The Coding Hillbilly is abroad (tee hee) for the next two weeks and is wondering about the Internet charge methodology at his hotel. The hotel is Thistle Piccadilly, in the heart of Piccadilly Circus, (and I defy anyone to find a better situated hotel anywhere in London). It is business-related travel which explains the extravagance but here's how they charge for high speed wireless Internet: Six pounds per hour or ten pounds for a twenty-four hour period.

Clearly they want to discourage Internet service by the hour the same way they discourage booking rooms by the hour. But that's not the real curiosity. Why bother charging for Internet service at all? Given the nature of their clientele, it can be assumed that a good percentage will use the service. And very likely, a sizeable chunk choose not to given that you have to pay for it and/or you need to collect a little card at the front counter every day.

Setting up wireless Internet can't possibly be the high-cost operation their fees reflect. And I may not be a typical client, but "free high-speed wireless" is something that jumps out at me when I'm scanning through hotel features.

But let's assume it costs more than the four cents a day I suspect it does to run the network. The fee structure of the hotel is such that an increase of, say, five pounds a day would hardly be noticed by the average guest.

In general, I guess I just don't understand why hotels need to make it so hard to offer something I could set up in my house in less than half a day. Maybe there are security aspects I'm not considering. Maybe the idea of people using their precious air without paying for it scares them. Who knows. But if they don't change their attitude soon, I'm gonna...well, keep right on paying I suppose.

Kyle the Threatening