Free Wi-Fi is not always best for your customerPosted: January 31, 2009 | |
Anton Mannering writes about the frustration of the Wi-Fi service in one of Dublin’s well known budget hotel chains.
So I’m staying here and they have free internet which is great except there’s no cable in the room. I call reception and no one answers so I head on down to reception and find a very swamped but very hard working receptionist working very hard. I tell her my problem and she asks do I have a cable, I say I don’t and she explains to me that the cables they have are all out with guests in their rooms but that they have free WiFi in the lobby and Bar though. A bit bemused I head over to sit in the bar where the Wifi doesn’t work. I then go to the lobby and to different D$ networks don’t work there either.
He continues …
I notice a young slim chap huddled over a mac in the full draft of the front doors and I obviously ask. It appears he has found the drip of WiFi that’s working and eyes me suspiciously as though I’m as though I’ll interfere with his precious supply (or perhaps slow his downloading of porn which he’ll bring back to his room later). Either way I haven’t the least intention of sitting in the freezing draft.
I decide to check with the overworked receptionist who very kindly offered me the use of a meeting room to work in which she assures me has it’s own wifi. I am thrilled but of course the wifi doesn’t work. I return to her and she is so downtrodden that I offer that to help fix it if she can find me the node. She shows me to another conferenc room where low the hallowed supplier of wifi is to be found. I unplug the cable form the back to check it’s ethernet supply is working. You guessed it no internet to the node…
I moved it to another node and the problem was solved which has allowed me to work for the evening and now tell you my sorry tale.
The problem here is that like so many people staying in our nation’s hotels, Anton needed internet access in order to complete his work and booked the room on the promise of internet.
Hotels in Ireland seem to be of the notion that they must give away FREE Wi-Fi in order to remain competitive even though all around the world hotels are moving back to a quality charged Wi-Fi service. In order to give the service free, hotels are stringing together poor networks on a low budget with a poor back haul which is actually in the long run going to loose them customers and loose them money.
I’m not going to go down the should Wi-Fi be free or not road, their are certainly arguments for both, as with parking ! We (Bitbuzz) Irelands leading Wi-Fi provider operate both charagble and complementary products for our hotel location partners. What I will say is that weather you charge or not, make sure you do your customers the good service of offering and advertising a quality service that works and can cope with demand and if your a user that requires Wi-Fi for business or whatever purpose then makesure you find out what sort of service the hotel is running before choosing to stay there. Free is not always good !