Amazingly, a lot of apartments do just that: your monthly rent includes lights, gas, water, phone, and cable. Marriott apparently uses that same concept for all its lower end properties, providing free Internet, but as we all know, the "free" is buried somewhere in the cost. The higher end places can simply do the same thing, making us feel fat, dumb, and happy with our "free" wifi while embedding the cost in their regular fees like a zillion other places do. In the 21st century, free wifi at any business location should be a reflection on whether the ownership is sensible or not.
David, so true. Recall that there still is a charge in most hotels to make phone calls, even though the vast majority of folks have cell phones. Change comes slowly, if at all. I guess this is a profit center for Marriott and until there's a full scale issue in the minds of the corporation that competitors are doing it for free, then we're stuck with some being charged, some not.
In the case of hotels and phone calls, I think they really shot themselves in the foot in the 1980's and 90's when they charged exorbitant rates, even for local calls. I recall long distance being charged 3x the Operator Assisted rate plus an outrageous surcharge, plus plus plus. And who knows, they may still do it (I no longer look at the phone to see what the charges are).
If they had priced the calls reasonably, they may have gotten frequent guests used to the idea of dialing bedside. Seems to me that when MCI and Sprint were touting ten cents a minute long distance, the hotels should have charged fifteen cents instead if $8.00 and gotten all the business.
I totally agree that wi-fi should be free and reliable for all Marriott Rewards members in all Marriott hotels, especially for those who also hold the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card.
It makes no sense that this is a free amenity in the lower priced Marriott hotels but carries an extra charge in hotels where the nightly rate is 2 to 4 times higher.
It's time for Marriott to set a good example to the hotel industry as a whole and demonstrate that they value their loyal customers' feedback on this issue.
I don't disagree that being asked to pay for Internet services at the "higher end properties" seems extremely strange when the "lower end properties" offer this as a service to all guests. I am a little concerned with the idea that because someone chooses to pay $85.00/year for a credit card that person should be granted "instant benefits or status". I feel that this idea dilutes the integrity of the overall program. Quite frankly, I'm not interested in "competing" with the occasional traveler for the benefits that I feel I've earned by spending 250+ nights a year traveling. I have no problem with the current program that "helps" the occasional traveler achieve additional status. I feel that this helps the overall program by promoting and rewarding brand loyalty.
I'm not sure that's the answer you were looking for, but what happens in my case, where my hotel rate remains constant despite what property I stay at? I don't like the fact that in many instances I pay the same rate at a TownePlace Suites as I do at a full service Marriott.
I for one, like paying for the internet fees if there is an upgrade available. It most always is the FASTEST connection available.
I find that the FREE internet connection is no longer what I would consider "High-Speed".
By paying, your guaranteed better bandwidth since everyone else in the hotel, parking lot, and sandwich shop across the street are killing the free connection and making it useless.
As someone who gets the higher service for free as a Platinum member I can attest that it is not that fast and the bandwith is not that great. If it is better than what others are getting, they must be getting dial-up speeds! I run tests when in the room and routinely get way below the advertised speeds for uploads and downloads. I am bringing this up because, while I enjoy free wifi and wired,I'd appreciated something like the 30 mbps that I get at home
Agreed, usually there is a payed upgrade option at the JW's, Ritz-Carltons, Renaissance, and some metropolitan area full-service Marriotts whcih are much faster!
Just stayed at the Brussels Marriott and Amsterdam Renaissance properties and their upgraded bandwidth was amazing. Was watching two TV shows and on a Video Call all at once without any buffering or distortion whatsoever!
Now thats what I call a great stay!
I have no problem with paying a fee for upgraded internet. I don't think I ever would because I have watched movies, remoted in to my office computer for work, and never had speed problems whatsoever. BUT, if I did, I would definitely like the option of upgrading to a far faster connection even if there was a fee for doing so. The "hotel, parking lot, and sandwich shop" wifi'rs have never been an issue for me - video or otherwise. I'm sure they do, and when that happens, an upgraded connection for a fee would be great. The free option needs to be there and the upgrade for higher speeds makes great sense.
Remarks well taken ---- but let's all remember that "free" is not free.
In one way or another, we are all paying for internet service, regardless of the speed..
What Marriott (and most other chains) is doing is drawing a distinction in their full-service hotels between less-frequent and more-frequent stayers as defined by their frequent-stayer programs. The Marriott manifestation of this is that Platinum and Gold MR members receive no-charge internet service, whereas non-frequent guests pay for that service.
That makes business sense --- e.g., folks bringing a greater share of business receive some benefits for doing so. So, when I stay at a Hilton hotel - where I do not have elite status - I pay extra for internet access. Conversely, when I stay at a Marriott full-service hotel - where I am a Lifetime Platinum MR member - internet is included in my room rate.
When a luxury hotel charges for something you get at McDonald's for free, the local "trash" bar for free, and the grease-filled auto shop for free ... it's an insult - like giving a waitress a penny for a tip. Anyone that sees such a benefit as some wonderful thing that sets them apart from the less frequent stayers ... has been duped by the genius of Marriott Rewards.
While I agree I think that the locations you mentioned have some way of recouping the cost of giving you free WiFi, it not now at some point in the future. Also there is a scale issue--each of these (other than Mickey D's) runs with an ISP anyway and all they are doing is letting you piggyback with their connection. Just my opinion.
Good points. The non-IT traveler, though, has the perspective of walking into a McDonald's or bar and getting for free what he has to pay $12/day for at a luxury Marriott. Even though I'm a Platinum member, and get the wifi free, it's a silly perk from my perspective: I spend 50 nights or more at luxury hotels and they "perk" me with something I get anyway at the local McDonald's, or bar that I'll be in that night anyway?? Not cool ... in my opinion. I spend $7,000 plus in a year with the brand and they're going to give me a free cookie? My excitement is somewhat lacking. As you pointed out, though ... that's just another opinion that won't even get me free coffee anywhere. It's just fun to discuss
Yeah. I think the rate charged is to nail business travelers on corporate cards. Some properties like Courtyard generally do not charge, and some of the higher tiered properties offer a deal where for like $5 a night on your rate you can have internet added instead of paying the full asking price. I have been seeing this more and more often as an option for my friends who I recommend a property to who are not Marriott Elite members. I also think Silver should be entitled, but I guess it would not provide any incentive to folks to achieve a higher level.
Even if not free for all, I agree that it should at least be free for Silver members the way it is for Gold and Platinum. Silver members have earned their statuses the same way as Gold and Platinums and should receive this simple perk that, like many have stated, is available at places like McDonald's with no membership at all.
Well I don't know about the U.S. but in Canada the Marriott credit card is a Platinum card, which someone like me with only 3 years of credit under my belt would never qualify for. Therefore, I have earned my status and feel that I deserve this perk. I disagree all together that credit card holders should be given Silver status. The perk could be offered to those Silver members who have logged the required nights by actually staying, not to those who hold the card. Staying 10+ nights per year means I put hundreds or thousands of dollars into the Marriott brand each year. If that isn't worthy of free Internet, but a $1 burger at McDonald's is, then there's something wrong.
I agree with Mikiegfla to some extent, in that what benefits are really left for the gold and Plat members if all of the benefits were given to everyone, after all of the time and loyalty was spent on obtaining these levels. I do not think that they are then going to issue free massages or something to the higher levels. I do not mean to be offensive, but there has to be a cut-off line somewhere. I still think overall that the lack of free internet situation is there basically to "nail" corporate card users. Same reason why most rack rates are higher in most places on weekdays. - Al.
I think that's slightly beside the point, as the only benefit actually being discussed here is free internet. Not free breakfast, upgrades, points bonuses, arrival gifts, guaranteed room type, access to lounges, Hertz membership, phone calls, etc. In my opinion, there is still a lot left for Gold and Platinum if free Internet is granted to Silver members. The thing I do question is why there are only two additional benefits for Platinum vs. Gold members. What would be my motivation to stay an extra 25 nights per year, unless the arrival gift is something super fantastic? I think it is fair for valid Silver members to ask for free Internet, but not any of the other additional perks.