So, some time ago IHG, the owners of brands such as Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn offered free internet to their elite members. This is the announcement on their web page:
The little (1) links to text which says:
May not be available in all regions.
There is also a comment:
Free Internet Access to all members will be available in 2014. Elite members may enjoy benefit starting 1 July 2013. Internet accessibility, speed, and connectivity in common areas and guest rooms vary by hotel. Details regarding a property’s Internet accessibility will be available at the hotel’s registration desk.
And that’s the rub ‘Details’.
What that means in my experience is that the internet that is available for free – is so slow in my recent stays that it couldn’t load the images on the BBC web site, let alone do anything interactive.
Complain – I certainly did. And then the reply came ‘ Well sir, if it’s a problem you can always pay for the Premium Internet’.
I call that a con trick.
IHG, you offer free internet so slow that it is unusable and the offer the chance to pay for a connection that works. I declined this at the Holiday Ariel at Heathrow and then fell for it during the fog at London City in December, paying £8 for 3 hours of barely acceptable ‘Premium’ connection. At least if you’re offering ‘Premium’ Internet make it work faster than my home connection.
So IHG, it’s time you reviewed this policy – make it work or don’t call it ‘free’, because for all intents and purposes you’re only offering ‘Free Not-Working Internet’