Hotels that charge for Wi-fi

In this day and age, I am dumbfounded when hotels still charge for the use of Wi-fi Internet. Internet should be considered an essential service, especially for those travelling, on business or spending time away from family and friends. Having just come from a hotel stay where the rate for Internet was $10/day, I’m a bit mystified as to why this is still common practice.

The paradox

The reason that hotels charge for Internet usage is because they still feel like they can get away with it. They know that some customers are travelling with laptops and all the rest are travelling with a smart phone in their pocket. Therefore, every hotel customer will have the need – or at least preference – for wireless Internet service in their room. Basic Internet is needed for checking email, having video conferences, preparing presentations, or just catching up on Facebook. Realizing this, hotels try and make a quick buck by charging for Wi-fi.

The truth is, as a customer, if I have the choice between your hotel and another hotel that offers free wireless Internet, I will choose the other hotel, even if the net cost of my stay is the same at both places. In other words: If you’re going to charge me extra for Internet when I arrive at your hotel, then you’re a shady company, and I would much rather stay at a hotel who includes the marginal cost of connectivity in the cost of my room. Which brings me to my next point…

The cost

Ten dollars a day, per room? Are you serious? I don’t even need to do the math or the research to realize that this is a cash-grab. Internet is cheap, especially for the speeds that hotels deliver. When I can get an entire month of high speed Internet usage for only slightly more than your daily Internet rate, you’ve only reinforced the feeling that you’re just screwing me over in an attempt to gain a little bit more money out of my stay. Perhaps if Internet charges were along the lines of $1 a day or 50¢ a day, then I wouldn’t be here writing this article right now.

Why not charge for everything?

If money in your pocket is more important than customer satisfaction, then why don’t you start charging for the use of running water, electricity or linens? If you really want to increase your bottom line, then lock up the toilet paper and charge me $5 when I’m sitting on the toilet with no other options.

Obviously, I’d never visit your hotel ever again if this way the case, and I imagine your customer retention would be flushed down the drain  – pardon the pun. So when are you going to start realizing that your customers are already looking for hotels that include wireless Internet for free?

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