The great Wi-Fi rip-off

2006

Thanks to the UK Good Hotel Guide for keeping up the pressure on hotels which fleece their guests with extortionate charges for wireless web access.

According to the 2007 edition of the Guide, some hotels have been charging up to £5 an hour for wi-fi, even though it costs less than £150 to install a router and there are almost no maintenance costs.

The guide says that the practice has come about as income from that other great hotel scam – the fixed phone line rip-off - has decreased.

Named and shamed was the Hotel Felix in Cambridge, which the guide said was charging £20 a day or £5 an hour for access in August of this year.

London's Savoy hotel was also singled out for charging almost to £10 for 24-hour access as was the Knightsbridge Green hotel in London, which charges £12 a day.

The Felix has since reduced its daily rate to £14 a day and £4.50 an hour.

The Good Hotel Guide said that wi-fi access is now largely free in American hotels, a practice mirrored by some UK chains such as Shire Hotels.

Of course, if business customers asked about internet access before booking and refused to stay in hotels that persist in ripping-off customers, the practise would presumably stop fairly quickly.

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