Free Internet?

It seems that as an industry we're on the back side of the power curve...again.

I saw this recent article in USA Today about how confusing it is for our guests to determine who has internet service and more importantly what is being charged for said service. This state of affairs clearly indicates "we" are more focused on short term financial gain than what's important to our guests.

In the article, Megg comments,

I'm still befuddled why it is so difficult to just get a straight answer about the charge of high-speed Internet.

Here's my response to her

Nice article on the hotel internet price mess. I completely agree. I don’t know why this is so difficult for us as an industry. And, with internet access a way of life for the majority of travelers, I don’t know how and why we still charge for the service? We don’t charge extra for soap or shampoo…

The answer likely lies in our continued short-term financial focus vs. a more “guest centric” model. By now, WiFi should be free in every hotel. Charging for that service just makes us look foolish given the cost to provide it is almost nil and the fact that it is so widely available…for nothing. Any laggards look like poachers, or maybe worse. So much value could be added with complimentary services like this…far more than can be gained via the daily charge. Bravo to those who “get it”. Shame on those who don’t.

Let me know if you feel differently.