I am just going to assume that most of you know what you get for free. Or used to get for free. Take a moment if you need to remind yourself what those things were. Most businesses are finding new and innovative ways to charge for things you once expected to have handed to you.
“But why,” you whine, lower lip protruding in the very picture of petulance, “why are they making me pay for this?” Simple. Because they realized they can. Do you think pretzels, peanut packets, pens, processing, water, administration, space, time, courtesy, sodas, hand towels, smiles, comfortable seating, and easy access grow on trees!?
Well they don’t. Which is why you now have to pay for them.
Fancy hotels are great at this, because I’ve stayed in a few expensive hotels – $150 a night and up – and most of them charge for Internet. Like it’s an amenity, a luxury along the lines of a soothing massage.
Well I have news for you, expensive hotelfolk. The Internet is not an amenity. It was in 1993, but it isn’t anymore. I think it’s safe to say that EVERYBODY WHO CAN AFFORD YOUR HOTEL USES THE INTERNET AS A NECESSARY PART OF THEIR BUSINESS.
It’s a delightful twist of logic that the more expensive a hotel is, the more likely you’ll have to pay for things that less expensive places are happy to give you. With respect to the Internet, I can get wireless access at Denny’s for the price of a waffle.
Seriously, have you guys ever done a customer service survey of this practice? Go ahead and charge me $220 instead of $200 an night and throw the Internet in ‘for free’ – I guarantee I’ll be happier than I will be swearing at your business center computer for making me pay $3.95 every 15 minutes I’m online.