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Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for Jul 13, 2015
|No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward a time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more "modern," but more ancient than those of our Revolutionary ancestors.|
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|Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 11:01:29 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Free Hotel Wi-Fi is increasingly on Travelers' Must-Have Lists Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 8:47:36 PM UTC-4, Fred Goldstein wrote: > While one might suggest that leisure travelers should not spend their > time on the computer (although it comes in darn handy for things like > finding nearby restaurants, getting tickets, etc.), a business traveler > needs to be in touch with the outside. It is not a luxury; it is a work > tool. Times have changed, and today, often a computer is necessary to properly communicate or obtain information, even for a leisure traveller. For example, many hotels and motels do not have a concierge, and a guest seeking tickets (per above) would need a computer to find out local events and to order tickets. Many places these days really push for their patrons to use a computer rather than ordering by phone or even in person. Some leisure travelers may have medical or other critical personal issues that need to be carefully tracked and a computer is most helpful for that. True, a modern smartphone can do a lot of stuff, but sometimes a real computer is needed. One can get by without a computer or smart phone, but may find themselves waiting a long time on hold or paying higher rates. I don't think it's right to penalize people for being old fashiond, but that's the way it is these days.|
|Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2015 12:30:21 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Free Hotel Wi-Fi is increasingly on Travelers' Must-Have Lists Message-ID: <20150712163021.GA26196@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 11:01:29AM -0700, email@example.com wrote: > For example, many hotels and motels do not have a concierge, and a > guest seeking tickets (per above) would need a computer to find out > local events and to order tickets. Many places these days really push > for their patrons to use a computer rather than ordering by phone or > even in person. > [snip] > One can get by without a computer or smart phone, but may find > themselves waiting a long time on hold or paying higher rates. I > don't think it's right to penalize people for being old fashiond, but > that's the way it is these days. Here is a perfect example of why you need to be careful about the costs of the "always on" society. Any hotel that wants to attract repeat business knows that a Concierge is an essential part of the customer-care team. (S)He provides a service which is utterly impossible to program into a computer. Hypothetically speaking, let me suppose that you take a flight to Paris with your spouse, for a vacation. Shortly after takeoff, the captain announces that because of a warning light and an abundance of caution, he is landing at JFK airport in New York. You find yourself and your spouse listening to an airline representive who appolgizes for the inconvenience and the warning light and the time of day, and then assures you that you're being put up in a great hotel in Manhattan, courtesy of the captain and his overabundance of caution, and that you'll resume your flight the next day. So, you're in Manhattan at a hotel, on the first day of your vacation, with nothing to do. Your spouse suggests that you both make a night of it, and have a great dinner and see a Broadway play. Like every sensible new age spouse, you agree. Now (pay attention, there will be a test at the end), there are three ways that you can obtain tickets for a Broadway play on a few hours notice: 1. You could stand in front of the theater with a $500 bill held up in your hand and shout "Tickets" as the patrons arrive. 2. You could use a computer to access the various online ticket agencies, and select from the offerings they have available for that evening: most likely, a set of split seats at a play that is more "off" Broadway than it is "on". 3. You could visit the hotel Concierge and let him handle it for you. The odds of success increase dramatically when you pick choice #3. Why? Option #1 is, at best, incautious. It's not likely to produce the results you want in the timeframe you want them, with an acceptable level of risk. The computer is more efficient, and will have all the available seats listed, right? Wrong. Scalping is theoretically illegal. The computer programmers know that. The computerized ticket agency knows that. The theater knows that. You will seldom find good seats for a sought-after play on the day of the performance by using a computer. The hotel Concierge has business associates in the ticket agencies. They know that they can trust him not to burn them or inform on them. He knows that he can trust them not to burn him or inform on him. Most importantly, the ticket agencies know that if they don't deal with him fairly, he will blacklist them and they will lose a lot of high-end, last-minute business. The odds are that the Concierge will get you tickets to a Broadway play for that evening. It is understood that you will pay extra, because he is providing not only the tickets, but the promise that they are not forged, not stolen, and will be honored for that evening. His reputation, and that of the hotel, is the guarantee. A computer can't do that. A computer can't build relationships or make friends. Only people can do that. My wariness about having always-on connectivity comes down to this: it is measured not by what is gained, but by what is lost. We lose, just by the fact that computers are involved, the human capability to empathize with errant travellers whom are asking for help because of a warning light that they didn't cause and can't control, OR with a customer who orderered the wrong class of service and needs help only a sympathetic human can provide: the ability to break the rules, not just follow them. It's good business to pay attention to what the people want, not just what the programmers want. In-room WiFi is "nice" if it gives me access to the Cisco website when I'm too keyed up to sleep and want to know the environmental loads of an 5000-series router. It is utterly useless to connect me to anyone whom I could trust to help me find tickets to a play. WiFi costs extra. That's understood: the price is irrelevant when compared to the value of my time. Being clipped to an electronic leash which obligates me to pretend that I have answers to complicated questions available at every moment of my life costs a lot extra. Which option is better for a business is left as an exercise for the reader. Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) Copyright (C) 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.|
|Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2015 23:10:37 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Theaters Struggle With Patrons' Phone Use During Shows Message-ID: <AB4D9334-AE64-4B14-8416-368C75EE15A1@roscom.com> Recorded announcements and personal pleas have only a limited effect, as recent incidents on Broadway and elsewhere demonstrate. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/11/theater/theaters-struggle-with-patrons-phone-use-during-shows.html|
|Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 20:56:39 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Free Hotel Wi-Fi is increasingly on Travelers' Must-Have Lists Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Friday, July 10, 2015 at 5:28:41 PM UTC-5, Barry Margolin wrote: > In article <email@example.com>, > tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote: [snip] > Discount hotels, on the other hand, use price as their > main marketing feature. Charging extra for something > like [wifi] would cut into the only reason people go > to those hotels. But even some discount motels have those horrible little "safes" that cost an extra $1.00 to $1.50 per day whether you use them or not. I've encountered them in Holiday Inns and Super-8s, but at least they took the charge off the bill when I complained. But TraveLodge -- at two different properties -- refused to take the charge off the bill, stating, rather impertinently, "it's mandatory." I have never stayed at a TraveLodge since, and I will never again stay at one. Neal McLain|
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