Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is Fon cheating Bills out of money?

As far as bills are concerned they receive 50% of the of the money made from aliens buying passes on their hot spot. Heres a quote from Fons website:

"Make Money with your WiFi
Make money

Foneros can now both connect for free and make a little money by participating in the FON Community. It’s easy. Every time a visitor (non-Fonero) detects your WiFi signal there’s a good chance you can make a bit of “dinero”.

with your WiFi

FON will pay you 50% of the net revenue that we get every time a visitor purchases a FON Access Pass through your FON Spot! There’s more. To help you promote your FON Spot, visitors can get 15 minutes of free access to trial the service before start purchasing FON Access passes from you! And we even pay you for this!

FON also gives you the option to personalize your FON Spot and maximize your coverage up to 5 times with our long range antenna, the La Fontenna.

Want to help build a WiFi planet and make a little money while doing it?

There are three easy steps to start making some money with the FON Community (at FON we call this type of user “Bill”):

  1. Join FON
  2. Get La Fonera
  3. Become a Bill in your Userzone and enter your PayPal Account to get paid.

Already a Fonero but not making money yet? Change your profile to “Bill” and see how much money you’re making in your User Zone. Remember, Foneros can now do both: roam for free and make some money!"


Now, a member on the Fon boards posted what he made and then El Fon Blog took the time to analyze how much the poster made, how much Fon took, and how much is given to paypal, taxes, etc. Now this person (from the UK) ended up making only 36% instead of the 50% that they should have. Unfortunately there is still is a bunch of missing information and stuff that Fon will never disclose.
I have made a whopping $1.50 in the past year (never paid and I probably will never see the money any time soon) and as far as I am concerned Fon will never be profitable for me (as well as many other Foneros I imagine). Since I do not know too much about this whole situation I encourage people who have information about this topic please bring in forward on the Boards so we can crack down on Fon's shenanigans. Like always check out the links below and spread the word.

Fon boards: "Why is there a huge $30 limit to payout?"

El Fon Blog: "Fon does not split money 50/50"


  1. I've been struggling with Fon customer service to acquire this information as it applies in the USA, and they've been playing VERY disturbing word games with me! My correspondence has been with Arthur Gallanter of Fon's Customer Care department. Gallanter is also the new moderator of Fon's English discussion board, and son of Fon's "Chief USA Fonero" Joanna Rees-Gallanter.

    Let’s just say he doesn’t know the meaning of customer care. He’s provided numerous factually wrong answers, deliberately misunderstood my questions, and pulled every other trick in the book to evade helping me.

    FYI: He's also warned me that he will BAN ME (and me alone, apparently) from Fon's discussion board if I ever write anything negative about Fon again. He complains that my writing has not been "balanced" enough!

    Fon can make any excuses that it wants. As long as it withholds information like this, and plays contemptuous games with those who pursue disclosure, they're only showing that they have something big to hide. For instance, perhaps Fon really takes 2/3 of the revenue in the USA!

  2. In the UK, the VAT is 17.5% *on top* of the net price. For example, if you sell something you want £100 for, you'll have to mark it £117.5 and give £17.50 to the HM Revenue and Customs.

    However, if you sell something for only £100, you give a little bit less to the HMRC, £14.89. (100-100/1.175)

    So really, there is an additional £2.61 that Fon has to account for here.

  3. In the pie chart, the percentages listed should be read as "percentage of the gross €3 collected"

  4. the uk fonera users cannot make any money anymore