Hotels are still charging for internet access, why?

Hotels have been providing guests with internet access for years now, its not a new thing; but some hotels still feel the need to charge a substantial daily fee for using the web. Its not really fair and here’s why: Some restaurants offer free wifi, Internet access is not an expensive thing, hotels should be a home away from home-including a connection to the internet and finally, its just not right to charge people when they’re already paying for being at the hotel.

Similar to many people there’s nothing I like more than my iPhone and the occasional holiday so there’s nothing better than being able to use my phone regularly while in abroad. As much as I don’t want my phone to take over my time away, I do enjoy checking twitter and sharing my photos on Instagram just seconds after I’ve taken them.

With that in mind, a hotel with wifi is a great addition to any holiday and means there’s no need to go hunting for free wifi at Starbucks. So, when on a recent trip to Boston, I learnt that my hotel charged a daily rate for wifi, it was a bit of a shock. For a start, the hotel wasn’t cheap nor was it an old hotel, it was completed in 2012. The hotel in question charged $9.95 per 24 hour period per device, meaning that having my iPhone and iPad connected to the web would cost me $99.50, thats a lot of money just for the privilege of checking twitter and sending emails on holiday.

Obviously this issue isn’t exclusive to hotels in the United States, in fact, a quick Google search revealed that some of London’s high end hotels are the worst for wifi charges. The Ritz, one of the most prestigious hotels in London charge £26 a day for guests to access the web, although these guests may be able to splash £26 a day on browsing the web, it is still wrong.

Its not only high end hotels that charge for internet access, Holiday Inn also charge for internet, one of their two hotels in Oxford charge £16. In 2012 online booking site Blink Booking stated that 30% of hotels in London still charge for Internet. When many fast-food restaurants and coffee houses in London offer free wifi it comes as a surprise that nearly a third of hotels would charge you for the same service.

In the United States, where Starbucks are within blocks of each other in most major cities, Starbucks are renowned for providing free web access and surely with this in mind hotels in cities at least, would realise that their paid internet services are unfair and unnecessary.

There are those out there who say: “You don’t need the internet on holiday- its a holiday” or “You just have to pay for it, thats how they make their money” Although these views may be justified, it does not make it right that the hotels seem to charge whatever they wish for a fairly cheap service.

Maybe hotels do use it as another source of income but if you ask most hotel-goers they will say thats unfair, especially if its a large chain hotel. And I have to agree, its time that all hotels offered free internet access, its 2013, its not a new or exclusive service so why charge exclusive rates?

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