and I discovered that there's no form-based way to resign from Gogo. You must speak to a customer-service rep (by chat, email, Twitter, or phone) to resign from your account (remember, if you don't do this, you'll be billed for a whole month's more service).

After some back-and-forth with the Gogo Twitter account, I've learned that you can apparently reply to your initial billing confirmation email and tell the company that you don't want to renew. Your service will continue for a whole month, but not renew.

You can also do what I did: set a calendar reminder to get in touch with Gogo at the deadline for cancelling your service and then go through an online chat (be prepared to wait -- no rep was available when I tried it at first), or Twitter/email/phone. Set aside a block of time for this.

Services that require you to sign up for automated billing renewal are bad enough, but when they go out of their way to make it harder to cancel then it is to sign up, we're moving into very sketchy territory indeed. Buyer beware.

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