Rochester Hyatt's outsourcing of WiFi to T-Mobile is unforgivable

Summary:If I can avoid ever staying at a Hyatt again, I will. Last night, I stayed at the Hyatt in Downtown Rochester and being that this is sort of a hi-tech town, I naturally assumed that this hotel, like the many others I've stayed at, would offer Internet connectivity in its rooms.

If I can avoid ever staying at a Hyatt again, I will. Last night, I stayed at the Hyatt in Downtown Rochester and being that this is sort of a hi-tech town, I naturally assumed that this hotel, like the many others I've stayed at, would offer Internet connectivity in its rooms. It does, but there's a hitch.

First, there's the obligatory television/wireless keyboard Web thing that I wouldn't use in a million years. After that, if you want access to the Net, at least from room 502, the only choice is WiFi by way of T-Mobile. There is no Ethernet tap in the room and according to my notebook, the only WiFi floating in the air was floating to room 502 by way of several T-Mobile hot spots. 

Why is this problematic? Forgetting for a minute that I despise hotels that charge for Internet access (Internet access should be provided as a courtesy to guests the way it was for me when I recently stayed at a Holiday Inn), accessing a T-Mobile based WiFi connection means the following:

  • Despite what I was told by hotel personnel over the phone -- that when I got to T-Mobile's Web site, there would be an option to bill my hotel room -- my only choice was to bill my credit card.
  • Billing to my credit card is not exactly what I was hoping for. For example, one reason I like to bill Internet access to my hotel bill is so that when I file an expense report with my company, it's all right there on one bill. It's much easier to manage.
  • In this situation, having to take out my credit card to get a day pass with T-Mobile is even worse. Why? First, it's inconvenient. Maybe I'm whining, but I'd rather just click an "Accept" button somewhere to have Internet access billed to my hotel room rather than having supply my credit card information to a third party like T-Mobile. Second, Not only does getting a $9.99 day pass with T-Mobile require one to enter their credit card information, it requires one to enter their mailing address to. Presumably, this is to verify the credit card. But we all know that the only piece of the billing address that's needed to verify the card is your zip code.
Personally, I have no interest in furnishing my personal information to T-Mobile or any other third party Internet Service Provider as a condition of accessing the Internet from my hotel room. The hotel already has all the personal information I'm willing to provide as a condition of my stay. To Holiday Inn, I'm sorry that I didn't reward the impeccable service I received during my last stay at your place with my loyalty. I will certainly be thinking of you next time.

Topics: Mobility

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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