Skip to main content

Not happy with Holiday Inn

See, we have culture in Swindon
Yesterday I had to hang around for about an hour on the outskirts of Swindon. I know you are thinking that sounds a bit like some sort of 'outer circle of hell' joke, but you are cruel, and indulging in a malicious stereotype. Swindon is really quite nice. There wasn't time to go anywhere with a nice little coffee shop or even Starbucks, so I popped into the nearby Holiday Inn for a quite acceptable if rather expensive cappuccino.

Out came the iPad (in fact I am writing this blog on it in the Holiday Inn coffee shop right now, yesterday, if you'll pardon the time mangling). When I know I'm going to have time to kill I always take my iPad with me and that does everything I need. In fact, thanks to the ubiquitousness of free Wi-fi I don't even bother to download anything as I know all my latest work will be there on Dropbox ready to access.

So I hit the Wi-fi button and up pops 'Holiday Inn Swindon Wi-fi' as you would expect. I click on 'Lounge Access'. (Does this make me a lounge lizard? Who remember the Larry game?) And I'm told it will cost me £5 for an hour. What? I can get free Wi-fi in Starbucks. I can get free Wi-fi in my local independent coffee shop. I get it free in pretty well every hotel I've stayed in for the last two years. But Holiday Inn want to charge me £5 for an hour. Giving free Wi-fi is a no-brainer.  It doesn't usually cost the business much on top of their Internet connection and it has become an expected essential. Charging for it is a bit like charging for a chair.

It's not even as if the coffee was particularly cheap. As I have said previously, I'm prepared to pay a premium for a nice place to sit. But I expect it to have the basic amenities. A chair, a table, access to a toilet, heating and light where necessary. And Wi-fi. I really don't think it's too much to ask.

(In case anyone is worried for my efficient use of time, I still had plenty to do offline, what with writing this post and reading an ebook I had already downloaded for research. But it's the principle of the thing.)

Image from Wikipedia

Comments

  1. "Giving free Wi-fi is a no-brainer."

    Tell that to Japan...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Or indeed, tell it to that smirking profiteer Richard Branson, whose Virgin Trains charges at £4 an hr for Wi-Fi access in all but the first class section.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope