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. BankShot

    BankShot
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    I guess I am one of those who feels that when we go camping, we should be going camping and things like TV and Laptops, etc. should get the time off also. I realize many folks need to stay in touch with their businesses from time to time or are in need of the latest stock market standings, but do we really need to know what so & so is doing on "As the Stomach Churns", etc....... :eek: For crying out loud guys and gals, I thought owning an RV and being able to drive around the country enjoying nature and all the incredibly beautiful places this country offers, was what camping was all about? Again perhaps I am one of very few who thinks this way. We have two TVs in our coach and about the only time we turn them on is when we want to get a weather report or it's raining outside in the evening and we are forced to be inside with our glass of wine so we will turn the TV on and watch one of the educational channels like Discovery, Science, History or National Geo, etc. Boy are we boring or what........:(!!! As for "the news", that's part of the reason we have an RV, so we can get away from all that crap. We see so many folks, both children and adults, sitting by their RV with either a laptop or a cellphone, fingers doing their tap dance on the keys or engaged in a conversation with someone probably back in the big cement city. Each one in their own separate world and not paying one bit of attention to the others with them. It seems as tho we've become a nation of electronic morons and communication between two people anymore is all done by texting and emailing or whatever the latest craze is. Wake up America, stick that cellphone where the sun don't shine while you're camping. Use it sparingly and for emergencies, etc. not while you're sitting with your family by a river or some other beautiful spot where you are fortunate enough to be because of your RV. You might just find you can have a wonderful experience talking with family and friends that are there with you. Then again, you might have to re-introduce yourself to them to find out who they are.................. o_O

    No matter, everyone is different, enjoy your RV and all your electronic gadgets you take with you. At least you aren't down at the local Starbucks sucking up a Latte' and stuffing down a Blueberry Blintz.................. Regards to all, Bankshot

    PS: I gotta tell you all about the one time we were camped out in the AZ desert and met a couple from Canada one day while walking. Nice folks, and being from Canada originally myself, we hit it off immediately. They asked us to drop by their coach that evening for a glass of wine and some more conversation, so we did. Got there, got handed a glass of wine and then sat there for almost two hours watching "Curling" on TV. Seems their favorite team was playing their arch rival that night so we got a lesson in how the game is played and left afterwards not knowing one single thing more about them than we already knew from our earlier meeting that day. What's the point in inviting someone over for a glass of wine if all you are going to do is watch TV. I don't get it and never will I guess? But ask me anything about Curling and I can tell you the answer............... :D
     
  2. docj

    docj
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    But all video usage has pretty much the same effect on the wifi system. So if you are watching news videos or Facebook funny animals videos and someone else is Skyping with grandchildren the net result is the same.

    In fact if a Netflix user controls his bandwidth by adjusting his account settings he may well be using less bandwidth than you are when watching news videos.
     
  3. docj

    docj
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    But all video usage has pretty much the same effect on the wifi system. So if you are watching news videos or Facebook funny animals videos and someone else is Skyping with grandchildren the net result is the same.

    In fact if a Netflix user controls his bandwidth by adjusting his account settings he may well be using less bandwidth than you are when watching news videos.
     
  4. Florida Native

    Florida Native
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    When you stay out months at a time, the internet is you contact to families and friends. Banking and stuff is important. We also use it for planning what we will do and where we will go. It is so much better and up to date than the books which we have now tossed. We usually do the internet stuff at night. We maintain a website with our photos (10,000 plus) for our friends and use the internet for it.
     
  5. Tallboy

    Tallboy
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    We workamped at a campground the summer of 2011 in Colorado where the owner had the people working in the office give out coupons. Daily, weekly, monthly depending on your stay. You had to sign in using your name, the numbers and letters on the coupon. If someone used to much broadband they were shut down. That simple. The owner took care of it.
     
  6. docj

    docj
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    IMHO that type of approach by park owners is self-defeating. If you advertise an amenity at an RV park people expect it to work just as well as any other amenity you provide. If you advertise 50A service you don't tell people to try to limit it to 45A.

    We are a long way from when the internet was just for email; most of the younger generation doesn't even use email anymore. If you advertise that you have wifi then people expect that they can do everything on it that they can on their home internet connection and every member of that family expects that also. I have a 9 year old grandchild visiting with us at the moment and she gets irritated when her Kindle can't connect to the internet!:D

    IMHO if you can't provide that quality of service, either for free or even with a paid subscription, then maybe you should consider eliminating wifi from your park altogether. All you are doing is creating dissatisfied customers. There are quite a number of RV parks that have taken such radical action. They figure that most customers will have cellular-based internet service so there is no reason for them to provide service that no one likes, anyway.
     
  7. westernrvparkowner

    westernrvparkowner
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    Then perhaps you should apply that logic to this site. There are multiple items that the administration has said are either not yet fully functional or are not working properly, yet you keep the site up and running. You advertise that a park owner can "claim" their RV park and have access to certain functions, but it doesn't work. Don't see you just closing up the website. It is a fact that there are limitations to park wifi. Just like there are limitations to the water, the electricity, the cable television and every other amenity at every RV Park. We have cable TV, yet we don't offer the Playboy Channel, should we eliminate cable because I am sure there is someone out there that wants it? If everyone in the park was to turn on all their water faucets at the same time, water pressure would drop to zero, should we eliminate water? Even the electrical system in every RV park would fail should everyone turn on all their appliances at once. Heck, even the power companies cannot supply adequate power to their entire grids at certain times, hence we have "brown outs". Should Consolidated Edison just quit? Saying a park should just eliminate wifi because the park cannot deliver unlimited bandwidth to everyone is just short of lunacy.
     
  8. docj

    docj
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    You many consider it lunacy, but I'm aware of a number of parks that have done it or are seriously considering it. If wifi causes significant customer discontent why have it? I'm not suggesting that it be eliminated because it isn't perfect but because what is provided doesn't meet customer expectations. For serious internet users, what many parks provide as wifi is little more than a joke.

    As for you so-called counter examples of a park's electrical and water capabilities, those capacities are routinely calculated to accommodate the anticipated load. For example, the National Electric Code has specific guidelines as to the ratings of cables that serve RV parks. If you operated a park where the water or electrical service deteriorated as badly as most park's wifi does I sure wouldn't return.

    As for cable TV, I would say that many park cable systems are so marginal that you might want to seriously consider taking the money you pay (waste?) on them and using it to buy increased bandwidth for your wifi. If your cable system doesn't offer much more than a few of the national networks and some basic cable, maybe you should think about doing this. You might be surprised to find more customer support for doing this compared to maintaining an inadequate wifi system.

    Lastly, we admit that this website has features that were announced but have not yet been implemented. For that we are sorry for having prematurely raised park owner's expectations. But I do know for fact that implementation of this feature is planned for the near future. Unlike so many poorly performing park wifis, we know we have issues and are taking steps to correct them.

    Joel Weiss
     
  9. nedmtnman

    nedmtnman
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    I started full timing in 2003 and at time I was happy if the park had in the office or rec room a phone line to use my modem for dial up. Then I got a wifi card and a few parks had wifi though it was spotty and limited broadband but back them we didn't have all the stuff we have now to eat bandwith. Now everyone wants to download movies and all kinds of stuff and then complain the wifi is slow. I worked with a company for a while looking at parks and seeing what it would take to put in a good wifi system. I was shocked at how much it cost to install a really good system. Several thousand dollars. I have been in parks where they had a router for household use stuck up in a window and advertised wifi. I have been in parks that had a great system and everything in between. I used what was available and went on. I think too many people want perfection and that isn't possible. I used what was there and adapted on all the services.
     
  10. westernrvparkowner

    westernrvparkowner
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    Do you have it on some good authority that all the parks that get bad reviews for the performance of their wifi system are not and have not taken steps to attempt to improve it, hence they should just stop providing wifi? And just because you don't like or use cable TV does not mean it is an obsolete or unwanted amenity. It is actually quite the opposite. Seldom do I hear people say they chose my park because it has wifi, but they often tell me that cable TV was a selling point. We actually have a price tiered model where the sites with cable are more expensive than sites without and the cable sites sell out much faster than the non-cable and, yes, wifi is available everywhere so that doesn't come into play.. And how do we really know you are taking steps to improve the issues on the website? You surely don't take the word of multiple park owners that it is nearly impossible to meet all the wifi demands of all the customers, so why should anyone take your word that the site is being improved? We see what we see which is a bunch of promised features that do not exist. If you were to follow your own advice, you would take this site down until all those issues were addressed, since something that works pretty well for some things (like wifi that works well for email and surfing but is not robust enough for Netflix and this site for getting reviews, but not for posting photos of campgrounds or providing access for park owners to the supposed special features available to them) is a customer service negative. By your very own words you are hurting the owners of this site by having a half operating site up and running. I used to view this site with kind of a neutral attitude. I didn't like a lot of things about it, but I did feel it fills a consumer need. Now, however, it appears the administrator has taken a negative view towards RV park owners and operators. I don't pretend to tell you how to run your site and what problems you are having with the site are easy or hard to solve, yet you sure seem to be able to do that regarding owning and operating an RV park. Apparently you believe that just because you say a park should have unlimited Wifi bandwidth, all the park has to do is go out and get it. Well, it isn't that simple.
     
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  11. docj

    docj
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    I'm sorry if you've misunderstood my point. I fully understand that it may not be feasible to provide high quality broad bandwidth wifi at an affordable price at some (many?) parks. But if that's the case, my question is why provide wifi at all if it's not going to meet customer expectations? Even if your customer base is not young families with multiple web-connected devices, even snowbirds expect to be able to Skype of Facetime with their grandchildren. As full-time RVers we carry our own cellular hotspot and use it nearly all the time. Park wifi is usually too erratic for us to even bother with it.

    You've reacted to my comments with far more emotion than I anticipated. I am very well aware how difficult it is to meet the ever-increasing wifi expectations of your customers. But on a daily basis I read reviews from those customers complaining about poor wifi at RV parks. It is without a doubt the leading complaint we read. It often causes a reviewer to seriously downgrade a park on the basis of this single failing. All I can wonder is whether the park would be better off if it didn't offer wifi at all. It's not a criticism of your park or others, but a realization that if you're never going to meet customer expectations, maybe it would be better never to raise them at all.

    As for the operation of this website, you have repeatedly mentioned the "claim your park" feature which I admitted has not yet been implemented. Since this is a capability that didn't exist on the previous version of the website, it's difficult to imagine how not having a capability that you've never had creates a hardship. If you have other specific complaints about the website, please let me know so I can ensure that they get dealt with.

    In summary, I'm not trying to tell you how to run your RV park, but I was offering a different perspective from the one many parks are using. Apparently, you aren't interested in my thoughts and that's your right.
     
  12. westernrvparkowner

    westernrvparkowner
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    You say the "claim your park" feature didn't exist in the previous version of the website, yet you are now advertising it and it is not available. Wifi didn't exist in the previous versions of RV parks, say 10 years ago, and streaming didn't exist as it is today 5 years ago. It is the same thing, but at least the parks do offer some version of wifi, whereas you advertise a feature that is completely unavailable. So I don't understand why you don't feel you are actually a bigger violator of "customer service" than those parks that at least try to offer everything they advertise.
    Regardless of what you say, you do seem to be telling people how to run their parks. You are telling us to drop wifi, since it cannot perform to your standards in most places. You tell us we are wasting our money on cable TV and should drop it as well. Just because somebody complains about something does not necessarily mean the solution is to eliminate that amenity.
    I seriously doubt you have any experience with running and owning an RV park. To sit in the stands and tell professionals how they should run their businesses is a definition of arrogance. You really have no idea how many people choose a park based on this amenity or that amenity. To blindly proclaim that cable TV is a waste of money or that no Wifi is better than some Wifi is just talking out your ***.
    It seems the administration of this website is spending too much time trying to run other people's businesses than they are spending trying to keep their business up to date. That would explain why Trip Advisor now posts many more reviews of my park than this website does. That was not the case even as recently as two years ago. Maybe it is because they have the features you claim to be adding (post photos, owner can reply, etc) already operational.
    And yes, I am answering emotionally. It is my chosen profession. I spend way more time and money on my parks than you do on this half operating website. I apparently hit a nerve whenever I (or others, for that matter) point out some of the failing of this website, and you aren't even the owner. You reply emotionally to unfounded criticism and misguided, uninformed attempts to offer up unreasonable solutions to said problems of the website and I am going to respond emotionally to unfounded criticism and unreasonable suggestions to change certain aspects of my chosen profession.
     
  13. docj

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    I'm going to end this conversation since it's obvious that you have no interest in anyone providing suggestions for changes in your business model. No, I don't have first hand knowledge of your business but I was a Business Development vice president in a Fortune 100 company and then president of one of its business units.

    As a result, I think I have enough relevant business experience to make educated observations of your business and provide suggestions as to how to improve the business model. That's sort of what I did for quite a few years. But you clearly aren't interested in my suggestions, so just ignore them.

    As for the operation of this website, we appreciate everyone's observations and suggestions including yours. We know that bugs remain and we often are made aware of them by our users and we thank them for their assistance. But the ability to upload photos has been available for many months; the only thing at the moment is that you, as a park owner, aren't permitted to upload photos until we implement the "claim your listing" feature, which, regardless of whether or not you believe me, is supposed to come online in a couple of months.
     

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