Free Points, a Suggestion for Every Hotel, and a Huge Congratulations!!

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary Ā»

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  1. Presumably they do this so that they can say you write fully aware of the T&Cs of the Internet access they’re providing and try and reduce their liability in some fashion? Others will also try and do it to harvest email addresses for marketing purposes.

  2. Lol I didn’t say it was sensible or effective, I’m just not surprised that big corporations behave in this way – and it’s likely for their liability to you but also to the authorities, so they can say it was their customers downloading pirated content, etc. I can’t see them moving away from it, at least not in the States.

  3. Depending on the login info required, they may use that info in their marketing. Alternately, although it might be free, they probably want to restrict the wifi to customers and not the public, thus the name and room number match that I’ve seen.

  4. I’ll take it one step further; I don’t understand why any hotel is still charging for internet. (Besides, of course, the tried-and-true, “Because they can” reasoning.)

  5. The law is unclear on whether a hotel offering a wifi hotspot is considered an ISP or not, and until it is defined in the courts or legislatively, a judge that determines a hotel is not an ISP could hold the hotel liable for any illegal activity on their network (torrents, child porn, etc), though have never read it happening and doubt it ever will. So hotspot owners, under lawyer advice, tend to require signing of T&Cs and disclaimers in case they do end up getting sued/prosecuted.

    Also, hotels want to restrict access to the network for this very reason. In population-dense places it’d be easy to use the network for illicit purposes.

  6. @Denis, I see that too, and it doesn’t exactly inspire me to want to subscribe to milenerd’s blog! šŸ™

  7. That button to accept the terms of the free wifi was a major headache for me last week, when I tried to connect my Roku to the hotel TV. The Roku has no browser, so no way to accept the terms.

    In the end, I had to download Virtual Router onto my laptop. That was a hassle, and if I hadn’t been lugging a laptop, I’d have been out of luck.

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