I have previously written about the array of added fees and costs associated with every aspect of air travel from seats with minimal leg room to meals to even bathrooms on some flights. One of the most profitable however is to charge for wifi. Like high-end hotels (another pet peeve of mine), airlines charge for this basic service. However, Jeremy Gutsche, a Canadian entrepreneur, never imagined how much when he received a $1,200 bill from Singapore Airlines for exceeding his wifi package. It appears that it does not simply cut off but continues to charge you — a useful glitch if you want to fleece customers.
Gutsche says that he was not even watching videos but just answering and reading emails as the CEO of the Trend Hunter website. This is one trend that was a painful discovered when he found that the Singapore Airlines internet was “painfully slow” and thus pushes customers into over charges like $100 to just sending a 4MB powerpoint presentation. The airline of course posts the pricing per megabyte but most people would have thought that a $30 package should cover a single flight.
The airlines has refused to say whether it will lower the charges.
14 thoughts on “You’ve Got Mail [Charges]: Singapore Airlines Hits Passenger With $1,200 Wi-Fi Bill”
Never heard of Lynx. But, I just tried to download Lynx, but I can’t figure out how.
I saw that the link to the Lynx distribution site is offline.
It is throwing a 403 error, which indicates to me it was wiped of content. I tried to find the latest 2.8.8 distro but could only find it for HP-UX and not windows. I don’t know if it has been discontinued or what is going on.
Darren – other than I know that a Wayback Machine exists I don’t know how or where to find it, however could you find the links there?
Time to resurrect the Lynx Web Browser
There is also the matter of “reasonableness” or “fair pricing.” For about $50 – $70 per month, a person can get basically unlimited Internet usage. How can somebody use up $1,200 in a few hours unless a trap has been laid for them?
Remember this the next time some Ayn Rand idiot tells you how businesses would never do unreasonable things or rip people off.
squeeky – anyone who has flown knows they are trying to rip you off. The game is see how much you can survive with at the end of the trip. The more you survive with, the more you win and the more they lose.
If you pay the bill without yelling and screaming they will continue to fleece people. If I put my hand in your pocket and pulled out money and you did nothing, why then I would simply keep pulling out money.
Several years ago, my elderly parents stayed at a hotel in Miami. They telephoned North Florida for less than a minute to say they had arrived and made a local call. The bill was $60.00. When I called to complain, the manager explained that those were the rates hotels used. When I told him I would expose their predatory practices in the newspapers, AAA, and other media, he removed the total charges.
Ya gotta scream and yell to stop robbery. It doesn’t matter if it is an airline, hotel, or whatever; robbery is robbery.
It was my understanding from another report of the incident that the connection provided the option of being cut off when the maximum was reached, and he deliberately chose not to do that. I sympathize with him for making an expensive mistake, something any of us can do in an unthinking moment. But I don’t think he is entitled to forgiveness of the fee. I would be more sympathetic if he were an unsophisticated user, but anyone using this type of equipment to engage in business activities while flying must have a reasonable understanding of how usage mounts up.
If you are paying for anything based on the amount of what you use and are not measuring your usage, then you deserve whatever overbilling you are charged, no matter how outrageous. It’s time people accepted responsibility for our own actions and quit screaming in outrage when our lack of attention to what we are doing bites us upon our nether parts.
@Paul C. Schulte
There are apps that show you how much data you are using in real time. I had two of them for when I had to occasionally use my windows laptop tethered to my phone. They exist for phones as well, but I haven’t been able to find one for the Chromebook I’m using now.
We are going to have to get an app to calculate what our wifi costs are going to be. I thought the idea was that all these wifi costs were a ‘business expense’ and that is how these hotels and airlines are getting away with gouging the traveling public.
Send Singapore Airlines a bill for that artFay smell in the toilet room. And the late fee when the plane was late. And the penalty for the ugly Stewardess. Remind readers worldwide about the thieving practices of Singapore Airlines. Don’t let them land in America if they are scamming our people.
The only problem I have with the airline is that they didn’t cut him off or provide a warning when the purchased limit was reached. Otherwise, it’s the guy’s own fault.
He knew he was paying $1 per mb and that he only purchased 30 mb. The charge is high, but it was disclosed. You can use up 30 mb in seconds. Click on an email attachment or a high bandwidth wed page and it’s gone. Another way to use up your allotment without realizing it is to have apps on your device update automatically in the background. If you don’t turn that off in this situation, your allotment is gone.
If you only have 30mb, you need to be using some kind of data compression like with Opera Turbo or Off Road or any number of mobile compression apps.
He runs a web site. He should have known better.
First it’s get out of the way of business and let them write the rules and now it’s business is shafting its customers and needs to be tamed..As an ‘entrepreneur’ he should have have the wherewithal to read the details of his wifi agreement and then either paid attention or suffer the consequences. He appears to have suffered the consequences. That’s what Randian, laissez-faire capitalism is all about. And that’s the kind of treatment you will likely receive from cable cos if net neutrality is abandoned by the communications lobbyist in control of the FCC, and the GOP’s ill informed Ted Cruz wacko wing.
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