Last night, I was staying at the SPG Luxury Collection Park Tower (in need of the luxury) in Buenos Aires and needed to print out couple of documents, sign them and have them converted to PDF files.
This should be an easy task? Wrong! The Luxury Collection hotel is basically co-located with the Sheraton hotel that has the Sheraton Link (partnership with the Microsoft) o the ground floor and business center (Luxury Collection) on the second floor.
I first tried to print out the docs using the Sheraton Link that is infested with the Microsoft Windows 8 tile garbage (I use Windows laptop but wiped out the W8 and installed Windows 7 before starting to use it).
Seems that they use dummy consoles or something, as it took forever for the screen to wake up. The USB ports are back of the monitor, so it is very difficult to even try printing out something from your flash drive.
Went to the second floor business center and got the docs printed out there. Wasn’t possible to convert them to PDF’s, however, as no scanner was attached to any of the computers and the networked Ricoh printer was too hard to use for that purpose.
Tried again in the morning and the lady manning the center couldn’t get the all-in-one (aren’t they always too difficult to use?) to scan the docs either. After half an hour, just told her to save the docs to the flash drive once the conversion has been successful and gave her my room number.
I had a similar issue with Hilton Garden Inn near the Toronto airport last year. The system was made so fool proof that printing a simple PDF was made impossible. Why even have computers in the business centers when you cannot really use them?
Often the solution is just to hook up your computer directly to the scanner or printer bypassing the hotel technology altogether, but that is no longer always possible.
The Sheraton Link is a good idea, but implementation is not good when both printing and scanning are practically impossible.