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

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.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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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.

Topic: Mobility

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21 comments
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  • What were you thinking

    Your First mistake was thinking that Rochester was a Hi-Tech town, being originally from the area I can for a fact that it really isn't that hi-tech of a town, hence the reason I'm not located in the area anymore.
    jfp
    • Guilty as charged

      Mea culpa. The TO/TOOs, the THEY'RE/THEIR/THEREs, the YOUR/YOU"REs and the ITS/IT'Ss, I do this stuff all the time. Sometimes, when you're staring at a sea of text, I don't see that stuff. I'm not sure why.
      dberlind
  • Would you like some cheese with that wine???

    A whole article whining that you had to use your credit card, come on. I can understand if you had poor signal strength or couldn't attach to an access point, but lack of interface to a PMS is not worthy of an article.
    robisemaj
    • It wasn't just the credit card

      I probably wouldn't have been as peeved if all I had to do was key in a credit card. But the fact that I have to create an account on some other company's system and then provide all sorts of personal information? That doesn't see right. My business relationship is with the hotel. Not with the hotel's service providers.

      David
      dberlind
    • Those hot spots are ripoffs.

      This is why I go to IHOP and not Starbucks. I'm not about to be ripped on internet.
      nix_hed
  • Several comments

    1) Welcome to upstate NY. Rochester isn't exactly the metrosexual haven you envisioned. Sorry, we're trying to get up to speed on the amenities.

    2) "to" versus "too". DB, I've noticed you make this mistake in multiple posts, using "to" when you meant "too". Same for "your" versus "you're". That should be a cardinal sin for a journalist. There, I've seen your whine and raised you one.
    ejhonda
    • metrosexual??

      ?
      none none
  • I go to Holiday Inn for that very reason

    Holiday Inn doesn't make you go through the hassle of digging out quarters for the laundry machine. You don't need to worry about paying a Wi-Fi bill. It's not that it costs a lot of money for these minor extras, it's just that it's so much trouble to go through the process of paying and expensing.

    When I stayed at the Luxor in Vegas, it was a joke. They used one of the ISPs for Wi-Fi service and it was absolutely worthless. I would have to struggle with it for hours every day I was there during Interop. Most of the rooms there didn't even get a Wi-Fi signal and I had to stretch a long ugly line across the hotel room to the desk to get a connection and it still put me through a sign-up hell even though I was paying for the connection.
    georgeou
  • Is this what they call a slow news day? (NT)

    ...
    Scrat
  • yawn

    I'll never get those 3 minutes back

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    peeps54321@...
  • Hyatt WiFi

    Putting aside the whine aspect for a moment... We provide internet to a Hyatt in KC. Our service is wired in the rooms and meeting rooms, and we have a free access point in the lobby. The wired in-room service is also free. Then along came T-Mobile. We're still there, but we get tech support calls (make that complaints) about T-Mobile service. I was told it was a quid pro quo trade arrangement between Hyatt and T-Mobile, but who knows.
    john@...
  • Old news and poor reporting skills

    After 15 seconds of effort on Google, I found an article dated June 3, 2004 on MSNBC's site that announced the deal between Hyatt and T-Mobile.

    Secondly, the deal was for all of Hyatt Corp's properties. And thus the poor reporting skills. Why didn't you report this, and if you bothered to look it up you wouldn't have made the error of linking the location of the hotel to the services offered. They are completely independent of each other. There is no cause and effect.

    But I guess I'm not surprised after reading Tom Foremski's blog - page views reign supreme, not competence.
    aep528
    • I'm not clear on the error

      "linking the location of the hotel to the services offered."

      my experience was at the Rochester Hyatt. Another person on this thread reports that his company provides wired services at some Hyatt properties. Does the location matter? The point is that my business relationship is with the hotel. Imagine going to McDonald's and not only having to buy your soda separately from Oke (sort of like buying liquor at a restaurant in Utah), but having to give Coke your personal information for the right to buy that Coke.

      I don't stay at hotels so that I may become a part of the hotel operator's business deal to do market development for another company.

      db
      dberlind
  • T-mobile crooks

    I suffered with T-mobile gprs 5.0 kbs max for over a year in an area where they had Edge, nothing but non stop lies from T_mobile reps and double billing. I got hotspot added to account it was supposed to be $5.00 above the unlimited Edge access I paid for yet never received even though I paid $149 extra to get Edge capable phone. Well after I told them I did not want to be double billed for hot spot plus the edge I wasn't getting the went ahead and charged me an
    additional $10 for only the edge. I got the techs to admit I should have been receiving Edge all along which proved the reps had lied because they did not understand how to set up the account. SO after paying all bills on time in cash just to make sure there was no billing discrepancy they suddenly started double billing me for entire months. They cut off my phone service and gprs net access when I had an important meeting out of town with several legislators, lawyers and Federal officials.

    They then charged me $300 for breaking my contract I which as someone who investigates consumer and corporate fraud is a real piece of work in itself leaving out the legalese basically it says they can do whatever they want to your service and rates and you can do nothing about it, there is an excessive usage clause which is completely undefined. In other words they can just plain decide your chewing up to much of their band with and cut you off.

    What does this have to do with the T-mobile WI-FI article above well the whole point is I signed up with T-mobile to have internet access with gprs and/or hotspot and T-mobile rakes you over the coals in an effort to squeeze extra profits out of each customer.

    I do expect a business oriented hotel to have an ethernet jack at the least in each room and strategic areas where you are likely to be doing work, in a lobby perhaps while waiting to meet clients/associates etc. How hard would it be to have wi-fi on the house? An issue thats troublesome about that though is security there is much industrial/political/legal espionage.

    I would not go to a hotel that boxed me into T-mobile just because of the association with the cheats although I now have ev-do through sprint so I get broadband like speeds and unlimited access for $40.00. I agree with the billing issue to me its just one more hassle if these hotels want us to use them for business/political reasons they should at least give us easy access to the internet.

    T-mobile is a subsidiary of the former government run Deutsche
    Telekom and it shows they don't care about service or integrity just billing as many people as possible as much as possible reguardless of whether the actually supply the service. Our government should run these crooks out of our country fine them punative damages and give to customers the money back they stole.
    gregzdnet
  • Internet for business travellers is a necessity

    I agree with you 100%. For those who travel a lot, internet access at the hotel is
    mandatory. Hotel chains wake up. Myself and most of my peers refuse to book
    stays at hotels that don't offer internet access. Having said that, T-Mobile is a
    regular WiFi service provider in the US and we (IT) provides T-Mobilee accouts to
    our frequent travellers because sometimes, hotel rates in buildings that provide
    access don't meet corporate rate guidelines. Somehow I suspect though that
    Holiday Inn beats Hyatt rates most of the time.

    The only thing I hate more than inconvenient access is s l o w access. I also carry
    a small Apple Airport express to provide wireless service if the hotel only offers
    wired.

    Europe still seems to be more expensive to get internet access and most of the
    hotels in China offer free wireless. Hmm, hotels in China treat their travellers
    better than in the US and Europe. Thomas Friedman, are you on to something?
    mmay
    • European prices, but...

      At least the last few places I've been, they were coin-op, so you didn't have to use a cc to pay, nor create an account.
      Techboy_z
  • Sheraton Thoughtlessness

    I normally use only Marriott properties, where I usually (always?) find free wired service.

    I recently stayed at a Sheraton Gateway in Chicago expecting the advertized wireless internet service. I found I could not get a signal in my room. The Front Desk who gave me an 800 support number. I had two 20 minute conversations, with a support person who walked me through the many reasons a PC may have access problems, but to no success. I gave up frustrated.

    While in the lobby the next morning, I turned on my laptop and lo-and-behold, was immediately online. Carrying my laptop while watching the PC's signal strength meter, I took the elevator to the 5th floor. Wow, good reception! But as I walked down the corridor towards my room, the signal strength decreased and terminated completely just before my room! Obviously wireless coverage was only partial, and the hotel staff had to know that! When checking out I told the clerk how upsetting it was that the hotel should be so thoughtless, and waste my time so badly, she couldn't understand my complaint!

    Back to the Marriott!!!
    Sailingfool
  • Well, why not also complain against these then?...

    Borders, Starbucks, <others?>...which also use TMobile as their "service provider" for WiFi in their stores. I go to my local fair trade coffee shop instead of these two chains, equally for the free WiFi as for the "fair trade"ness of the place. And it's not just "free" as in beer...it's free as in "don't have to create an account and hand over my identity". And that's the most important.
    Techboy_z
  • Boycott ALL T-Mobile locations

    Starbucks for SURE. This is how we vote in the marketplace. Who needs these T-Mobile leaches? Go to the competition - there are LOTS of great alternatives where wireless access is free and requires no sign up!!! I'll never give them a nickle....
    fastwide
  • Forgive, instead, for he speaks what he does not know

    Avoidance of an ISP or hotel chain is certainly a personal prerogative. And, the freedom to submit a personal opinion is a great thing.
    But to say you?ll avoid the use t-mobile or another Hyatt hotel is like saying you?ll avoid eating ice cream again because you didn?t like the flavor you ate today.
    Personally, I like both products; t-mobile and hyatt. As a frequent domestic business traveler, I have some experience in finding the right products that meet my personal & business travel needs.
    I have my t-mobile hotspot account. It works in nearly all the airline clubs at airports, hotels I choose, and I can stay connected in most every city at some establishment ... even Starbucks where I bring in my Seattles Best or Caribou Coffee. If you have a HotSpot account, you can log in anywhere there is a t-mobile hotspot without any hassle. Works for me and thousands of others.
    I do prefer Hyatt hotels because of reasons that make it a loyalty choice for me, and most do have my preferred ISP.
    To use an analogy ... These are my personal favorite ?ice cream flavors?. Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Starwood hotels, etc. are other flavors and hotel chains I've used (and, by the way, many of the full-service hotels in these brands have t-mobile and charge for a day-pass if you don't have a HotSpot account, just like the full-service Hyatt).
    Another analogy ? just like Breyers has different flavors of ice-cream, Hyatt has different ?flavors? of hotels: Hyatt Hotels, Resorts, Hyatt Place, AmeriSuites, Summerfield Suites, etc. Interestingly, the Hyatt Place, AmeriSuites, and Summerfields offer free ISP (wired and wireless) and it?s NOT T-mobile. The other major chains have different hotel ?flavors? in their portfolios too.

    So ? you can whine and refuse to see beyond the box you perceive, or take the moment to discover and determine what flavor(s) tastes best to you. Thankfully, there are lots of different flavors to give us a variety of choices. I?m sure there is one is just right for you.
    Phares5