When Hotels Rip You Off

What is it so-called lottery and resort hotels? They are nickeling and diming us for items that you can get for free at many lower-priced motel chains. One of the items that luxury and resort hotels seem to always charge for, and which aggregates me the most, the use of Wi-Fi Internet access. In today’s world Internet access is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity, or at least we seem to think so. In a large hotel it is often difficult to get normal cellular access to the Internet so we are often at the mercy of the hotel’s Wi-Fi network for that service.

Today you can stay at most moderately priced hotel chains and get free Wi-Fi Internet access, and that goes for some of lower priced chains as well. I recently stayed at a Super 8 Motel while attending a bonsai convention in a fairly rural area and had free Wi-Fi. It’s not uncommon for fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s, to supply their customers with free Wi-Fi access. Now how is it that cheaper hotels charging reasonable rates can afford supply their guests with free Wi-Fi while luxury and resort hotels apparently cannot afford to do so. Why is it that fast food joints which make their money selling hamburgers and fries can offer free Wi-Fi but luxury and resort hotels apparently cannot.

There’s an easy answer. When hotels which are charging $250 a night and often much more for their rooms charge you for “amenities” such as Wi-Fi access, they’re just trying to extract every dime that they can from their patrons. Just because I can afford to stay in one of these hotels doesn’t mean that I enjoy getting taken to the cleaners by these money hungry hotel corporations. And it looks like I’m not alone on that score.

In a recent CNN article they quoted the latest JD Powers ratings of hotels which dropped approximately 10% last year to the lowest level in the last seven years. “One item in particular — Internet costs and fees — is pressing some guests’ buttons, churning up resentment, frustration and anger,’ says Stuart Greif, a J.D. Power vice president. ‘At the luxury level, where they’re paying for a lot more, there’s a feeling you should be giving more freebies, like Internet Wi-Fi, which many lower priced hotels offer for free.”

But you know, it’s partially our fault, the fault of those of us who can afford to stay at these luxury hotels. As long as we continue to pay these Wi-Fi fees without complaint they’ll continue to charge us for them. If I’m stuck in the future staying at a particular resort hotel because that’s where the convention I’m attending happens to be, The front desk is going to have to put up with my complaints. And if I have a choice as to which hotel I’m going to stay, it’s going to be the ones that are more accommodating to their guest needs. If we all adopt that attitude sooner or later the hotels will get the message.

Cajun 6/8/2015

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