Monday, November 9, 2015

And what about that soda in the mini-bar?


Sometimes you just shake your head in wonder.  

There is an article and discussion The Economist about something that really makes you realize that people at big companies aren't always really that smart.
Apparently Marriott hotels was fined ($600,000!!) for blocking guests' personal wireless modems and hotspots and now a complaint has been filed against Hilton too.
The Economist piece goes into detail about it - and the comments are pretty interesting too - but the learning for anybody in the hotel business comes at the very end: "But notwithstanding its legality, price-gouging your customers is generally a bad idea if you are interested in the long-term success of your business. Here's a better idea if hotels are keen to make money from their Wi-Fi, why not offer something worth paying for?"
Good thought.
We've always wondered why hotels seem to be driven - like airlines - to nickel-and-dime guests. At least the big chains seem to take that approach. Independents seem generally to be much more guest-friendly. A hotel that charges Ooopty dollars for parking could, instead, add Ooopty dollars to the room rate and offer "free parking". Maybe instead of gouging on things in the mini-bar, only stock it with things you're willing to give away.
And for crying out loud, don't charge for the Internet.
Sure, a hotel has to pay for it, as one commenter pointed out. But, as another was quick to note, they also have to pay for the free breakfast, the gym, the pool and all the rest of it.
But whether it's an airline or a hotel and whether it's a genuine desire to provide a lot or a pricing mask, add-on charges tend to give customers a bad taste in their mouths.
Especially when they could just walk across the street to a Starbucks and use the Wi-Fi for free.