Dear Everyone in Germany,

Why do you have such difficulty understanding the beauty of the Internet? Communication from anywhere, virtually unlimited exchange of information…it would be such a wonderful thing, if only it were freely accessible. Cafe owners, it will not kill you to have minimally secured Wifi. A simple password, posted on the counter, will do. All you win by requiring me to make a purchase every half hour to keep my connection is a guarantee that I will never come back. Ditto if you require me to Like you on Facebook in order to access the network (sidenote to other readers: do NOT book at Steffi’s Hostel, no matter what my Facebook page tells you). I chose you because you said you had free Wifi, and then then you made me sell my soul for it. And what about the hotel in Munich that charged 130 euros a night for the room, and then had an hourly fee on top of that for Wifi, “if you need it”?

It is 2014. Internet access is a basic human right.* Just assume I need it, and recognize that providing it costs you practically nothing. If you are in the hospitality industry, you should have Wifi, and you should make it easy for your customers to use. What do you think the secret to Starbucks’s success is? It’s certainly not their coffee.

Come join the present day–the definition’s great! Then I’m sure we’ll get along famously.

Sincerely,

Someone Who Just Wants to Get Their Work Done, Durnit

*I do not believe, and do not intend to imply, that a hotel’s failure to provide Internet access is denial of a basic human right.  I do, however, think that if you wish to be successful in the hospitality or tourism industry, you need to begin by anticipating and meeting people’s needs.

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