As if hotel attendees don’t have enough problems regarding hotels like room service, lost luggage, and rowdy customers, but the conference goers to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee really gave their customers a hard way to go when they blocked their wifi and charged them up to $1k to use the hotel’s wifi system.
That’s a hefty price for a hotel!
Normally, people who travel have their own wifi devices that allows them to pick up hotspots via cell phone towers around the country. Prices for personal wifi go for around $50 a month and service goes from excellent to questionable but for people on the go this option is convenient and cost effective. In the case of Marriott however, when hotel attendees tried to log onto their wifi networks they found that they couldn’t and the only option was to use the hotel’s highly expensive wifi that cost between $250 to $1,000.
That set off several people who contacted the Federal Communications Commission and the commission dropped the hotel with a $600,000 fine.
To make matters worse, Marriott had the nerve and audacity to defend the scam by saying that they were protecting their guests from spotty wifi connections, hackers, and other criminal acts.
Marriott also defended themselves by saying that other institutions do the same thing like universities and hospitals.
Regardless, this fine should send shockwaves across the US to those institutions and businesses who think blocking is alright.
The government says it isn’t.
FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc emphasized the wrongdoing by stating that it was unacceptable for this practice to occur. He said it forces consumers into a position where they end up paying twice as much for the same services or going without any internet access.
It was in March 2013 that the investigation launched. The primary complaint accused the hotel of jamming mobile hotspots. This led to the FCC discovering the hotel used a wifi monitoring system and basically blocked the attendees own wifi connections.
The $600,000 fine spanking from the FCC also comes with a responsibility of the hotel reporting to the FCC every three months for three years regarding their improvements on how to monitor and use its wifi network.