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May 30, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Hotel internet access code card

Mail_3Aleigh Acerni writes in:

Recently, I stayed at a hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, where I requested the hotel's high-speed internet access code. I was given this little card with the access code on it. Or so I thought...

You see, the access code is actually a 9-digit combination of letters and numbers, which wasn't explained to me at check-in. It turns out that those small upper-case letters on the left hand side of the card are the beginning of the code, and those letters need to be input along with the four numbers next to "your access code" but just by looking at this, would you have known that? Why didn't they just print "CHSHD4103" on the line next to "your access code"?

The worst part is, when I called the front desk for help accessing the internet, no one answered the phone. I had to try calling repeatedly for 15 minutes to get someone on the phone who could help me figure out how to decipher this card.


oh come on, are you really suggesting that some poor hotel employee should have to write out 5 letters? that would be cruel.

Posted by: gmangw at May 30, 2006 12:11 AM

Really the only thing that is broken is the positioning of the letters. This is similar to forms that already have dd/mm/20yy instead of mm/dd/yyyy. All it needs is to move the letters down and to the right next to the blank so people will associate the letters clearly with the rest of the code.

Posted by: Achilles at May 30, 2006 12:18 AM

The card itself isn't some fatal error. That could be figured out with one extra line of instruction or the letter combonation moved. What IS broken, is that you had to call the desk for 15 minutes to even reach anyone!

BTW, if its so complementary, why do you even need a code? It's probably standard practice and I don't know it, but its like putting a combonation lock on the door to a free continental breakfast and giving out the numbers to all room guests. Why bother, if they're already in the room, shouldn't they be paying for it...? (Unless they broke in to steal WIRED internet. Wardriving is alot easier and hassle free people!)

Posted by: Ducky at May 30, 2006 01:14 AM


Posted by: NCeJ at May 30, 2006 02:19 AM

Broken. Those letters look like a design element, not part of the access code. I also like how they call it "hi-speed" internet. I guess it just works at a friendly pace:)

Posted by: yobot at May 30, 2006 09:07 AM

I agree that the letter part of the combination should be moved closer to the line on which the number part is written. Perhaps some instructions printed on the back of the card would be helpful.

I have yet to encounter something like this in my travels. Usually the complimentary access is just an open wi-fi access point. Sometimes I had to enter my room number into a form. My guess is that this hotel is located in either a downtown area or very close to a residential neighborhood. The idea behind the code is to keep the hotel from providing free internet access to the entire neighborhood (which would slow down access for paying guests). The numeric part of the code is different for each guest and probably expires upon check-out.

I did once stay at a hotel that was acting as a free neighborhood ISP. My speeds were so slow that I used dial-up during my stay. I informed management when I checked out and was told that they were aware of the situation and were changing systems the next month.

Posted by: eBob at May 30, 2006 09:26 AM



Posted by: xvngnfdgnzxdfg at May 30, 2006 11:14 AM

you mean NCeJ?

Posted by: dfsdfjo at May 30, 2006 11:15 AM

People will naturally assume that only the underlined part is their access code.


Have preprinted cards that say:

CHSHD________ - Your access code

(I hope the underline tags work)

Posted by: Manni at May 30, 2006 12:39 PM

...which they didn't. Somehow everything xvngnfdgnzxdfg's post is italicized though.

Posted by: Manni at May 30, 2006 12:42 PM

closing out the italics

Posted by: End of italics? at May 30, 2006 12:54 PM

Maybe this will work.

Posted by: End of italics? at May 30, 2006 12:57 PM

Will this work? (for good measure)

Posted by: You clearly didn't close the italics... at May 30, 2006 03:01 PM

Mmmmmmm... italics...

Posted by: Homer Simpson at May 30, 2006 03:26 PM

DATE: 05/30/2006 03:33:12 PM

Posted by: Fuzzy at May 30, 2006 03:33 PM

Maybe this will work. Or not.

Posted by: Fuzzy at May 30, 2006 03:34 PM

Oh, I know! Heh.

Posted by: Fuzzy at May 30, 2006 03:35 PM

Name calling, are we? I would've made the same mistake on it, myself. Broken.

Posted by: Timber at May 30, 2006 04:23 PM

Once you figure out four characters don't work, you should be able to find the other 5. The problem is that "once".

Posted by: Fuzzy at May 30, 2006 07:22 PM

It's funny that you had to do twice, because someone went twice!

Posted by: You clearly didn't disable tags at Feb 31, 2006 3:00:00 PM

Posted by: engunneer at May 30, 2006 07:24 PM

WHY have you re-continued the italics, and made everything bold in addition?

Posted by: Alcas at May 30, 2006 08:07 PM

ahem... please refrain from making comments simply to test the formatting.

Anyway, it is understandable that the hotel wants to limit access to paying guests, but I would not assume the letters were part of the access code. The text should be placed closer to the numbers, formatted in a similar way, and if possible, all characters should be written entirely by computer or hand.

Posted by: freedomlinux at May 30, 2006 08:20 PM

whoooaaaaa everything is in italics!

Anyway, I've never seen THAT before!

Posted by: Another guy named Alex B. at May 30, 2006 08:33 PM

DATE: 05/30/2006 10:03:09 PM

Posted by: Joe at May 30, 2006 10:03 PM

[/b][/i]What really threw me personally off about the card is that it ends in HD. Since HD has become a buzzword for advertisers and consumers, I intially thought that maybe they had some gimmicky Internet connection or something.

Posted by: Ducky at May 30, 2006 10:38 PM


Posted by: Ducky at May 30, 2006 10:40 PM

sorry about double post. i had a mix up in my browser.

Posted by: Ducky at May 30, 2006 10:41 PM

This thread's formatting is now not broken! (Please?)

To appease the people who don't like posting just to change the formatting... i say BROKEN!

Posted by: read the source, luke! at May 30, 2006 10:45 PM

Now the formatting's really not broken (puhleeze?)

Posted by: broke at May 30, 2006 10:48 PM

Stop playing with the formatting... *sigh*

Posted by: Timber at May 30, 2006 10:50 PM

I can break it too!

Posted by: person at May 30, 2006 10:56 PM

Assuming you'd want to avoid having clerks write "CHSHD" every time (a reasonable goal, considering how brainless it is to ask any employee to repeat an unnecessary task), the form should be formatted as follows:

Your access code: CHSD____

Posted by: garykarp at May 31, 2006 01:12 AM

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