Hotel Internet – Hyatt French Quarter

I write from my room at the Hyatt French Quarter.

Your hotel internet service stinks.

I would rather stay in a Hampton Inn or like that than a Hyatt.  You know why?  The internet service in cheap hotels just works.  Yours does not.

You advertise “free internet”, but it costs rather a lot in the inconvenience and irritation of your customers, who are paying you quite a lot of money for a nice experience.

I have three devices with me.  A laptop, a tablet, and a phone.  On each one, every day of my stay, at (apparently) a random time, each one stops working and I have to connect again.

Here is what that takes:

  • Try to use my email.  Doesn’t work
  • Remember that I have to FIRST use a web browser.
  • Connect to hotel WiFi (ok, this step is expected, once)
  • Get browser intercept screen
  • Type in my name and room number
  • Wait
  • Read offer to pay $5 extra for “good” internet service, rather than crappy. The text says this offer “lasts as long as your current package”  is that per day? Per stay? What?
  • Click “continue with current package”
  • Wait
  • Get connected to FACEBOOK.

Why?  I can’t explain it.  People my age think Facebook is something kids use
to share selfies.  The kids think Facebook is for, I don’t know, old people, they
are all on Twitter.

Then I have to remember what I wanted to do.

Are you serious?  Do you think this process, repeated for my three devices, EVERY DAY, is going to make me recommend your hotel?

Now let us talk about privacy.

It irritates me that you want my name and room number. I do not agree that you can track my activities online.  It is none of your business.  I run an encrypted proxy server back home.  So all your logs will show is that I set up one encrypted connection to the cloud for my web access.  My email connections are all encrypted.  My remote logins to the office are all encrypted.  My IMs are encrypted.
I read the terms and conditions, by the way.  They are linked off the sign on page.   They are poorly written legalese, and there are a number of ways to read them.  One way says that you track all my connections to websites but only link them to my personally identifiable information if you need to “to enforce our terms and conditions”.  They also say that you have no obligation to keep my activities confidential.  And who or what is Roomlynx?

Even if your terms said otherwise, I wouldn’t believe you.  I don’t trust you OR your service providers.

Here’s my suggestion:

I think all this effort you’ve gone to is a waste of time, effort, and money. You do not have the technical means to monitor or control how I use the net anyway, so why make your customers jump through hoops?

If your lawyers tell you these steps are necessary, get different lawyers who have a clue.  If you still think it is necessary, have the terms and conditions be attached to the room contract!

If you seriously have a problem with non-guests soaking up your bandwidth, then by all means add a WiFi password, and hand it out at checkin.

If you seriously have a problem with bandwidth hogs, then slow down the connections of actual offenders.

Basically, try your best to make the Internet work as well as the electricity you supply to my room.  I turn on the switch, the lights go on. Done.

By the way, modern OS’s like Apples MacOS Yosemite, frequently change the MAC address they use. This will likely break your login system, raising the frustration of your guests even more.  They will not blame Apple for trying to protect their privacy.  They will blame you.  I already do.

PS  I don’t like to help you debug a system that is fundamentally broken, but:

  • The hotel website still says Internet costs $9.95 per day.  Update that maybe?
  • There is no way to go back and pay the extra $5 for better service one you’ve found out how crappy the regular stuff is.
  • After you connect, you can no longer find the terms and conditions page
  • I accidently tried to play a video, and your freaking login screen showed up in the video pane.  That just makes you look even sillier.