2011-02-11 19:00 — By Erik van Eykelen

10 Things to Fix With Hotel Internet Connection Services

  1. Don’t make me sign-in[1] with long access codes that make no sense. The room number plus my initials should suffice e.g. 511eve.

  2. Don’t redirect me your (cough) Flash hotel home page after I’ve signed in. Instead, redirect me to the page I wanted to go to in the first place.

  3. Allow me setup my own mini wireless network[2]. In this way I can use my phone, a tablet and laptop in my room without having to sign in again on every device. Often this is not possible due to frustrating “smart” blocking on MAC addresses, user agent headers and what not.

  4. Always provide a sign in code to every guest, don’t make me have to ask for it when checking in or call down to the lobby.

  5. Don’t charge extra for the internet connection. You don’t charge extra for the use of water, electricity, or air conditioning. I expect hot water to be present in the room, the same applies to an internet connection.

  6. Let the connection session time-out after e.g. 34 hours instead of 24 hours. It’s likely that I check my email every morning around the same time so timing out after 34 hours means I have to sign in less often.

  7. Provide enough bandwidth. Perform a regular speed test yourself and upgrade the pipe if the speeds drop below 2 mbit on average, measured daily over 2 weeks.

  8. Don’t make guests have to switch rooms because the room has a spotty wifi signal. Having to switch rooms is annoying for the guest and expensive for the hotel (two rooms to clean and prepare for the next guest). Installing a repeater is cheaper (when you look at the bigger picture, including customer churn and housekeeping costs).

  9. Don’t block ports or protocols. Let me use SSH. I need it for my work.

  10. Don’t force me to keep open some lame pop-up to stay signed in. It’s brittle and it doesn’t work with modern browsers with built-in pop-up blockers. Moreover it doesn’t work on smart phones, tablets, or a personal wifi router.

[1] Many hotels are in densely populated urban areas. Nearby offices should not be able to have a free ride on the hotel network so I understand the requirement to sign in.

[2] I always bring my Apple Airport Express with me when traveling since it’s not much larger than a laptop charger.

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