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Old Jun 24, 12, 10:29 pm   #1
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Some hotels with free Wi-Fi consider charging for it

USA Today: Some hotels with free Wi-Fi consider charging for it

Living in Europe, I am not unfamiliar with having to pay for wifi at many hotels...I'm sure many would not be happy about this prospective change.

That said, I often find the price many properties charge for wifi (US or EU) to be absolutely ridiculous! But, with consumers sucking down bandwith, I guess a cost is likely inevitable!

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Some of the USA's biggest hotel chains that offer free Wi-Fi are considering adding charges after seeing insatiable demand for Internet bandwidth from guests.

No chain that includes Internet access in its room rate has pulled back on offering Wi-Fi for free, but some are giving customers the option of paying extra for upgraded bandwidth so they don't get frustrated by sluggish speeds.

Currently, Marriott International and Carlson Hotels have some locations that offer free Wi-Fi and a faster choice for an additional sum.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 5:22 am   #2
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I've seen this a lot in Europe, basic internet is for free. You get enough bandwidth for standard browsing, but no VOIP for example.

For a fee you get much faster internet and support for VOIP applications.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 1:36 pm   #3
 
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For a fee you get much faster internet and support for VOIP applications.
I'm OK with this as long as the faster internet is as advertised or I will be asking for a refund. This means I should be able to watch a movie and play an on-line game at the same time.

Last edited by cblaisd; Jun 30, 12 at 8:56 pm. Reason: Fixed quote-code
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Old Jun 26, 12, 1:30 pm   #4
 
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I've stayed in plenty of hotels in Europe without free wifi. Rwoman, I guess you're just lucky.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 3:04 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
I've stayed in plenty of hotels in Europe without free wifi. Rwoman, I guess you're just lucky.
Most places I've been in Europe DO charge for wifi...in the UK, I have my iPhone, but am not willing to pay data roaming elsewhere and rely on wifi when I can find it!
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Old Jun 30, 12, 7:31 am   #6
 
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LCC concept applied to hotels. I guess wi-fi is slowly turning in to the next "baggage fee".

If you want low cost room - you can stay without wi-fi and breakfast, if you want the internet and food you pay extra and sometimes even more then the price for the hotel room itself.
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Old Jun 30, 12, 1:23 pm   #7
 
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LCC concept applied to hotels. I guess wi-fi is slowly turning in to the next "baggage fee".

If you want low cost room - you can stay without wi-fi and breakfast, if you want the internet and food you pay extra and sometimes even more then the price for the hotel room itself.
The thing is that actual inexpensive hotels include for free the stuff that expensive hotels charge for. Stay in a Super 8 for $44.99 a night? Free wifi, free bottled water. Stay in the Hyatt for $299? That'll be $18.99 for the wifi and $4 a bottle for water.

Why do they do these things? I mean, I know the short answer is "because they can", but is the extra profit they make by selling these things at a ridiculous markup really sufficient to overcome the damage they're doing to their brand? I have a personal vendetta against Hyatt right now who tried to charge me $4.36 for a bottle of water I didn't even drink (or see!) -- was it really worth it, Hyatt?

Imagine if airlines worked the same way. Economy-class passengers get to use the restroom for free, but First-Class passengers have to pay nine bucks a pop. Hey, they've already told us they're price-insensitive, let's gouge 'em some more!
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Old Jul 1, 12, 3:56 pm   #8
 
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Why do they do these things? Because a lot of rich people are just plain stupid, sorry rich people, but most rich people are also so stupid they don't read (even the internet) so I'm probably not offending TOO many flyer talkers here. If you have your choice of customers, you would rather have the stupid ones, wouldn't you? A smart person can stay at Comfort Inn and have all kinds of room, free wifi, free fridge free breakfast, room safe, microwave, and so on...the stupid person stays at the Hyatt and has a tiny room with nothing in it unless you pay all kinds of fees. It costs money to be stupid. A lot of money. But I chuckle at the like of Super 8 thinking to go this route. They will have no customers. No rich stupid fool will stumble into the Super 8, and the middle class serious person who has to use his or head head to survive will simply go to Comfort Inn or Best Western. Or does Super 8 want to get in a golden showering match with Motel 6, who also nickles and dimes you for every little thing? Enjoy the race to the bottom...

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Originally Posted by Jorgen View Post

Why do they do these things? I mean, I know the short answer is "because they can", but is the extra profit they make by selling these things at a ridiculous markup really sufficient to overcome the damage they're doing to their brand? I have a personal vendetta against Hyatt right now who tried to charge me $4.36 for a bottle of water I didn't even drink (or see!) -- was it really worth it, Hyatt?

Imagine if airlines worked the same way. Economy-class passengers get to use the restroom for free, but First-Class passengers have to pay nine bucks a pop. Hey, they've already told us they're price-insensitive, let's gouge 'em some more!
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Old Jul 2, 12, 2:50 am   #9
 
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Because a lot of rich people are just plain stupid
Don't think of it as stupidity, think of it as facing different incentive structures. In particular, time is more valuable than money to the wealthy. If you're a corporate executive whose time is worth $1000/hour, does it make sense to spend time searching hotel websites when booking that romantic getaway with your spouse just to save $9.95 on internet access?
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Old Jul 4, 12, 9:25 am   #10
 
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Don't think of it as stupidity, think of it as facing different incentive structures. In particular, time is more valuable than money to the wealthy. If you're a corporate executive whose time is worth $1000/hour, does it make sense to spend time searching hotel websites when booking that romantic getaway with your spouse just to save $9.95 on internet access?
Ah, but that corporate executive has an executive assistant to make the booking for him/her.

Nickel and diming by the higher end hotels is a pet peeve of mine. I can afford luxury, but I got that way by being careful with my money, not by throwing it away on things that should have been included in the price. For me, luxury I'm willing to pay for is having lots of amenities I'll use without a second thought. Having a hotel sticking their hand out for more money every time I breath the air in my room is not luxury. It turns everything into a money decision instead of a relaxing experience. Is it worth it to spend $15 on Internet to send 3 e-mails? Am I willing to pay for the convenience of a $30 hotel breakfast or will I walk down the street for something cheaper?

Some of these hotels must survive by the business traveller expense account.

All that being said, I do see the point of tiered Internet access. For the tourist on a limited budget and the need to access e-mail and Facebook for a few minutes a day, give them free (slower Internet). The business traveller who needs VPN access to the office network for 3 hours a night and the ability to teleconference back to a meeting at the home office, their company can certainly justify the $15/day. And if they're doing extensive VOIP, it's probably saving them money anyway.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 9:32 am   #11
 
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Ah, but that corporate executive has an executive assistant to make the booking for him/her.
Not always. I consider the value of my time to be in this region, and still do all my own hotel and flight bookings. I enjoy planning travel nearly as much as I enjoy travelling, and outsourcing it to someone else would be a loss to me. At the same time, I really don't care about $9.95 for internet. Having to log into a website on arrival at the hotel slightly annoys me. Having do so again every 24 hours really annoys me. Paying for it does not.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:13 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by acunningham View Post
Don't think of it as stupidity, think of it as facing different incentive structures. In particular, time is more valuable than money to the wealthy. If you're a corporate executive whose time is worth $1000/hour, does it make sense to spend time searching hotel websites when booking that romantic getaway with your spouse just to save $9.95 on internet access?
Realistically, the average customer of the average Hilton, Hyatt or Sheraton isn't earning $1000 an hour, though. No doubt you'll find some very high earners coming through these hotels too, but on any given night the vast majority of rooms are being sold for one to two hundred bucks a night to the merely rich-ish, like... well, me!

The thing is that even when I'm on my boss's money I still won't pay for the wi-fi. Because if they query "Hey, why did you waste all this money for internet when you could have just gone down to Starbucks and used their wifi" I won't have a good answer; it's just not worth the mental effort. They probably won't ask, but why take the risk? (Of course if the hotel's room rate were just twenty bucks a night higher then nobody would bat an eyelid.) On the other hand, if it's my own money I'm definitely not gonna shell out; that feels like I'm being ripped off.

Someday perhaps I too will earn a thousand bucks an hour, then I can stop worrying about these sorts of things. Until then I'm stuck with it.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:18 pm   #13
 
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Realistically, the average customer of the average Hilton, Hyatt or Sheraton isn't earning $1000 an hour, though.
True, but what I was replying to was the "Because a lot of rich people are just plain stupid" part.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 4:32 pm   #14
 
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Old Jul 12, 12, 5:11 am   #15
 
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Some hotels with free Wi-Fi consider charging for it

I'm a big fan of Freakonomics. Love their podcasts.

I was comparing IC brand hotels in London. Hotel Indigo offered free wifi. That plus their proximity to Paddington led me to choose them.
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