Hotels Woeful WiFi

I am sitting writing this in McDonalds in Auckland, New Zealand simply because they very kindly offer free WiFi to customers. I should be able to to use WiFi at my hotel. I am staying at the Mecure Windsor, which is about 100 metres away from McDonalds. I have booked two rooms there, as I am travelling with family and, like most people these days, I need a WiFi connection to help me stay in touch with family, friends and business colleagues.

My demands aren’t great. For instance, I don’t use WiFi indiscriminately. I don’t download movies, or very large files. I normally use it for emails, updating my website, Facebook and Twitter, and, when I am travelling I will also check Google Maps to plan my route.

The Mercure at which I am staying does in fact provide Wifi to guests. However, the only way you can access it is to sit in their foyer, along with other users, and you are entitled to just 30 minutes and have a download limit of just 8mb. In this day and age, when many people use the net to share photos, videos and other information, 8mb is nothing. A couple who were. sitting opposite me were trying to email one photo of their holiday to their daughter, but because of the 8mb limit couldn’t send it.

This is quite disgraceful customer service! In fact, the service is so bad and so stingy that it shows utter contempt for customers. The Accor Group, of which Mercure is one of their brands is supposed to be in the service industry, it even refers to itslef as the world’s leading hotel manager, yet it fails to offer a service for such a basic need as WiFi.

These days WiFi is not a luxury. It is a need. It is something that most customers need to access. It is as important as providing a bed, a hot shower and toilet paper. Hotels wouldn’t have any clientele whatsoever is they didn’t provide any of all of those necessities, so when are they going to learn that the provision of WiFi is very important to a growing number of their clients.

Why should a customer have to leave the comfort of their expensive room to go an find a McDonalds, just so they can use WiFi to keep in touch with people?

Here’s a little tip for hotels which don’t provide WiFi for clients; don’t pay those expensive fees for satellite TV services, and use the money you have saved to provide a decent WiFi service.

If I really want to keep up with the news, if I really wish to look at a screen, I can happily watch my iPad for a while. I no longer need the TV, but I do need to be connected.

Put a fair and reasonable on usage, I don’t really care, but at least give me some access when I am travelling. I predict that hotels which don’t provide a reasonable level of free WiFi will find that their miserliness will cost them much more than the cost of WiFi as customers desert them to flock go support hotels that do provide WiFi.

WiFi is no longer a luxury or a gimmick, it is a fact of life. If hotels don’t face the facts, they will face closure instead.

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