retail news in context, analysis with attitude

It is one of the great mysteries of the hospitality business.

In expensive hotels, you pay for internet access - often through the nose. But in moderate or even discount hotels, the Wi-Fi access is usually free.

What’s interesting about this is a new JD Power & Associates survey that shows that free Wi-Fi is the most important thing to hotel guests - no matter how wealthy they are and how luxurious the hotel they are patronizing.

(It is a good guess that this survey was conducted before the recent outbreak of bedbugs around the US. Lack of bedbugs in the sheets and mattresses has probably leapt to number one these days.)

But the luxury hotel chains seem unwilling to change their policies. They say they’re discussing options, but nobody has made the first move. (When one does, you have to figure that the rest will follow.) The reason is easy to guess. They used to make a lot of money from phone call charges, but that revenue stream has gone away since everybody brings their own cell phones. So they had to replace it, and internet access seemed like the best choice.

They’re thinking about themselves. Not about their customers.

It is important, I think, for every business to examine their own policies and ask themselves, how many things do they do that are good for them...but not necessarily good for their customers - even when customers are on the record about how much they dislike the policies.

Betcha it happens more than you think.

And that’s my Friday Eye-Opener.

- Kevin Coupe
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