Matthew Backhouse at NZ Herald reports:
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.
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.