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This two-piece story details one traveler’s experience trying to get online from New York to Munich: He makes some good points regarding culpability. In Munich, he had a terrible experience trying to deal with Swisscom, which supposedly operated a hotspot throughout his hotel.
But he is actually an iPass customer and in Heathrow and the hotel had trouble getting connected. iPass often talks about the strict process it requires hotspots to go through before they can become part of the iPass network. On a side note, I’ve spoken to one hotspot operator who told me that the process for becoming part of the iPass network was not rigorous and no different than the process he’d gone through to roam with other networks.
It’s my opinion that the networks being offered in public places like airports and hotels actually ought to be much more reliable than a network in a home, for example. If an end users is paying iPass or a company like it for access and that user is in an airport for an hour and can’t get on, that makes for a totally useless service. The user is paying a premium specifically for access when out of the office and often that access is required within a very short window, such as during a layover or in the morning in a hotel before a meeting. That gives the provider very little leeway for downtime because if the network is down during those windows, the service is useless for the end user.
This user concludes that hotels should start requiring a certain level of service from their hotspot or broadband providers because a poor Internet service reflects badly on the hotel, even if the provider is at fault. Increasingly, customers who need high-speed access choose hotels because of the availability of such access and it’s a real bummer when that access doesn’t materialize. There is always the chance that hotels will get fed up with poor service from their providers and decide to hire someone in-house to build and maintain the network. That, of course, would be bad news for the Swisscom’s of the world.
On another side note, I used Swisscom access for a couple weeks in a hotel in Dublin and had to call a couple times for help and had a really good support experience. So I suppose that customers of any company can have a random bummer customer support experience.
Posted by nancyg at March 29, 2005 1:48 PM
Categories: air travel
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I posted an article on Swisscom Eurospot sometime ago on Muniwireless that should give you an idea of what they consider to be customer service:
Cory Doctorow posted his Swisscom Eurospot horror experience (in response to my post) on Boing Boing. I quote:
"SwissCom's service is so crap that I actually worked it into my next novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, as a fictionalized account of my own experience with last September at a WIPO meeting in Geneva. I'm headed back to Geneva on June 6 for more WIPO stuff, and I'm already dreading using the rotten, stupid, horrendously expensive SwissCom setup."
It's an achievement to be immortalized in fiction for lousy service. For the rest of the Boing Boing post, go to:
Posted by: Esme V at April 5, 2005 12:27 AM