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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wireless whingeing

I was staying at the Okura in Amsterdam for a couple of days. They put me in one of their refurbished rooms, which was great. It had a bath as well as shower and a flat-screen TV in the bathroom wall. Normally, I just have a shower and then get on with things, but it was genuine pleasure to lay back and soak in the tub while watching (in my case) football on the telly. The shower cubicle was glass-sided as well, so I watched Sky News while having a shower in the morning. Most convenient.

The room was very comfortable, with a well-configured desk for working (it has U.S., European and U.K. power sockets -- nice touch!) and a comfy bed. All in all, very good. Except... it was 27 euros per day for Internet access. Why do they do this? It drives me mad. I got in late and was very tired, I flopped into bed and quickly typed a couple of e-mails, but when I wanted to send them to had to get up, go and find my wallet and type in the usual rubbish before I was able to log in. There should be a law forcing hotels to display their internet charges -- these are, essentially, a hidden charge since it's simply not possible to go for a couple of days without internet access in the modern world. If only my dongle came with more reasonable roaming charges then these outrageous hotel charges would be a thing of the past.

One more point: like most people in the hotel, I'm sure, I didn't really care what the Internet access cost since I wasn't paying for it, but it's the principle of the thing (and the hassle) that bothers me. Why isn't Internet bundled into the room cost with water and electricity?

By the way, I stayed at the Empire Hotel in New York a few days later and it had free wifi, just as wifi should be.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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