Hotels & WiFi: How Many Charge for Access?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by IJ Reilly, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #1
    I just got back from staying three nights in a fairly upscale hotel owned by one of the world's largest and oldest hotel companies. I was dismayed to discover that this hardly inexpensive hotel had no complementary WiFi anywhere in the building. They charge $9.95 a day for access. I even called the desk to verify that this was the case. I may not travel as often as many people, but this is the first time in several years I've encountered a hotel with this policy. I've been provided with free WiFi access at even relatively inexpensive hotels and motels, if not always in the room, then somewhere on the premises. I've come to expect it. Is this wrong or unrealistic?

    For regular travelers: Do many hotels still insist on charging for access?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I'd say a scarily large number! In my experience free is abnormal :(
     
  3. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    That would be in Europe and the UK, I take it?
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Mostly. The Sherton on the Park in Sydney normally charges for wired access in the room (or did last year) but my company has a deal so it's free. And the hotel I stayed in in Tokyo only had Internet in some rooms and I didn't manage to snag one, but it did have free WiFi in the bar downstairs...
     
  5. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #5
    In my experiences, the numbers of hotels which charge the $9.95 wirelesss fee are decreasing due, I'm sure in part, to clients who voice their complaints. It's not acceptable if like a middle chain, Hampton Inn, can give free internet wireless, but a four or five star feels like they can. It seems to be regional, too.

    We had to stay over a weekend recently in a po-dunk city and in an off brand hotel (one of those drive your car up and park in front of the door kind), and thought, man how can we do without internet access for three days? They had free wireless. :)
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #6
    In the few hotels I've stayed in on the Continent ("Europe and the UK"?? :rolleyes: ) wi-fi access has generally been free (and they certainly weren't 5-star hotels).
     
  7. rijiMacDij macrumors regular

    #7
    Confirming the Ripp-off

    I have also recently been horrified.

    I stayed at The Mercure Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania, which is a member of the Accor Hotels group, and thought I better check the fine print before I established a connection. This Hotel room was priced in the middle to upper middle range.

    Thankfully I checked because the rates were, are you sitting down, somewhere around a dollar a minute and topped out at around $30.00 a day :eek:

    To make matters worse, I tried using the room phone line to establish a dial-up connection with my ISP's national local call number and it tried to connect me long distance which is probably even more expensive.

    Down in the lobby there were a couple of internet access kiosks where anyone with a camera could look over your shoulder and record you entering personal details.
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #8
    I'm clearly staying in the wrong places!
     
  9. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #9
    Forgot to mention, we missed a flight out of Miami and had to stay one night in a Wyndam (sp). They advertised free wireless, but a $9.95 charge appeared on the checkout. I called them on it, and they took it off.
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #10
    Every hotel I stayed in during 2006 provided a free ethernet connection, but no Wi-Fi. That included two in Italy, one in the Czech Republic and one in northern England.
     
  11. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #11
    Describing Britons as "European" can also result in :rolleyes:. Will you people kindly decide whether you want to be European? It's damned confusing to the rest of us.
     
  12. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #12
    Last hotel I went to had free Ethernet , no Wi-Fi(as far as I knew, didn't bring my laptop{bad idea})

    They also had a public Dell PC w/ IE for anyone to use. I went on and downloaded FireFox...and it let me! Why would a "public"(basicly) computer let me have Admin access?


    I should have installed Linux :) Alas I didn't have my LiveCD:p
     
  13. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #13
    I've seen this trick, and I hate it. They'll happily charge you if you don't notice. I've also been in hotels where the login page theoretically requires registration and a charge, but the desk gives you the password when you check in. I assume this is to prevent poaching.
     
  14. bbergie macrumors regular

    bbergie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #14
    In my experience, I've found that the vast majority of hotels I've stayed in offer free wireless or ethernet Internet connections. It seems to be a rare but growing occurrence to find hotels that like to charge for such services. Hopefully, the free Internet providers win this inconsistency in the hotel and service industry. :)
     
  15. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #15
    DoubleTree offers free wireless. At least where I go. Plus, they have the best cookies. You get one for free when you check in. Yumm!
     
  16. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    I went to the DoubleTree in NYC 2 years ago and those cookies were certainly good. And the Christmas tree in that lobby was really nice.
     
  17. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #17
    So here's the irony: Double Tree is the Hilton budget chain. The hotel I stayed at this weekend was a Hilton. I suppose they figure that if you can afford to stay at one of their better hotels that you won't mind being dinged for wifi.
     
  18. rijiMacDij macrumors regular

    #18
    Perhaps they figure that most people staying in the better rooms will be claiming it as a tax deduction or it is being payed for by their employer so they don't particularly care.
     
  19. shecky Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #19
    when a client is not footing the bill, i usually stay at one of the choice hotels chain of hotels (Quality Inn, Clarion Inn, etc..) most of which usually include ethernet or wifi in the room rate.

    i am staying at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Seattle in june for a few days and they also include wifi.
     
  20. rijiMacDij macrumors regular

    #20
    In Australia the Telco's like you to feel priveledged just to have a connection at all, so the mentality is probably vastly different to the US.

    Our (now partly privatised) Government Telco, Telstra, just recently took the brakes off ADSL, which had been artificially choked. They released incremental upgrades over the past few years with exhorbitant charges and 2 year locked-in contracts etc, so it's no surprise that the hotel chains extend this mentality to increase their profit. :mad:
     
  21. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #21
    I was very surprised to learn my $200/night room at the Las Vegas Hilton did not provide free internet. It was an additional charge, but I forget what it was. I would have been bummed, except I took them for over $4,500.00 in the week I was there.

    I would not consider myself a 'frequent' traveller. I averaged ~6 trips (with says >2 nights) per year, over the past four years. My observations are:

    Based on Western US and Hawaiian ***/**** Hotels

    1) Usually provide DSL if the hotel is not part of a major chain.
    2) Major chains usually offer free DSL if it is not in a major tourist area, otherwise they charge extra.
    3) Wireless has been about 50/50 availability where I have stayed.
    4) Most places, which charged extra, offered free dial-up service.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #22
    Actually, I think that's the general pattern... my experience has been that it's very common for the Holiday Inn Express sort of hotels to have free internet access... it's relatively rare for upscale chains, particularly, to offer it. My experience with private hotels has been more variable and unpredictable. But with chains, cheaper ones tend to advertise it as a perk -- particularly any <$100 / night interstate-side hotels -- and nicer ones charge because they can.
     
  23. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #23
    4 and 5 star hotels charge for internet because they can. If they are charging $250+/night for a room to begin with, you probably aren't paying for it (business trip), dont really care about the extra $10 or don't need internet access.

    The reason why 3 star hotels or motels have free wi-fi because they have to draw in customers.
     
  24. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #24
    that's my experience too.....the more expensive hotels often charge for it, and the more moderately priced hotels offer it free as an incentive to get you to stay there
     
  25. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    North Dakota
    #25
    Almost all hotels I have been to had free WiFI
     

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