Booking hotels has always been somewhat of a mine field and in many ways it has become an even more complicated experience thanks to sites such as Trip Advisor, where you end up scrolling through hundreds of reviews and taking more notice of the 5 negative reviews than the 200 positive posts, trying desperately to work out if they are written by difficult or unreasonable people that sit in their room complaining rather than enjoying the location itself.
What are your requirements when booking a hotel? Location, hotel rating, hair dryer, coffee making facilities, mini bar, breakfast, gym, swimming pool or some nice little bottles of toiletries in the bathroom? Our online addiction has ensured there is new front runner of what we expect from our hotel of choice and I am of course referring to the “Wi-Fi” preferably of the free variety.
However, anyone that has taken advantage of the infamous free Wi-Fi will have been burned by establishments who have heavily throttled their network which results in a frustrating experience if you are trying to view a video on You Tube or movie on Netflix only to constantly see the words buffering as you feel the rage within building like Bruce Banner.
Although we all like to embrace a form of digital detox when away from our daily routine, the truth is technology is now ingrained into everything that we do and take an online connection for granted, to suddenly find yourself in a hotel room cut off from everything you know can be a disheartening experience.
Step forward Hotel Wi-Fi Test who encourages its users to test the Wi-Fi of hotels and record the results along with the location to its growing database allowing future guests to see just how good or bad an internet connection actually is
The site can automatically remove any hotel offering under 2Mbps to give you confidence that uploading your photos or streaming of video will remain unaffected during your stay.
We’ve heard your cry for fast and reliable hotel Wi-Fi and decided to motivate hotels to step up their game. We believe we can get hotels worldwide to re-evaluate their Wi-Fi service, and make improvements that will provide guests with the quality service they expect from the moment they make their reservation.
Our mobile devices can typically achieve average speeds of around 1.7Mb on 3G, depending on the strength of the signal, so most would expect this kind of speed as standard and struggle to see the relevance of connecting to a free Wi-Fi service offering a throttled 1Mb connection that ultimately ends in a negative experience.
The growing roll-out of 4G on mobile devices that allows users to connect at speeds similar to their home broadband is another factor that should encourage hotels to step up their game and improve their Wi-Fi technology sooner rather than later if they want to avoid the wrath of online reviewers who see red after reading the word ‘buffering’.
Pressure is also increasing on hotels to loosen their policies over tariffs for Wi-Fi with consumer expectations changing very quickly and automatically expecting these services for free and almost take a wireless internet connection for granted along with other utilities such as electricity and water.
The delivery of high speed internet may not be as straight forward and many guests are probably guilty of not understanding the cost and work that goes into providing a quality service for free, but if you want to be the hotel of choice that is full of guests that are happily posting positive blog posts, online reviews, Tweets and sharing photos of their stay on Facebook or Instagram about your business then it’s a very small price to pay.
As for the guests themselves, I suspect that services such as Hotel Wi-Fi Test will go from strength to strength as people continue their online research before finally clicking the ‘reserve now’ button.
Do you expect free high speed internet connection when staying in a hotel on business or pleasure? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.