Hilton Hotels should come clean about their internet charges
Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 5:47 pm. #
I stayed, last month, at the Hilton Hotel in Lyon. It’s a decent enough hotel, in a decent enough conference centre, and it’s built for the business person – a desk in the hotel room, a comfortable desk chair, that sort of thing. It’s not too expensive, either: rates start at €99 a night, as their website tells you.
What their website doesn’t tell you is that internet access costs €22 a night extra. That’s £19.50, or a staggering US $31.
It’s not just Hilton Lyon that is charging these fees.
In the UK, wifi in Hilton Liverpool is €17/£15/$24 a day. Hilton hides this fee away from “guests” by not publishing it on their website. Not unsurprisingly, since it’s on par with an average UK monthly ISP bill of €20.50/£18/$29.
The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago charges €12.50/£11/$18 a night. You’d not know that, since Hilton doesn’t tell you on their website.
The Hilton in Zurich, Switzerland, charges CHF29.90 (€25, £21, $35) a night. Again, Hilton are shy about telling you that – there’s no mention on their website.
Now, look, whatever hotels want to charge for wifi is fine by me. Charge €50 a night, for all I care. It’s your business, and if you want to gouge your guests, you’re welcome to. I certainly wouldn’t pretend to tell you your business. Just be honest and up front about it.
The truth is that Hilton Hotels are hiding their wifi charges from customers when they book.
And, not unreasonably, their ‘guests’ are not very happy about it. Just a cursory look through Tripadvisor gives hundreds and hundreds of negative reviews.
We learn it’s $29 in Budapest (and it doesn’t work very well); in Toronto it’s $15 (“usual internet ripoff” says the jaded traveller here); in the Netherlands you can expect to pay $24 (and it doesn’t work very well). Vienna? Well, that’s $38. Aberdeen is $24 – the title “Internet price rip off spoiled stay” probably says it all there. I thought I’d found the most expensive with Prague at $42, but then discovered Athens with an eye-watering $55 a night.
And that’s just the first page of that Google search.
But, as I say. If Hilton want to charge those prices, that’s fine. Just tell us, before we book. Just as airlines are forbidden from hiding fuel surcharges and taxes, so hotels should be forbidden from hiding a fee that, for many business travellers, is just as important as the overall price of the hotel.
Hilton should come clean about their internet charges. And perhaps, if you agree, you’d tweet or share a link to this page as well. @hiltononline might take notice: and fellow travellers would thank you.