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Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 10:07 PM
Free the Internet
Eric McNulty on Travel

Joe Sharkey wrote a column in the NY Times a couple of weeks back grousing about being charged for Internet access at hotels (I won't link to the article because the Times charges for archives access). I am just now completing four week, six hotel, five city, three continent tour and I have to agree with him: the Internet is like the air conditioning and should be part of the base charge for the room.

Of the hotels I've stayed in two offered free high-speed access, two charged, one had a service outage the night that I was there and I didn't spend enough time at the other to even try.

The kicker: the most expensive of the bunch was one of the two that charged for access.\n\nAccording to Sharkey, one of the hoteliers that doen't offer free access rationalizes this by saying that only a fraction of guests uses the Internet and thus everyone shouldn't have a higher room rate because of a service that not everyone needs or uses.\n\nGiven how inexpensive Internet access has become, this arguement seems ridiculous. Every room has cable even though not everyone watches TV. I've never used the provided shower cap but apparently they find it appropriate to factor the cost of one into every room.\n\nI have a theory about why hotels want to charge for Inerntet access but I won't share it until this post has been out there for awhile.\n\nI demand high-speed access as a basic service to be provided by any hotel where I stay. Increasingly, free access is becoming the threshhold. \n\nWhat do you think?


Courtney Gidts - 11/11/2005 4:55:54 PM
I've managed to save up roughly $53602 in my bank account, but I'm not sure if I should buy a house or not. Do you think the market is stable or do you think that home prices will decrease by a lot?
Janet Auty-Carlisle - 10/29/2005 5:31:09 PM
Ok, I know this will sound trite, and yes I know travel with work is not all it's cracked up to be....but....I wish I had such problems right now. I am grounded for a while with school and related expenses and the thought of travel is very enticing...even if it means I have to be inconvenienced by inconsiderate internet interns....Living la vida grounded...for now....Jan
Mark Sicignano - 10/29/2005 4:28:51 PM
I agree it's a basic service. Like having a phone in the room, or a television. It's a shame that the charge as much for a room as they do, and then want to put the screws to their customers further by charging for so many other things.

Somebody else complained on about the hotel that wanted to charge them an exorbitant per page fee to use their printers (like $10 per page or more) to print their etickets for their return flight. It's robbery.

On another funny note, you didn't link to the NYT article because they charge for access to it. That's another shame. Just think... if they made it accessible for free, instead of requesting a payment to view the article, they would have gotten you to link, and us readers might have clicked to arrive at their site to read the article. We would have also seen the advertisers on the site, which is what helps them pay their bills, no? Don't you want people to click onto your site?

Some businesses just don't have a clue how to make new customers and please their current ones.
Jeroen - 10/27/2005 7:00:34 AM
I agree with you that Internet should be included in the hotel fee. Besides that, I would really appreciate it if they could make it easier to connect to the Internet. The last time I wanted to connect Internet, I had to walk up to the front desk to pay and then to the bar to get my access code, which back in my room appeared to be expired. I had to do the same thing again to get a valid code.
With the shower cap they got at least the logistic part correct.


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