Business travelers outraged by Swisscom WiFi ripoff at hotels

I thought this old post from 2004 about Swisscom Eurospot’s outrageously priced and lousy hotel Wi-Fi service would be long forgotten and recede into the mists of time. Unfortunately it has not. Today the article got a comment from Ed:

I travel for work in Europe and I cannot stand the extortionist SwissCom rates. I am currently in Vienna at the Hilton StadtPark and just paid 22 Euros for their economy 24 hour internet usage. Even at that price the internet is so slow that I may as well be using dial up!!

Apparently, hotels like the Hilton are still charging very high prices for WiFi in Europe. My advice to travelers: write to the managers of the hotels or better yet, demand to talk to them in person and tell them this is not acceptable and that you will stay in another hotel, one that actually provides free WiFi.

In boutique hotels, they do not charge for WiFi. I run Mapplr.com, a website that reviews boutique hotels (as well as luxury B&Bs and apartments) and restaurants worldwide and I can say that in all the boutique hotels I’ve stayed in, they NEVER charge for WiFi. Not only that, the WiFi service is fast.

Wanted: free, good WiFi at hotels

A recent survey carried out by Devicescape (maker of EasyWiFi) showed the importance of free, good WiFi at hotels. Of the people they surveyed:

  • 96 percent expect free WiFi at hotels.
  • 90 percent make hotel and travel decisions based on the availability of WiFi.
  • 77 percent say a bad WiFi experience at a hotel makes them less likely to stay there.
  • free hotel wifi

    What surprises me is that many chain hotels like the Hilton still charge a lot of money for WiFi and very often, the service is poor. During these difficult economic times hotels cannot afford to anger their customers so people should complain and carry out their threats to stay in hotels that offer better service.

    Download the survey from Devicescape. They publish one every quarter.

    Related posts:

    Travelers shocked by high Wi-Fi prices in Europe

    Comments

    1. Have set up #hotelwifishame as a twitter tag – both as a space to document this and also part experiment with BBC World’s Fast Track programme http://bit.ly/tG5Sb

    2. I experience the same at a hotel in UK.

      I am actually updating my lists that I publish of hotels that charge for internet. Do you have a list of these hotels? Especially Holiday Inn Express’!

      thanks.

    3. Hi,

      dont believe this, hotels who do not charge up front you can believe they are charging it in your room rate. I have worked in this industry for 8 yrs and there is no hotel who does not charge you in some way for providing this service.

    4. Paul,

      You better believe it. Travelers are now compiling lists of hotels that charge for WiFi and are passing around these lists so that those hotels will be avoided. Therefore the hotels where Swisscom charges for WiFi are at a distinct disadvantage. Today when travelers are very careful with their money, hotels can ill afford to piss them off. Charging 30 EUR per day is outrageous, 5 EUR is acceptable.

      Of course hotels work in the price of WiFi in the room rate like they do with water, electricity, upkeep, maid service, etc. But hotels do not charge me extra for maids or water. By the way, there are hotels that have very reasonable room rates, beautiful interiors and good service that do NOT charge for WiFi.

      Esme

    5. Well im sure to say that Premier Inn in UK uses swisscom and charges 15 Euros for 24 hours or 10 Euros per hour.

    6. Steve Bachmann says:

      Hilton Munich Park was charging 27€ a day as of sept 2010. Swisscom was provider. I moved hotels over it. Better to stay in one with Tmobile and buy a 30 day pass for 29€.

    7. New boutique hotels, such as citizenM and Aloft (part of the Starwood Group that runs the W Hotels), are offering free WiFi. These hotels have stylish contemporary design with lots of amenities for people who travel with laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods.

      I just wrote a review of the Aloft Brussels Schuman, very closet to the EU institutions in Brussels:

      http://www.mapplr.com/2010/10/01/aloft-hotel-stylish-boutique-hotel-in-brussels/

      This is the place to stay if you are going to Brussels for meetings with EU people.

      In Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport) and Glasgow there are citizenM hotels:

      http://www.mapplr.com/2010/09/18/citizenm-hotel-glasgow-high-tech-luxury-budget-price/

    8. James Meek says:

      I don’t think its quite fair to dump this soley on the hotel/chain, Here in the UK if you go anywhere that does charge for WiFi access, the pricing is always high, e.g. £5 for an hour (some coffee shops) problem is people pay it, rather than refusing to, if no one used an expensive access point and they all complained to the retailer about it and stated that as their reason for not doing so and for going elsewhere in future the situation would change because they they cant afford to lose a significant amount of business. by not offering what rivals do.

      Not even Hilton could survive if significant numbers of business travellers started using differect chains becuase of the Wifi costs.

    9. Were a UK WiFi Provider and are actively pushing companies to provide free wifi – and if they insist on charging for it are recommending circa £3 per day, £10 per week, We don;t even allow them to offer per hour WiFi as it just gets peoples backs up.