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As I write this post, My wife and I are on vacation in the lovely (extremely lovely) city of Montreal.
We've been here for a week and a bit, part as tourist, and part as an attendee at the World Science Fiction Convention (AnticipationSF). In fact, I'm typing this post in the convention hall, in an area provided with free Wi-Fi by the convention.
By now you know I'm a tech-head. I live and breath Tech, which means I also make certain assumptions, not always to my benefit.
My latest assumption is that Free Wi-Fi is always available in your hotel room. And when it's not, I'm no longer so Awesome
Initially, we'd stayed at this amazing Montreal B&B, and everything was as you'd expect in a B&B experience. We ensured that Wi-Fi was available...it wasn't at all B&Bs. It will be at our next stop, also a B&B, in Quebec City.
But, and here's where I made an Assumption (and you know what they say about those). I had assumed, that when we moved from the B&B to the big-name downtown hotel, Wi-Fi would naturally be available and included in the room rate. Yes, Wi-Fi was available, and advertised as being available, but it was not advertised as being free, or having any cost associated with it..it was just 'available'. They charged per hour. A very expensive rate too. Obviously I should have checked before booking this hotel.
It's a business.
Now, I understand that this is a hotel that caters to business and visitors, and that they could have easily embedded the Wi-Fi charges into my 'room rate', and I would have been as happy as a clam.
By forcing me to login and pay each time I want to access the Internet, they're reminding me that I'm paying for this service. It is not a 'complementary' service, as is the pool, the ice, the discount on attraction tickets, etc. This is an additional fee for something which, for me, is almost as essential as air or food. It is a business expense that not every hotel guest requires.
But here's where it gets me. Once Wi-Fi is set up and running, it costs almost nothing to maintain. Guests who don't need the service don't impact the hotel at all. Guests who do, appreciate the 'free' nature and think warm fuzzy thoughts as they surf the web, and post on blogs. For me, as this post shows, I'm not thinking warm fuzzy thoughts. I'm forced to pay for Wi-Fi, or pack up my laptop and take it to the convention-provided free Wi-Fi.
And, for some silly reason, hotel-provided free Wi-Fi is just outside of my expectation envelope. For some reason, I expect Wi-Fi to be free. Maybe it's just wishful thinking brought on by being at a Science Fiction convention.
Ok, this is a rant for me, am I on base or off. What do you think? What are your expectations when traveling?