Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Hotel Wi-Fi rates a 'rip-off'
I have long railed against the rates charged by hotels in New Zealand and Australia for providing Wi-Fi so I was delighted to read the story below in the NZH today.
I now refuse to stay in hotels that charge for Wi-Fi connection to their rooms. May I suggest that if we all did this then soon the service would be free, as it should be and as it is in almost all other parts of the world.. What I do is phone the hotel and ask if they have a room for the dates I want and when they say yes I ask if they provide free Wi-Fi connection. If they say yes I confirm the booking but if they say no I tell them in that case I will not be staying with them.Hopefully if enough of us do this they will get the message.
Now to the Herald story:
By Matthew Backhouse - New Zealand Herald - 23 October 2012
Hotels are charging exorbitant rates for Wi-Fi and guests are much better off paying for mobile internet, a consumer advocate says.
A survey of New Zealand's top central-city hotels, as rated by Five Star Alliance, has found only two offer free wireless internet in rooms - despite some exclusive suites costing more than $2000 a night.
The other top hotels either make guests buy packets of data or charge up to $45 a day.
The rates compare poorly with mobile data plans, which give 1GB of data for an average of $20 a month.
Jeff Thompson, who lived in a central Auckland hotel apartment when he moved from Britain, said he was charged $15 a day despite being a long-term resident.
"I thought it was scandalous. I've stayed in places all over the world and I've never been charged in my life for internet access."
He said visitors to New Zealand would assume hotels offered free internet - and would be surprised to learn otherwise.
Telecommunications Users' Association chief executive Paul Brislen said the rates were "astronomical".
"It's outrageous ... I don't think hoteliers really appreciate how important [Wi-Fi] is to travellers. It impacts on tourism quite badly, I would suspect."
Full story at The New Zealand Herald