In this day and age of always-on connectivity, guest reviews, smartphones and social media, one would expect ALL hotels to know that certain aspects of running their business are not optional.

No reputable hotel (at any price level) would intentionally put guests in a room with a clogged toilet or with ripped drapes. Yet to some hotels it seems perfectly acceptable to put guests in rooms with near useless Internet access. Yes, to today’s connected users, reliable Internet connectivity is as important as a toilet that flushes.

I am constantly surprised at how often I encounter poor connectivity at hotels, dead zones, slow speeds, sign-in pages that don’t work on mobile devices, etc. We are talking about hotels in the U.S. and other developed countries, not a little inn somewhere in the third world.

The explanations I am usually given by front desk personnel are akin to — and as unacceptable as — a waiter telling you that you got dirty silverware because “the restaurant is too busy right now.”

Get out of the cave

Maintaining the necessary infrastructure to support a hotel full of bandwidth-hungry guests is neither easy nor cheap. But then again, this is also true of all the other systems needed to support a hotel: HVAC, plumbing, elevators, etc. Quality Internet access is a critical piece of the infrastructure of your hotel, don’t believe me? Ask your guests!

While we are on the subject of hotels shooting themselves in the foot. I keep finding rate parity issues that hurt the hotel, specifically a room being sold cheaper at an OTA than on the hotel’s own website. Where is the logic in that?

I sometimes use Expedia to search hotels but will try to book on the hotel’s own website — it feels like the right thing to do — especially for independent hotels that would otherwise have to pay a large commission to the OTA. Finding out that the same room costs more on the hotel’s website than on Expedia is not just irritating, it’s plain bad for business.

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