A Wifi Rip-off

Isn’t it only logical that the higher the hotel rating, the more amenities and services are provided and included in the upward prices to match? You would think, right?

Well, I recently traveled to Paris and the surrounding area, staying in a variety of hotels, from 2 to luxury 4-star, chosen for their central locations, breakfast included in the price, and my must-have requirement of wifi.   I benefited from off-season rates, being November, and all was going well, until I refused one hotel’s wifi, as a matter of principle  (sorry, dear readers, for any lapse of regular posts during this time).

Here’s my list:

1.  Lutèce Royal Hotel in the 13th arrondissement of Paris = four star hotel which had a nice size room, friendly staff and free wifi.  Not as central as I would have liked, but good breakfast buffet.

2.  Hotel de France in the 5th arrondissement of Paris = three star hotel with nice room, friendly staff, and free wifi.

3.  Hotel Aigle Noir, located across from the Chateau of Fontainebleau = four star hotel with free wifi (blogging a separate post about this hotel)

4.  Familia Hotel in the 5th  arondissement of Paris = two star hotel with friendly staff, and free wifi.  The room was small and average, but chosen for its easy access to my departure train station.

5.  Trianon Palace Waldorf Astoria about 1 km from the Chateau of Versailles = four star luxury hotel with wifi, spa and pool, elegant restaurant and bar/lounge area (a glass of champagne cost 17 Euros), and formal and professional/polite staff.

Oh yes, they had wifi alright, but every service was à la carte – this meant that they charged 4,50 Euros for 15 minutes of Internet access at the concierge desk, or if I was only going to be “two minutes”, I wouldn’t be charged.  Two minutes, really? They charge 25 Euros for room Internet access (not sure if this is per day) or 14 Euros to rent a plugin access cable (not sure if this is per day) – at this point, I was so annoyed, I stopped listening to the details.  How absurd, I thought, to charge extra for wifi, especially at a luxury hotel, not to mention that it’s free at lesser rated hotels – how can they even justify charging for it?

I guess if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it came into play for this hotel, although I did get a end-of-summer room rate.  I wrote my critique and handed it into reception, stating that I would not stay at their hotel again…..as a matter of principle!

Go figure: this morning I received an email for submitting an electronic survey for my stay, so I guess my letter went into “la poubelle”!


13 thoughts on “A Wifi Rip-off

  1. pedmar10 says:

    glad you are a member of the Société des Amis de Versailles likewise and 10 yrs resident there, althought now at Bretagne. Indeed, its a confusing experience on WiFi as I had worked in deluxe hotels in Paris, the more up the more you are charge for extras, its all room revenue deal. But good to know for those who come over lol! Salut

  2. It is true that the grander the hotel, the more costly the extras, particularly as concerns any computer related service. However, I sense the tendency is very much beginning to go the other way. More and more medium and top hotels are now including internet and wifi in the price.

    I am certain that the adage “if you have to ask the price, you shouldn’t be there…” is very much an attitude of the past. In fact, it was probably never very indicative of an elitist hotel clientele. The fact is that no one is more careful about the price of things than the rich, particularly in Europe. That is undoubtedly one of the reasons why they are rich.

    Consequently, hotel management is well used to important guests having various cost-related grievances, and I am pretty sure that they are interested in hearing these client complaints. If enough clients announced –like yourself– that they would not be returning, hotels would be very foolish not to listen and act accordingly.

    Personally, I refuse to pay the exhorbitant prices for internet services in hotels. Which explains my acquaintance with a bit of Hanoi’s rat population, as well as a close encounter with a call-girl network in Hong Kong a few years ago. Internet cafés can certainly reveal a side of a city you wouldn’t necessary find in your hotel!

    P.S. If I may be so bold … I do feel that if you especially wish to have a glass of champagne in a luxury hotel like the Trianon Palace, then you kind of relinquish the right to complain about price, as there would really be no reason to expect it to be anything other than expensive.

    • Thanks for your comment. I was more surprised than anything else, as on their website the wifi was listed as 4,50E (without the time specifics listed), so my fault for not asking. I certainly enjoyed every drop of my glass of champagne – was just noting the price in my description, rather than complaining, at all as it was very tasty and I love champagne!

  3. colormusing says:

    Yes indeed, tres ironique that they prefer an electronic survey to your letter (which they already had). It’s good to know (in advance) what one will actually get, so thank you for the reports on all these hotels!

  4. Automatically generated after-stay survey, I should think! It was a very nice hotel, but less warm/welcoming due to its formality, in my opinion.

  5. Nathaly says:

    I always had the same problem when staying at hotels or hostels. I’d pay the highest price for good service and room and figured since they said free wifi it would come with the price, but they were also an extra charge. I never understood why they place free in the description.

    • If they place “free” in the description, that’s considered false advertising – if that had been the case with my experience, I would have pressed them more to include the wifi service at no additional charge. I have definitely learned to pay more attention now to those kind of details! Thanks for commenting.

  6. Quote admiral general aladeen “20 dollars for Internet? And they accuse me of being an international criminal?”

  7. smes9 says:

    I went to Paris last weekend and stayed in the Best Western Trianon Rive Gauche in the 6th Arr. They gave us a free code for the Wifi which lasts up to 23 days. I can’t believe some places still charge for the internet, its so old fashioned!

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