Hotel wifi – there oughta be a law!

I’m your typical only-slightly-left-of-center liberal, in that while I believe we need govt regulation and consumer-protection laws, I also believe market forces will auto-correct a lot of lame consumer offerings. Except when I personally feel jerked around – then it’s martial law time.

Case in point: hotel wifi. What kind of internet access do you have? we ask brightly. Wireless internet in all the rooms! they say brightly. Then you arrive, and begin to dimly realize that the real situation is some small underpowered wireless router hidden behind the boilers in the sub-basement of your 10-story hotel. And as long as they have one of those, somewhere, that’s powered up some of the time, they can say that, can’t they?

Clearly it’s past time for a Federal Bureau of Wireless Quality Inspection, complete with unsmiling G-man trenchcoat types impersonating laptop-toting guests, and their black-jumpsuited tech experts in wardrive vans monitoring signal strength to the microbar. Just think of the restauranteur’s fear of the Health Inspector (in the U.S.) or the Guide Michelin reviewer (in France) and you’ll see where I think we need to go with this.

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4 Responses to Hotel wifi – there oughta be a law!

  1. tom kirkham says:

    Let capitalism work it out. In fact, mention their name here in your blog.

  2. I recently stayed at a Marriott in Palm Desert, CA. They offered free wired Internet access, which worked great. Problem is, there was NO CELL PHONE COVERAGE in the area, so they milk you for phone charges and were hearing about it constantly from unhappy customers.

    Of course, they didn’t think of Skype, which can be used for free outgoing calls to landlines until the end of the year. I made liberal use of their “free” access and made a ton of calls.

    But, yes, the hotel where I stayed prior to this trip was a place in Fort Lauderdale touting free wireless access. Naturally, it consisted of a router in the breakfast room that didn’t reach half the property. I had take my laptop to the lobby to use it.

    Grrrrrr…

  3. Brian Mark says:

    What I find worse is going to a tech conference and they charge you $10/day for wireless in your room, then you get to the conferece room of the same hotel and it’s different wireless that you have to pay $5.99 for the first 5 minutes and 99 cents each minute after that. Talk about robbery.

  4. stas says:

    “What I find worse is going to a tech conference and they charge you $10/day for wireless in your room, then you get to the conferece room of the same hotel and it’s different wireless that you have to pay $5.99 for the first 5 minutes and 99 cents each minute after that. Talk about robbery.”
    you are quite right

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