Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by drmcleod, Jul 18, 2008.

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Campground WiFi should:

  1. be Free to entice more campers to the c/g

    7 vote(s)
    58.3%
  2. be Free in the more "deluxe" sites

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for)

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home)

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. Galli

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    QUOTE(Just Jack @ Aug 30 2008, 01:24 PM) [snapback]13012[/snapback]

    I am a owner of a RV park and have read through most of the postings in this forum. I have considered free wifi. I think there are more factors involved. One of the main factors is location of the park, is it a remote location where satillites are required to receive a signal or is where a DSL or cable line available to the property. We have to use satillites which is very expensive therefore we charge for wifi. Guests need to consider this before demanding free services.
    A couple of posting here come to mind. Is if fair to have free wifi and charge the same space rent to the person who doesn't use it or do I give that person a discount. I say no. If a park offers options when you arrive pick the ones you want to pay for them. If they charge for cable and you have a satillite do you need the cable, no, so you don't pay for it. If you have you own internet satallite do you want wifi, no. Pick the from the options offered and pay for them. One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?
    Another issue is most RV'ers traveling more than a week a year have a pocket full of discount cards. Good Sam to Passport America, AAA, etc. all wanting a better rate and full survices included. So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.


    I read your comment with respect to WIFI, paying for this service or be part of the camping rate, well, I might be crucified by the other campers but I consider WIFI as additional service and d because not every one wants it, it should be considered as separate charge, therefore, the basic rate should be lower; what really upsets me is when the camp owner advertises Internet and/or cable and/or etc.. and then the service is not there or yes there is the system installed but it doesn't works or works poorly.
    I am a Canadian snow bird that spends 4 winter months in Florida and we had internet problem all the time, the corporation is advertising the internet facility, we pay for it and didn’t work most of the time.
    If I may provide you with a suggestion from a consumer part, be honest with the RVers, do not pretend to provide what actually is not available and if you provide extra service, charge for it .
    If I may add and RV resort should provide, as part of the cost, clean washroom and shower and lots levelled.
     
  2. Florida Native

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    I always shower in my coach. By your thinking, I should be getting a discount.
     
  3. majordel

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    QUOTE(Just Jack @ Aug 30 2008, 02:24 PM) [snapback]13012[/snapback]

    I am a owner of a RV park and have read through most of the postings in this forum. I have considered free wifi. I think there are more factors involved. One of the main factors is location of the park, is it a remote location where satillites are required to receive a signal or is where a DSL or cable line available to the property. We have to use satillites which is very expensive therefore we charge for wifi. Guests need to consider this before demanding free services.
    A couple of posting here come to mind. Is if fair to have free wifi and charge the same space rent to the person who doesn't use it or do I give that person a discount. I say no. If a park offers options when you arrive pick the ones you want to pay for them. If they charge for cable and you have a satillite do you need the cable, no, so you don't pay for it. If you have you own internet satallite do you want wifi, no. Pick the from the options offered and pay for them. One posting said they were at a park that had free wifi and the park had $50 router off of a computer in the back room that worked perfect. Is that a secure conection?
    Another issue is most RV'ers traveling more than a week a year have a pocket full of discount cards. Good Sam to Passport America, AAA, etc. all wanting a better rate and full survices included. So everyone throw away your discount cards and pay the published rate and I will give you free wifi.



    I traveled extensively for work and am now retired with plans to continue traveling in my new RV. I have stayed in many hotels of various brands and know that the best have free internet and other benefits. Of course you pay for the "quality" hotels even if you do not use the internet, pool, or have the free breakfast. So you decide, do you want to be the Motel Six or an Embassy Suites RV style park? Also, just a thought, do you charge extra for the pool or the laundry or cable (if you have these things)?

    I also noted that you did not identify your RV Park, which is wise, since all those RVers with pockets full of discount cards (and money) are potential customers and that is your business, attracting customers and offering a good service/experience for a fair price. Obviously if you can't afford to install internet at your park, don't do it, just provide good customer service and not post statements that could cost you the patronage of those RVers with pockets full of discount cards.
     
  4. Texasrvers

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    I was just wondering if you all realize that you are responding to a post that was written in 2008.
     
  5. HappiestCamper

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    QUOTE(Majordel @ Apr 21 2014, 03:44 PM) [snapback]36232[/snapback]
    I also noted that you did not identify your RV Park, which is wise


    Owner are not allowed to identify their parks in a post.
     
  6. Galli

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    QUOTE(Majordel @ Apr 21 2014, 12:44 PM) [snapback]36232[/snapback]

    I traveled extensively for work and am now retired with plans to continue traveling in my new RV. I have stayed in many hotels of various brands and know that the best have free internet and other benefits. Of course you pay for the "quality" hotels even if you do not use the internet, pool, or have the free breakfast. So you decide, do you want to be the Motel Six or an Embassy Suites RV style park? Also, just a thought, do you charge extra for the pool or the laundry or cable (if you have these things)?

    I also noted that you did not identify your RV Park, which is wise, since all those RVers with pockets full of discount cards (and money) are potential customers and that is your business, attracting customers and offering a good service/experience for a fair price. Obviously if you can't afford to install internet at your park, don't do it, just provide good customer service and not post statements that could cost you the patronage of those RVers with pockets full of discount cards.


    am still of the opinion that , like the hotels, the RV resorts should have different prices according to the facilities.
    I agree with you in that, if there a swimming pool or SPA or tennis court or etc.., this will put the resort on a higher brackets, therefore, higher basic price, however, telephone, c\able,internet, I still consider them optional, mind you, I would not do without them but this is my decision and honestly, I cannot pretend that all campers should share the cost of it.
    You mention the washroom and shower, well those are part of the facility, like the toilette' paper or dryer and are part of having an RV Camp.
    What upset me the most are the advertising of some facility there which is not existing like internet that doesn't work or cable foggy or other facilities advertised to attract campers and , once there are not available or marginally available
     
  7. majordel

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    QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Apr 22 2014, 07:18 AM) [snapback]36254[/snapback]

    Owner are not allowed to identify their parks in a post.



    Did not know, my apologies for my previous statement.
     
  8. majordel

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    QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Apr 22 2014, 01:25 AM) [snapback]36248[/snapback]

    I was just wondering if you all realize that you are responding to a post that was written in 2008.



    I have a lot of catching up to do....... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Texasrvers

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    It's certainly OK to reply to an old post; I just didn't know if you were expecting answers form the original poster.
     
  10. hypogi

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    As an owner and a member of an owners association I can tell you that there is no such thing as free wifi/cable/anything. If a campground offers something as "free" it just means that they bumped the base price enough to cover the cost of the new ammenitiy. This is absolutly necessary if you want to stay in business. I think most campers understand that things like wifi cost money to an owner and in order to stay in business you have to charge for it somewhere, you cant give it away and stay viable.

    The flip side of this is if you only charge the people who want it everyone complains about being "nickled and dimed". You also can't count on people to be honest about which services they are using. We used to have a seperate rate for 50 amp and 30 amp sites with a little lock on the 50 amp breaker. People would insist that they were only using 30 amps but after they left the little wire locks were busted to pieces. We also used to have the honor system with cable. Everyone insisted that they were using there satillite but you could walk around the park and see everyone hooked up regardless of whether they paid or not.

    Now our prices are 5 dollars more a night but all of our services are "free". Our campers are happier because they feel like they are getting a deal and we are happier because we don't constantly feel that we are being lied to and being taken advantage of. Plus it's a lot fewer things that we have to police.

    Same thing can be said for items like swimming pools and stocked fishing ponds. Those things are expensive to maintain and if you tried to charge people to go swimming they would lose thier minds. But if the park became a dollar more expensive for everyone it covers the cost of the pool and most people wont complain about a dollar increase.
     
  11. AFChap269

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    QUOTE(hypogi @ Apr 27 2014, 05:21 PM) [snapback]36356[/snapback]

    Now our prices are 5 dollars more a night but all of our services are "free".

    Exactly why we try to avoid RV parks w/pools and other " features" we don't use and have no interest in paying for. And it has been rare in our experience to find campground WiFi that works well, if at all. I would prefer they just quit providing WiFi since it rarely works and I know we are paying for it anyway. We do hook up to "free" cable once in a great while just because it is a convenient way to get local stations, but would prefer not to pay for it just get locals on our batwing antenna.
     
  12. docj

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    QUOTE(AFChap @ Apr 27 2014, 11:41 PM) [snapback]36361[/snapback]

    Exactly why we try to avoid RV parks w/pools and other " features" we don't use and have no interest in paying for.



    I wish more RV Park owners would recognize that there is a class of RVers who like to stay at attractive parks but who don't care to use any of their facilities. We don't use your bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms or cable TV ever and we rarely bother with swimming pools or hot tubs and wouldn't care if you had them or not. We do carry our own high speed internet connection, but if you had something really exotic like fiber we would definitely try it.

    Quite a few of our friends with self-contained RVs have similar views and we have stayed at a number of very nice parks that offered us nothing but good utility hookups and a nice view at a fair price. There's nothing wrong with offering family-friendly RV parks with all the amenities, but maybe come creative owners will realize there's another market that could be addressed with a different approach.
     
  13. hypogi

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    I completely understand why you would choose a park without these amenities if you have no interest in using them. If we are traveling somewhere and looking to stay in a hotel and I have an option of $100 Ritz-Carlton that has a pool, a gym, continental breakfast, etc. or a $50 Best Western that has none of these things I would pick the less expensive one. Particularly if I wasn't planning on using the amenities. It doesn't mean that the pricier hotel is bad, or that the cheaper one is better, it just means that the two are catering to different travelers.

    On a personal note, I wish that we could get rid of the wifi. We have spent a lot of money on our wifi system but there are so many things that cause it to get slow or crash that are completely out of my control. Weather, terrain, power surges, the amount of people using it at once, as well the individual computer's age and the operators understanding how to use their computer. This is in no way an accusation toward you. But we see a lot of people who have wifi issues everywhere they go and when we try to help we find that the computer is 5 years old or older (which makes it a dinosaur in computer terms) or so bogged down with toolbars and unnecessary software that they couldn't get wifi if they were sitting on the antenna. As a rule of thumb, if someone tells me that they have cable/wifi issues at every park they stop at it typically is something the camper isn't doing correctly and not the campground.

    It is a matter of looking at the common factors in these cases. What is more likely, that EVERY campground has crumby wifi or that the people trying to connect are doing something incorrectly? Again not an accusation, I know that there are a lot of campgrounds trying to get by with TANGO wifi, which is worthless, but there are also a lot of people who have never learned how to use their computers.
     
  14. Florida Native

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    The best thing a frequent RIVER can have is an USB omnidirectional antenna. It cures most WiFi reception problems.
     
  15. AFChap269

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    QUOTE(hypogi @ Apr 28 2014, 01:09 PM) [snapback]36368[/snapback]

    It is a matter of looking at the common factors in these cases.

    Exactly. And for me the common factor is rv park wifi. I have no problems with wifi in homes, motels, offices, etc on phone, laptop or tablet ...just in probably 80-90% of the rv parks we stay in. I rarely try any more ...and will never pay extra for it because even then it rarely works well .. prefering to use my own cell phone hotspot which virtually always works well.

    Like you, I think rv parks should just quit trying to provide wifi. Between the large area most parks have to cover, and rv'ers who think nothing of trying to stream movies etc via wifi, it is pretty much a lost cause.
     
  16. docj

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    QUOTE(hypogi @ Apr 28 2014, 02:09 PM) [snapback]36368[/snapback]



    It is a matter of looking at the common factors in these cases. What is more likely, that EVERY campground has crumby wifi or that the people trying to connect are doing something incorrectly? Again not an accusation, I know that there are a lot of campgrounds trying to get by with TANGO wifi, which is worthless, but there are also a lot of people who have never learned how to use their computers.



    I always get my hackles up when a merchant takes a "blame the customer" approach. I know you weren't accusing me personally, but I can speak knowledgeably since I work for a company that makes amplifier/routers for RVers and also provides much of the "back haul" WiFi hardware for RV parks.

    After many, many tests, I am convinced that in most cases the problem is, indeed, the park WiFi. Computers can be outdated and slow, but running Speedtest.net from a browser to check network speeds doesn't require a particularly modern device.

    The park we winter at is a good example of one that has invested in ~6 Wifi access points each being fed by a cable modem. That results in morning speeds of >4-5Mbs but by evening the speed is down to ~300-400 kpbs due to higher usage and because the cable system itself experiences slowdowns due to more customer usage, both TV and internet. Obviously, the answer is to invest in even more access points, but I don't know how many the park can afford for a free wifi. OTOH I'd be fine if they ditched their cable TV system entirely, although not everyone would be happy with that.

    As for your slam at Tengonet, I'm sure you know that they specialize in wifi system design. The RV park owner has the final decision as to how much he is willing t pay to access the internet. The best wifi distribution system in the world won't work well if it's being fed by too small a pipe!
     
  17. Galli

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    QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 04:18 PM) [snapback]12323[/snapback]

    Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

    I would like to get other opinions on this.

    My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

    First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

    Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

    What do you think?


    I have to be honest, I don't agree for a free internet because the cost is going to be shared by every body.
    Mind you, I am an internet user and when I find a camp with free internet, I choose it but, honestly it is not fair that every one should share the cost.
    You are mentioning that McDonald and other facilities are offering free internet, well, I am sure that it is not a God given present and theoretically it has been added to the product, you don't see it but it is there.
    In order to add to your stats, I shall vote for the, the resort should provide this service at a moderate fee
     
  18. Eric P

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    I dont like the fact that an outside vendor is handling the internet access at most parks, but lets be honest, the rates for everyone will have to be raised to support an IT team to handle the infrastructure and keep the system up and running. Sure, maybe its only and extra 2 bucks a day for most of us, but what about that person who is staying for the month? Two bucks adds u. Especially if you aren't using the service.

    Pay as you go.
     
  19. docj

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    Personally, I think that most RV park owners approach the WiFi issue with a small business mindset and always think of it as a "cost" rather than as a potential "profit center". I think park owners fail to realize that people would pay good money to be guaranteed a decent internet connection. Even though most smart phones can be used as wifi hotspots the typical cellular customer doesn't pay for a data plan to support any significant amount of steaming. Paying to use an RV parks's internet may be less expensive than paying for overages on a data plan.

    There's no reason why a park can't setup free, bandwidth-restricted internet service for its customers while at the same time providing a limited number of high speed internet connections that are not subject to restriction (or with a limit high enough to provide high quality streaming). The high speed connections would have their own passwords and the park would sell time on them to customers who wanted to stream movies, etc. Time could be sold by the day or by the hour.

    A park could start with a modest number of high speed "channels" and could experiment to figure out what the appropriate pricing needs to be to ensure a profit. For a park that stays reasonably full during the summer season there almost assuredly will be a price at which the channels get used most of the time. As long as that price is high enough to cover cost and make a profit then there should be little risk. In the off season the service could be curtailed or turned off entirely.
     
  20. kcmoedoe

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    QUOTE(docj @ Apr 30 2014, 01:32 PM) [snapback]36403[/snapback]

    Personally, I think that most RV park owners approach the WiFi issue with a small business mindset and always think of it as a "cost" rather than as a potential "profit center". I think park owners fail to realize that people would pay good money to be guaranteed a decent internet connection. Even though most smart phones can be used as wifi hotspots the typical cellular customer doesn't pay for a data plan to support any significant amount of steaming. Paying to use an RV parks's internet may be less expensive than paying for overages on a data plan.

    There's no reason why a park can't setup free, bandwidth-restricted internet service for its customers while at the same time providing a limited number of high speed internet connections that are not subject to restriction (or with a limit high enough to provide high quality streaming). The high speed connections would have their own passwords and the park would sell time on them to customers who wanted to stream movies, etc. Time could be sold by the day or by the hour.

    A park could start with a modest number of high speed "channels" and could experiment to figure out what the appropriate pricing needs to be to ensure a profit. For a park that stays reasonably full during the summer season there almost assuredly will be a price at which the channels get used most of the time. As long as that price is high enough to cover cost and make a profit then there should be little risk. In the off season the service could be curtailed or turned off entirely.

    The problems with that approach would be the guests who use the free service would immediately think that the park was purposely degrading that service to force them to pay to use the better wifi. Those that chose the pay wifi would probably have expectations that couldn't be met by most parks, things like 300 MBS like you get with a private cable connection. No way a wireless system could deliver those speeds across a park. You would still have problems with connections due to the variances with individual computer's radios and the ever changing topography due to rigs coming and going.
    Finally, who would actually believe a park that advertised that it had great wifi? It has been a product that has been over promised and uder delivered for so long that people would just think the promise of great wifi was a marketing scam. I seriously doubt that advertising great wifi would bring in very many more people. They just wouldn't buy the advertising.
     

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