Whine Wednesdays: “Free” Hotel Internet (Worse Than Previously)

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Free internet has been spreading to many chains in the past couple of years, as travelers hate paying for it and consider complimentary internet access highly when making a choice where to stay. This has lead to many problems, however, when hotels have not upgraded their connections.

whine-wednesday-free-internet

Internet has been complimentary for elite members at most hotel chains already for a while and the speed has generally been acceptable. Now that the complimentary internet is spreading to most, if not all, guests the quality has seriously deteriorated.

Many hotels are now offering “premium”, read usable, internet packages for a fee while previously these were complimentary for elite members. The “free” internet speed has been lowered in some cases to 0.5 MBPS per second (read InterContinental Kuala Lumpur and see the example above).

Case: Crowne Plaza Jakarta

I have been to this hotel several times in the past and have had some problems with the internet connection that the business center has been able to resolve.

speedtest-crowne-plaza-jakarta

Now, the internet connection speed over the wireless network in rooms and public areas (but not in the club lounge) is so bad in the evenings that even web pages and the Speedtest were timing out.

speedtest-crowne-plaza-jakarta-fixed

This issue was resolved when additional access point as brought to the suite and given extra bandwidth. The upload and download speeds went up to 2 MBPS that is acceptable.

When I had a chat with the Manager on Duty, he told that the hotel has been planning to upgrade the internet connection since 2011, but have yet to do so. You believe this if you read the complaints about the internet speed that they are getting on TripAdvisor. BTW I otherwise like this hotel, although it is not the most modern one, as the IHG Rewards Club Platinum treatment is generally good.

Conclusion

Hotel chains should have a minimum acceptable internet requirement for their properties and elite members should get the premium packages for free of charge. You can usually get the hotel to waive the premium internet charge if the base level is so bad that you cannot get work related this done. You do usually have to clear this with the Manager on Duty.

The only hotel chain where this is the case is Starwood. SPG Platinum members are eligible for the highest internet package for free.

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