UK businesses waste £370m a year on wi-fi charges

Business travellers who are forced to pay hotels and travel companies to access wi-fi are costing British companies £370m annually, according to research by Amba Hotels.

UK businesses waste £370m a year on wi-fi charges
UK businesses waste £370m a year on wi-fi charges

The hotel group’s research found that the average UK business traveller spends £16.30 on wi-fi and roaming charges on each trip. This was found to be greater than in the US, where businesses spend $3.3b on the charges annually, which works out at $15.10 (£9.93) per trip.

The research claimed UK hotels and airports were the ‘worst offenders’ for wi-fi charges and highlighted hotels such as Marriott, where non-members are charged £10 for 24 hours; Mandarin Oriental, where non-members are charged £15 for 24 hours; and Four Seasons, where premium wi-fi costs £17 for 24 hours.

The issue of hotels misusing wi-fi has been at the forefront recently, with Marriott being fined for blocking conference delegate wi-fi at its hotels, and the FCC warning US hotels that the blocking of wi-fi is illegal.

As well as being charged for wi-fi, the research also found that 70% of business travelers were regularly unable to work efficiently due to slow or unreliable wi-fi connections, while 20% claimed there were times when they were unable to join a work call or video conference due to poor connections.

Financial commentator and founder of letssavemoney.com, Sarah Willingham, said: "Fast, free, reliable wi-fi is non-negotiable for modern business travellers. With airlines and rail companies investing in wi-fi on board and international roaming charges falling dramatically, it’s inexcusable to keep charging extortionate rates for patchy wi-fi connections."

More on wi-fi:

Marriott hotels to stop blocking wi-fi devices

Hyatt to offer free wi-fi at all hotels

Reader Rant: Communication to blame for wi-fi woes

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