Thursday, 17 January 2008

The customer is always right, as long as you can rip him off

I am starting to get tired of hotels not offering free WiFi. We all know the cost of the service... U$S 99 for a router you can share among different rooms, a broadband connection that you can cap per user and some technical support. Instead, you get U$S 500 flat screen TVs and cable, that nobody really needs or wants. Amazingly, cheap hotels and hostels realize that it is a useful service they can easily provide, and give it away more often than upscale hotels. I can think of three reasons why that happens: the first two are convenient and the last one, sadly, is the most likely.

  1. Inertia: hotel chains take a long time to make a decision, since they have to check with their technical departments, ask for several quotes, discuss the quotes, negotiate an order, get it delivered, etc. while a small hotel owner just goes to the neighborhood store and buys U$S 2000 worth of equipment and some network access
  2. Not understanding the market requirements: Nobody needs Internet Access in a hotel... it will take only a couple of years until it is an absolute barrier of entry, just give it time.
  3. Cuts into their profits: this is the sad truth. Do hotels really want to replace their U$S 10.95 movies and U$S 5 a minute calls with free movies (and porn) and 3 cents Skype? I don't think so.

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PPC Management said...

Hi there, just found your blog.
Great post. Free wifi one day perhaps, sadly in the UK it's a rip off just to make phone calls from hotel rooms.

Luis Sigal said...

Thanks for the comment; my worst experience so far was 20 U$S for 2 minutes in the USA. I've learnt my lesson: ALWAYS ask before making a call.

Opspin said...

So true, I recently won a trip to London that came with a hotel stay, I was not impressed at all!

I actually wrote a review of the hotel on Google Maps. It was great to have a voice that mattered just as much as the 104 other review drones, most of which just goes on and on about the hotels prime location.

It might actually help them make a speedier decition to include wifi in all rooms for free!

sesi said...


ppc consultant said...

Well here is my post some 3 years on...I still feel phone calls from hotel rooms are expensive in the UK! But nothing compares to Bali...Even internal calls within the country and very expensive..

I wonder what other peoples comments are with the "rip-off" world we live in?