New Hotel WiFi Scam

Hotel RoomSmarter Traveler published an article today about a new wifi scam that is, sadly, growing in popularity.

The Ugly Hotel WiFi Scam You Haven’t Heard Of Yet

I already sent this out to our Twitter followers but felt it was important enough to post here as well.

It seems, as is stated in the comments, that the more expensive the hotel, the more likely you’ll be hit with extra fees.

Have any of you experienced this or other ridiculous hidden fees?

I got hit with one at the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor in New Jersey. I knew that they had a daily wifi fee before checking in and was reminded of such when I arrived. However, when I checked out, it suddenly became “per device.” I complained and it took a 15 minute wait for a manager to come out and remove the additional charge. I still got charged for one device per day. Guess where I don’t plan to stay again.

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5 Responses to New Hotel WiFi Scam

  1. hamster says:

    This is the worst!! My firm actually negotiates special rates with all the major chains… our rate includes internet access. In most hotels that have tiered internet access, I’m able to sign up for premium… then the charges disappear from my statement. However this doesn’t always happen.

    The worse offenders in this scam are the Carlson chain of hotels… specifically their UK Park Plaza chain. They offer two tiers of internet “free” (which is 100% useless) and premium. Hotel management claims my firm’s negotiated internet access only covers the “free” service… thus I end up having to pay for the “premium” internet which tops out at 3mb/sec download. What a scam!

    This is almost as bad as the mandatory “resort fee” many hotels are now adding.

  2. mkt42 says:

    Yes, it’s ironic that Motel 6’s will have free wi-fi, whereas the expensive hotels will not only charge extra, they will charge an exorbitant rate.

    I have helped organize conferences, and one of the important items for negotiation with the hotel is will guests who stay at hotel get free wi-fi (and nowadays the speed of the connection is a potentially important variable too), or if they have to pay, then how much? As well, wi-fi for the conference areas (meeting rooms and public areas) is also an item to negotiate. The conference organizer can arrange for free wi-fi, but has to be willing to ask for it and, and perhaps pay for it or more often promise that a substantial number of guests will stay at the hotel.

    The “per device” gimmick is one that I had not heard of before. Yes the hotels will try to nickel and dime both the guests and the conferences wherever they can.

  3. Kinkora says:

    I have an even better one. Happened at the Four Seasons in Dallas – they charged not only for wi fi in the room, but if you wanted to access it in the lobby, you were charged for that as well!!!!

  4. BMEPhDinCO says:

    This is not new, but it is very annoying. I’ve noticed the Hyatt chain does this… $11-15 PER DAY for access (24 hours). I did get one code that would work across all devices. Speed was decent, but nothing special. I have noticed the more you pay for a room the more you have to pay for extras (breakfast, wifi, etc). I guess most businesses use the nicer places and thus are more willing to reimburse people and thus the hotels get away with it.

    Another super annoying wifi thing now – no Mobile access – only laptops can access the internet in the room!

  5. barrymanners123 says:

    I despair of hotels that charge for wifi – and stay elsewhere.

    As a small hotelier we offer guests free wifi. It really is very simple to do and actually benefits us in doing so. Guests connect to our wifi signal, log in via splash page with a single click. The benefit to us is we gain valuable social media profile. The guest benefits by hassle free log in without having to in put silly codes – I stayed at one hotel where the login was “trestristestigres” – try typing that after a bottle of wine and six Calvados…..

    If guests prefer anonymity then there’s a simple form they can fill in.

    Another benefit – we have passing guests in the park opposite who can login – so we make sure our splash page is also an advertising opportunity.

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