You will be out of business or you are scamming people

Suppose you own a business. And there’s some good, like bottles of vodka, or some service, like massages, that you can sell to your costumers (I wonder what kind of business that is).

One fine day when you arrive you start opening your shop, turning on the lights. You turn the cash-machine and instead of the usual beeping, you hear an explosion and a funny smelling fume comes from behind the poor machine.

Obviously you immediately call the technician to fix it: “Sure, the technician will be dispatched tomorrow” says the operator on the other side. And before you hang up there’s a woman standing on the other side of the counter. “One bottle of vodka, please”.

“Sure!”, you say, and you give her one.

“How much is it?”

“10 Euros, but look, the machine is broken, so it is free, just take it. You can also take the massages if you want, they are also free.”

Can you see something wrong here?

What I see here is that either you will go out of business soon, or the vodka and the massages are free or close to free for you. You don’t seem to be running out of business so the second option is the right one.

This just happened to me. I’ve stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, in Zurich, Switzerland and the Internet access was outrageously expensive: 12 CHF. With a tiny fraction of what costs a night in this hotel you can pay the whole monthly connection. If you look it from the maintenance point of view, maintaining Internet working and that includes the monthly cost should be null, zero, nothing, compared to the cost of maintaining the hotel running. I even would expect that maintaining the hallways illuminated costs more per month than the Internet access… and they are not charging me extra for using the lights of the hallways. Building the network infrastructure, again, is nothing compared to building the hotel. I bet installing the doors in the showers was more expensive than the network infra-structure. Then, why isn’t Internet included in the price?

Thankfully their “change-machine” was broken and I had Internet access the whole week.

But again, why isn’t Internet included? The only reason I can find is that with all their luxury they are very cheap and want to get a little more money in their bags while they want. If I where the owner of this hotel I’d be ashamed for being a cheap <insert your insult of choice here>.

Same goes for other huge installations like airports, that are very expensive to run, and try to get a little bit more money of something that is nothing in their budget. I’d even consider the fact that people entertained by having access to Internet doesn’t fill as many complaints as people bored; and would also take delays more lightly. If I had an airport I’ll try to get all airlines to help turn the airport into an amusement park, of which free access to the Internet is only a part of it.

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