Expensive Internet Charges Still Plague Hotel PatronsBy: Chris Richardson - June 15, 2012
A little under a year ago, a report was released discussing how high-end hotels further gouge their customers by charging them an excessive amount to connect to the establishment’s Internet. Surprisingly, this behavior was staunchly defended by people who essentially said, “it’s fine to pay a premium for Internet access when I’m staying at five-star hotel because I get such good service…” or something similar.
Defeatist thinking aside, it appears as if expensive hotels aren’t the only ones who enjoy sticking it to their customers who would like to surf the web from their hotel room. As pointed out by the Frequent Business Traveler, the top hotel pet peeve remains “Expensive Internet.”
To reach this conclusion, FBT conducted a survey that had over 750 participants, as well as participant in an online discussion at FlyerTalk.com. The culled conversation had over 300 comments and close 40,000 overall views. Voluntary response biases associated with surveys aside, the findings concerning hotel pet peeves are about what you’d expect, with Internet access cost winning the day. The finding were presented in an HTML table format, of which, screenshots have been taken:
As you can see, aside from holding down the top spot, Internet use represents two of the top three issues travelers face, and unlike last year’s report, this survey didn’t just focus on the expensive luxury hotels. Or, as the Frequent Business Traveler article pointed out:
Over 750 readers participated in the survey, and their top peeves – expensive Internet, inaccessible/insufficient electrical outlets, and weak/slow Internet – were all tech related. These results speak to business travelers’ priorities these days, as they try to stay mobile and work on the go.
The question is posed about why is it so difficult for these businesses to provide reliable Internet service for their customers, preferably for prices that are reasonable, if not free*. Unfortunately, no answers or solutions are provided, meaning the best way to combat such price gouging is to let your wallet speak for you. That is, don’t order the Internet service from hotels. Go find a restaurant or Starbucks that has free WiFi instead.
*Instead of free, hotels could, quite easily, alter the way they charge for Internet access by building these charges directly into the price of staying at the hotel. Add an additional surcharge to every bill, something along the lines of two or three dollars on each bill, which, in turn would allow every patron to access the Internet, whether they use it or not. Considering the way other hotel charges exist to assist in the upkeep of the facility, an additional surcharge to ensure quality Internet access doesn’t seem like a bad idea.