Hotel wifi

October 24th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Matthew Backhouse at NZ Herald reports:

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.

It’s like charging for water. I can understand 10 years ago charging extra for wifi, but the vast majority of hotel guests today will want wifi – either because they are travelling from overseas or to reduce their mobile data usage.

What I want to do one day is set up a website (or get an accom website to do it) which lists the wifi charges for every hotel and motel in NZ, so people can pick ones with cheap or free wifi. I think that would provide an incentive for more accom providers to stop charging for it. Whne you have have paid over $200 for a room, it is aggravating to be told 24 hours of wifi will cost more than a month’s data for a residence.

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.

I used to have a vodem, just to avoid hotel wifi charges. Now I tether my iPhone.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden disagreed that free Wi-Fi was the norm overseas, saying he had been charged as much as $30 a day during a recent trip to Europe and America.

Now sure where Martin stayed, but in the US it is free most places I have stayed at.

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28 Responses to “Hotel wifi”

  1. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Does anyone know a website that list motels/hotels that have free wifi in NZ?

    I spend a lot on accomodation around NZ and its a bit of a mission finding out sometimes. It would be much simpler to simply be able to use a list to get names from rather than having to ring around everytime.

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  2. Andrew McMillan (44 comments) says:

    The cost of hotel Wi-Fi is annoying, but I’d suggest it’s only equally as annoying as the exorbitant rate hotels charge for a couple of bits of toast.

    Can you look into that too please David? :P

    Oh, and don’t get me started on laundry!

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  3. Mobile Michael (364 comments) says:

    I’m about to head off for a holiday in the US, and every hotel I researched had free wifi. It looks like most stores and attractions have it to attract customers, I suspect that you will not lack free internet anywhere in the US where is someone wanting to part you from your money.

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  4. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    I think to charge for Wifi you need to be on UFB & delivering the capability to stream HD movies, otherwise there is no additional service. Like dpf I tether ( albeit Android ), partially it’s the cost, but equally it’s the appalling quality of the paid for Wifi.
    Though my single biggest beef is the lack of power points, not being able to charge my smartphone on the bedside table is the single biggest inconvenience I find in hotel/motel rooms.

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  5. PaulL (5,774 comments) says:

    Laundry I agree. In the US on holiday at the moment – the cheaper the hotel the more likely to have free wifi. In Boston the expensive hotel we’re in wants $14.95 a night, free wifi in the lobby. So it’s still mixed.

    I got a US sim card for the iPhone – t- mobile prepay. Crap coverage and 2g speed, and blocks tethering. But nobody else did one once we were here. There are sims you can buy before you come so you can get AT&T. Surprising how hard it is to travel without mobile Internet.

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  6. Colville (1,771 comments) says:

    I went thru a handful of countries in South America a few years back, free wifi and computers everywhere we stayed.

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  7. Seán (396 comments) says:

    What I want to do one day is set up a website (or get an accom website to do it) which lists the wifi charges for every hotel and motel in NZ

    booking.com generally always states the wifi/internet situation.

    Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden disagreed that free Wi-Fi was the norm overseas, saying he had been charged as much as $30 a day during a recent trip to Europe and America.

    Nonsense. Included free wifi is the norm in Europe. It’s now the exception if it isn’t.

    And it’s also funny that NZ still has data caps on general internet broadband accounts. Old skool in Europe.

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  8. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (552 comments) says:

    I’ve always had free wifi in hotels within the US. If not in the room then certainly in the lobby or bar. Yeah laundry is always an issue, Las Vegas is the worst.

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  9. Lipo (226 comments) says:

    Don’t you think if we are going to have free Wi-Fi in hotels and motels that we can also expect free porn

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  10. Seán (396 comments) says:

    Though my single biggest beef is the lack of power points, not being able to charge my smartphone on the bedside table is the single biggest inconvenience I find in hotel/motel rooms.

    PaulL – indeed, this is often the case, especially when the following is needed to be charged overnight: laptop and/or iPad, cellphone/smartphone, camera battery, and iPod.

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  11. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    You do not have to use the hotel’s wifi system.

    Just use a pay as you go usb modem. (preferably the type with the plug in antenna for low reception areas)

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  12. big bruv (12,349 comments) says:

    So many people wanting something else for “free”. If you don’t want to pay the going rate then use other means to go on line.

    How is it that we have become such a nation of bludgers?

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  13. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    I use mobile Internet and never bother with hotel service. This is an example of excessive charges discouraging demand to such a degree it becomes counterproductive. The same could be said for minibar charges. I never or hardly ever bother. Lower the charges and usage goes up and revenue increases.

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  14. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    hotel wifi is a rip in NZ. i just use my tablet or tether my phone now.

    free wifi would influence where i stay though. a competitive edge for someone..

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  15. Tookinator (195 comments) says:

    I agree with Big Bruv. I run a motel (offering free wifi) some weeks I go through 20gig. This amongst other things obviously reduces my bottom line, then the customer also wants discounts for being old, aa member and a hundred other reasons, yet our rates have had to stay the same for a good few years to remain competitive with other local motels.
    And with the free wifi where do I stand as the account holder if guests download copyright material?

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  16. MarkF (89 comments) says:

    I have just finished driving 6000km across the US (through the north). Interestingly the upmarket hotels (a la Harrahs Reno, Bellagio Las Vegas and the Monaco, Salt lake City) all wanted to charge for WiFi but the “lowly” Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels it was free. Go figure?

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  17. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    took – quick fact, your customers dont care about your problems or bottom line.

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  18. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I was very pissed off when staying at a lodge down in Tongariro that advertised “Free Wifi” only to find that “Free” actually meant that they used this company:
    http://www.zenbu.net.nz/
    Each day we could go to the office and get a “Free!” $2 coupon for 20mb of data – when that ran out we could buy extra data at 10c per Megabyte.
    It was enough to quickly check email each day. – but not what I was expecting when they told us ‘Free Wifi’.

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  19. mister nui (880 comments) says:

    As someone who travels extensively all over the world and spends ~200 nights in hotels a year, mostly 4/5 star, I agree with Mr. Snedden, that generally hotel WIFI is not free.

    Hotel WIFI is a rip-off wherever you go, if you don’t like it don’t use it, and shut the fuck up with your whinging. There are so many ways to avoid these charges, it’s just most are too lazy or too damn stupid to work out how. End of.

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  20. mister nui (880 comments) says:

    Furthermore, hotels aren’t going to make it free, because all you “once a year 2 nights on a weekend rate” users aren’t where they make their money.

    They make their money from the corporates who are going to buy the WIFI package regardless, because they can expense it.

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  21. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    Plenty of places in the USA charge for wifi.

    For example, I recently stayed at the luxurious 4 Seasons for about NZ$800 a night — I paid for wifi on top of that.

    The places where wifi is free, often it is soooo slow, and some hotels will offer a faster connection for a top-up payment.

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  22. Rich Prick (1,320 comments) says:

    Yes, but have you seen what they charge for porn?! Should that also be “free”?

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  23. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    Yes those on company and government expense account don’t care about charges and the “weekenders” like me can use our own which is what I do. I guess the high rates can be expensed and will discourage excessive use.

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  24. dave_c_ (205 comments) says:

    Mister Nui 9:53am – Rather than being abusive, and attempting to show your superiority – how about spending two or three minutes explaining the options for the uninitiated.

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  25. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    @barry – I have stayed in couple of motels this week. Both were down-market flea pits really and had free wifi. I think it is becoming a necessity like lights and heating in motels.

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  26. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    I will never stay in somewhere that doesn’t have free wifi.

    I realise it’s just another cost for the hotel. I realise that it is essentially added on to the fee anyway.

    But it is so necessary, that I flat out refuse to book somewhere without it. Even if that place was $40 cheaper, and the wifi only cost $5. It should be included.

    Hotels have plenty of costs that are included (water, toilet paper, soap, electricity). Does anyone watch those shitty Sky Channels or pay-to-play movies they have? If I want a movie, I’ll watch one I’ve downloaded on a laptop, not some poorly edited hotel version.

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  27. questions (132 comments) says:

    big bruv Says:
    “So many people wanting something else for “free”.”

    Sigh…. there’s always one idiot…

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  28. hotelwifi (1 comment) says:

    Thanks Matthew Backhouse, good advice.If you are looking for professional software, take a look at antamedia.com. It helps you create WiFi HotSpot and offers a lot of features for user management.

    For Latest Updates Visit: http://www.antamedia.com/hotspot-billing/

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