Swisscom: Main Reason Why I Will Never Stay in an NH-Hotel. Ever!

35 thoughts on “Swisscom: Main Reason Why I Will Never Stay in an NH-Hotel. Ever!”

  1. I do not know why you experienced these problems. I am a very satisfied Swisscom customer since many years. They provide (at least here in Switzerland) a very reliable public WiFi Network (MOBILE-EAPSIM) with hotspots all over the place.

    BTW: You may also buy products such as Apple Airport Express in which you plug the hotels LAN cable. After that, you have your own hotspot in your room. Most hotels provide free LAN cable access in the rooms.

    1. Hi Andy! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the feedback comments! I am really glad to hear the experiences with Swisscom are not the same in various other countries and really hopeful things work all right in Switzerland. However, here in Spain the situation is very different.

      Judging from tweets shared across yesterday I am not the only one experiencing these connectivity issues and in various different hotels. Not very pleasant.

      I am glad you mention the Apple Airport Express option, because I thought about it, but, apparently, the hotel where I was staying, the NH Podium, they didn’t have LAN / Ethernet connections, just the wi-fi; we tried to get hooked with the connection through a cable, but it wasn’t working either.

      I guess they would need to invest in much more robust infrastructure before they can continue with that quality service provided in Switzerland. Hope they will.

      Thanks again for the feedback! Greatly appreciated! 🙂

  2. On the cost: I’m not surprised at the EUR 18 price… when I stayed at the Hilton Diagonal Mar last month, they wanted EUR 23 per day for their Internet service. I have no idea how well it worked for that price: the meeting I was attending provided its own Internet service, which is all I used.

    After the meeting, I moved to the Husa Oriente on La Rambla, and they had quite decent Internet service for EUR 20 for three days.

    I’m used to horrible Internet service in hotels, so I seldom pay for it, preferring to rely on my BlackBerry and on free WiFi in local cafes.

    1. Hiya Barry! Great to hear from you and really glad you are doing fine and pretty close to where I live, compared to the other side of the pond! Very nice! Next time you come to Spain, do let me know, as I may be in the vicinity …

      Right, with regards to your wonderful comments, thanks for those! I am really disappointed about the high prices from that first hotel as well and guess I’ll be adding it into my list of black-listed hotels for not providing a bit more competitive set of prices, like in the second case, which sounds reasonable…

      I agree with you on relying on your own connectivity solutions and I surely hope to be hooked up on mine very shortly when I finally get my 3G SIM card for my iPad, which will help me address all issues straight away and without having to worry about where I will be staying from there onwards. I just can’t wait!

      I guess that’s eventually where we will all be heading, specially for business trips where hotels seem to keep failing at understanding our needs… Oh well … perhaps this was the last chance for me to experience such awful connectivity issues while in Barcelona. We shall see …

      Thanks again for the feedback!

  3. @elsua I also pick hotels based on Internet access, because the frustration of discovery, diagnosis and remediation was causing me to stay up too late and be tired in the morning.

    In NYC, I had conversations with the the city IT managers of both Marriott and Hilton, who said that they were bringing services back in-house because of quality issues. They said that a lot of problem was guests running Slingbox feeds into the hotels. All I was trying to do was get to my e-mail! In the short term, I switch to the Club Quarters hotels — with fast, hardwired connections. The last time I was in NYC, I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on 8th Street, and their Internet service had improved.

    Good hotels appreciate feedback from their customers. Sometimes the form of the feedback isn’t the most pleasant, but the ones that respond with good service recovery are worth some loyalty.

    1. Hi David! Thanks much for those additional comments, which, I think, fit in quite nicely with the discussions we have been having. I am glad I am not the only one considering which hotels to go to based on the kind of Internet services they would offer.

      Yes, I understand how a good number of folks may abuse the system while staying at a particular hotel, but then again it doesn’t necessarily the rest of us would need to pay for that as well, right? There are plenty of things that can be done to help improve that overall service than to make everyone else suffer, imo.

      Glad to read as well how some of those hotels are paying attention and want to improve their services. So far NH-Hotels haven’t, but then again when seeing the service I got while there, in situ, I doubt they would very much care. It’d be a rather refreshing change, for sure, but not likely to happen any time soon. We shall see…

      For now that hotel chain has lost my loyalty and it’s going to take them a lot of hard work and effort to gain it back. Starting with ditching Swisscom altogether…

      Thanks again for the good feedback! Greatly appreciated!

  4. I can understand your frustration. I guess a lot depends on what you want to achieve with your post though. If you just wanted to vent, and I can’t blame you for that, done the same myself many a time, then fair enough but I suspect that if you are expecting these two companies to throw their hand up in horror at your post and react to it (by addressing the issues) then I think you may have a long wait!

    As you have experienced, customer ‘service’ doesn’t really give a hoot but if you really wanted to make a difference you might like to try my wife’s approach to this sort of issue. It does take some effort on your part but in general it does get results.

    Basically her approach is to trawl the companies web sites and the net in general and find the names and/or email address of the CEO, the board of directors, VPs etc, in fact anyone in the top tier of management. It may take some creative guess work as to email addresses but she says that once you figure out the general format, you can usually guess the correct address from a persons name etc.

    She then blitzes everyone she found with an email about her issues.

    99% of the time (she’s done this a few times now) she gets a reply back from someone at the top, either a CEO (And I’m talking about MAJOR companies here) or a VP of some sort and once you’ve gotten the attention of people at that level, stuff really does happen. She’s even ended up with the direct phone numbers to some of these people.

    She’s polite in her email and conversations but explains her issue. Often she does not want anything back herself, just want to have an issue resolved but you’d be surprised how often these people bend over backwards to make sure her issues are resolved and that she is happy.
    One happy customer is worth all the advertising in the world and these people know it.

    As a side thought to your post and this subject in general I guess it’s interesting to consider the difference between the effects of social computing and the more ‘direct’ approach my wife takes. Social computing such as your post is very much a case of throw the a whole load of seeds onto the ground and hope one or two take root. My wife’s approach seems to be much more like tending to a single potted plant. The potted plant takes more effort but results are more guaranteed (except for my wife, when it comes to real gardening she’s like me, stuff dies!)

    1. Hi Dave! Many thanks for the great feedback comments and for the wonderful input! It’s greatly appreciated! Must confess your wife’s dedication to address the issue and, finally, get the attention one would deserved, is very much commendable. However, I’m afraid I’d not be as patient as she is…

      So, to me, the main point I wanted to achieve is already done.

      Like I have mentioned on the blog post, I don’t expect both companies to react, since they didn’t do much of it, when I was there, face to face, in front of them and they didn’t want to take any further actions other than ask me whether I wanted to file a complaint, instead of trying to fix the issues.

      This blog entry was just detailing a little bit the kind of response you should not give to your customers who are having a problem. Instead of giving me a chance to raise a complaint, try to fix my issues. If you don’t, then I doubt I would ever come back to your hotel or use your Internet services, which is what just happened in this instance.

      There are far too many hotels and Internet providers who are more willing to listen and help their customers than these two companies mentioned above. Time for me to move on, till those improvements are there…

  5. Just got done staying at what would have been the perfect hotel in Edinburgh if not for Swisscom. We didn’t have to pay for wifi access, but the connection was poor and we had to get a new code everday from the front desk to use it. They also ran the TV system and somehow had less channels and less information than the regular TVs in Scotland. I’d never heard of this company before, but am now a firm enemy of hotels that use them.

  6. Thanks – I am staying at the NH in Seville (Plaza de Armas) and speedtest just clocked the swisscom wireless connection at 1.06 download / 0.14 upload! So even worse than your experience. It is cheaper here, day by day at “only” 10.60 Euro, although unlike you I have had no connection problems. I will say, though, that the hotel is quite nice, and I am very used to being ripped off on wireless at hotels when staying in the U.S.

  7. I happen to work at (not for, so I’m not speaking on their behalf) a NH Hotel, and since a couple of months ago, wifi access is free in all hotels. (the basic connection that is) This was done because there were so many complaints, both from customers and from staff having to deal with them. Yes, swisscom can be annoying (and it was very much overpriced), but let’s not overreact here. So you’re having some trouble with your internet, is that really a reason to stay away from an entire chain of hotels? It IS a hotel after all, and not an internet cafe, where providing an internet connection is their main focus. If you’re so picky about your internet connection, maybe traveling just isn’t your thing. I mean, I just came back from Argentina, and I was glad if the hotel I stayed at had a mere dial up connection so I could check my e-mail. The NH chain has some very well priced hotels (and some overpriced ones) considering what they offer. The staff has always been very friendly and attentive, and the food is very good. Whenever something is wrong with the room, you get a refund or a free upgrade without any trouble. Yet you’re complaining about a refund taking 7 whole days… It is just laughable.

    Also, you stress that it IS the hotel staff’s problem that your internet doesn’t work. And you’re right, it is indeed their problem. They have to deal with people like yourself complaining to them about a problem they can’t do anything about.

    TL;DR: A well working internet connection just isn’t an absolute guarantee, anywhere in the world, deal with it. Your first world problems aren’t real problems at all.

    1. Hi James, thanks much for taking the time to drop by and for noticing this blog post after two years since I first put it together. I guess it’s always better late than never waiting for a response from either Swisscom or from NH Hotels, although in this case it isn’t neither of them, since you are sharing your personal opinion and are not representing either business. Either way, I still appreciate your extended feedback commenting on the original concerns expressed on this blog post. But please do allow me to set the context further along of what you have classified as this just another “first world problem”. I appreciate your time and additional thoughts. 

      Throughout the year I get to travel extensively for work (not for pleasure) in multiple cities and countries worldwide and at this stage there are three things that I consider essential from hotels to offer their business travelling guests: 1. A good working shower, 2. A good comfortable bed and 3. A good reliable, stable, consistent Internet connection that would’t remind us all of what the Analogue Internet used to be in the late 90s. Alas, NH Hotels & Swisscom keep failing at #3 and quite extensively, even nowadays when the wi-fi is provided for free. Please see my recent experience on the NH Calderon in Barcelona where speeds were just appalling, even with free wifi >

      If I were on vacation or on my leisure time I wouldn’t be worrying too much about it, since I would be spending most of my time out and about enjoying the holiday time, but in this case that’s not happening. Business travelling has got completely different needs that in this case NH Hotels & Swisscom don’t seem to understand. This so-called first-world-problem that you call it ceases to be that when your manager, in my case, in North Carolina, US, keeps asking me why I’m not available to do work every time I might end up on an NH Hotel or whenever the wifi provider is Swisscom. See? That’s when my own effectiveness and productivity get hit by not having a working and reliable, fast, accessible Internet access. And why I expressed that concern so that other business travellers would consider looking after their own productivity at work, while remote and mobile, by staying at one the NH Hotels chain. 

      Yes, for you it may well be a first world problem, but for me it’s just my work, which happens to be constantly being on the road trying to keep up with what’s happening at work, so that my boss doesn’t have to question what I am doing or why I haven’t done a certain deliverable by such and such date, while I am away from the office, on the road. So when I am staying at an NH Hotel and Swisscom doesn’t deliver, doesn’t even care to address and solve the problem, one has got to make a decision and in my case it’s to move on and stay at other hotels where business travellers are more appreciated and respected for their work while mobile. 

      I have given NH Hotels a couple of more chances to see if things may have improved since I put together the original article and as you can see from the recent NH Calderon experiences in Barcelona it hasn’t been the case, so I’m afraid I will just stay away myself with this first world problem and look for other accommodation where that problem just doesn’t even show up in the first place.

      Again, like I said, I do appreciate your feedback and extended commentary, but please do allow me to ask you how would you react when your “work tools” don’t allow you to stay productive on a consistent manner. I can imagine that not only yourself, but your manager wouldn’t be really that happy about it. You would want to try to get them addressed and solved, right? Yes, me, too, and that’s exactly what I attempted to do with the original article, since I never got it fixed by the hotel chain or the ISP after continuous attempts. Thanks again for your time and for reading this far. Appreciated. Hoping the situation will change eventually at some point in time. Till then, I’ll continue to stay away from either NH Hotels and / or Swisscom. Essentially, for the reasons I have mentioned above. Thanks!

    2. ARE YOU KIDDING????
      “If you’re so picky about your internet connection, maybe traveling just isn’t your thing.”

      1. Hi Jenny, he is not kidding! He is just totally ignorant of what customer service is all about. If anything, to them it’s about ripping off their customers providing no service and charging through the roof because the free wifi is not even decent. It’s deplorable altogether! That’s what they are very good at: deplorable customer service at a high price to remind you to never stay there again. Regardless of what country you may well be in …

    3. James, seriously, like, its LAUGHABLE that you are writing what you are writing. Travel is not my thing? WHAT IF I TRAVEL FOR WORK???? ever heard of that?! This comment of yours is like, THE MOST LAUGHABLE thing I have ever ever read. and yes, 7 days is WAY too long for a refund. 24hours max.

      1. I am really sorry, once again, Jenny, for reading the comments above and I can only feel your same pain when I used to stay at NH Hotels for how disappointing the response was from both NH Hotels themselves as well as Swisscom in trying to understand the needs of business travellers while staying at their hotel(s). I learned my lesson and 5 years ago, when I first published this article, I decided to no longer stay at such hotel chain nor use any of the Swisscom services. As a result, feeling much better staying at hotels where they do take business travelling as a serious matter. In this case neither of them would know, care, or try to figure it out altogether!

        Hope you manage to find another placer where you could get your work done and move on, to never come back to them. Best of luck!

  8. It is a old story, but thought I drop a note about my recent NH experience in Berlin. The basic internet is now free, the premium is 10 EUR/day, which is overpriced imo. For the basic net you need to ask for codes, which would be even acceptable, but…it is 256kbps (!) down and limited to 100MB. I have ad filters installed, don’t watch youtube videos and 100MB goes away in no time. I had to ask for several codes for a day (well evening). This is just annoying.
    The connection is really slow, I might say sometimes it is not even 256kbps.
    It is a shame. In 2014 decent net connection for free or a decent price in a hotel chain like NH should be available. BTW Holiday Inn is no better. It is amazing that many times small hotels have better (and most of the time free) internet.

    1. Hello Andras, thanks a lot for dropping by and for sharing that feedback. It’s greatly appreciated and really disappointing that 4 years later! we are still talking about the same ISP and hotel chain not having moved into the 21st century.

      It’s been a while since I was last at an NH hotel, for obvious reasons, and the overall experience was pretty much the very same one. In Barcelona, Spain. So it looks like the service, overall, is rather poor all over Europe.

      Long time ago I decided to stop staying at NH hotels where Swisscom is the ISP and, as a result of it, my productivity levels while on the road as a knowledge (Web) worker have increased tremendously. Looks like the situation would continue pretty much the same.

      Too bad. What a wasted opportunity, i.e. having 4 years to work on your issues of providing a decent Internet connection and still failing, big time!, at doing so! 🙁

  9. Luis I completely agree with you. It is eleven at night I’m at NH and I just wrote and email to NH and SWISSCOM because i’m desperate. Premium internet is 418 Kb download with a PING of 186 ms…
    I’m Platinum at NH and high categories in other hotel chains, so you can imagine how many times a year I spend in hotels all around the world and I love NH, the relation between price and quality is great. But every day I got more tired of the internet connection.
    I usually if in Europe, use my own connection, it is a real pain in the ass. I take your scale, SHOWER, BED & Internet. In my opinion they could sell the TVs and “buy” more internet.

    1. Hi Javier, I am really really sorry to read about your story on the Internet woes with Swisscom and NH hotels when I am sure you have certainly got plenty more good, and better, things to do (work, family, etc.). It’s pretty amazing how this blog post (4 years later!) still keeps coming up time and time again as one of the worst Internet experiences for knowledge workers on the road and one can only imagine the amount of $$$ wasted preventing us from doing real work. That’s why right after I posted this blog entry I decided to move on and never stay at a NH hotel, for as long as they keep Swisscom as their Internet provider.

      I think we would all want to have good decent Internet service and not have that feeling we have been ripped off with an expensive fare (The free wi-fi is just a joke!) for no service and no-one taking responsibility nor ownership for wanting to provide good quality service. And that includes both NH and Swisscom for not getting their act together. Sad.

      Hope you manage to get that work done without having to sacrifice your sleep, Javier.

      PS. And thanks for taking the time to drop by and share your feedback. One more to add further up!

  10. Until today I had never heard of swisscom, and I was all the happier for it! This afternoon I checked into Acora Hotel in Bochum, Germany. I am on a business trip, and obviously internet is a necessity for me. In fact, I was happy when I chose this hotel because of the advertised “free wifi”!
    Woe is me, however, when I am given the 24hr free internet access provided by swisscom. While I was not surprised to be given a 24hr access login, when I connected I realised that the free wifi was prohibitively slow. There in the fine print I could barely believe my eyes.
    Bandwidth UP TO 128kb/s!!!!!
    I asked the staff what other options regarding internet there were (annoyed that I would be paying for my “free wifi”) however they did not seem to know much about it, saying I might be able to pay for premium access. If I can get the swisscom webpage to even open on my 128kb/s connection!
    This is NOT the third world. This is Germany. If I am promised free internet, I would expect it to be fast enough to use. As it is I belileve it is a health risk because I certainly have high blood pressure as a result!

    1. Hi Ari, many thanks for dropping by and for the feedback. I am really sorry to read you have been having some really bad experiences with Swisscom, even in Germany, confirming that this issue is not just related to a single country but rather generalised to other countries as well! Very disappointing!

      And even worse when the hotel staff just can’t be helpful enough to provide better advice on what the options may well be. Either way, I guess we are all learning from these experiences that there is a time where we say “enough is enough” and start boycotting all of those different hotels whose wifi service is provided by Swisscom till they start understanding the whole concept around *decent Internet Access*.

      Hope you will have an opportunity to get work done and next time around, just do like the rest of us, avoid Swisscom and avoid the hotels that provide their free wifi service, because it just isn’t.

  11. I can also attest to the horrendous internet that swisscom offers. I travel all over Europe to different cities every single week and I have never had a decent internet connection with swisscom. People may like the connection they receive with their home connection. But the service they provide in the commercial front is beyond pathetic!

    1. I think you have just pretty much nailed it in terms of describing the overall customer experience with just two simple words, really, in terms of what Swisscom offers when on the road at various hotel chains: beyond pathetic.

      And the worst part of it all is that 4 years later, after I have put together this blog post now several different comments from people all over indicating the various issues, we still haven’t heard a single word from them in terms of how they plan to improve that customer experience, showing and demonstrating how much they care after all. Not much. Not at all!

  12. Same old Swisscom problem at the NH Breton in Madrid last week. I stayed for 7 days and the helpful reception staff gave me 21 userid/passwords so I could stay connected for 7 days. But the (free) wifi was slow and the connections kept dropping; sometimes it was very difficult to reconnect. Why does NH – which runs good hotels – do this? Don’t they realise how annoying it is for many travellers?

    1. Hi John, thanks a lot for dropping by and really sorry to read you also had to go through those issues with Swisscom at an NH Hotel. Yes, it is pretty amazing that despite the time that has gone by we are still encountering these issues for something that in most cases, and for business travellers, specially, it’s becoming more a requirement / need than a nice-to-have capability.

      That is why after I have posted this article over 4 years ago, I haven’t gone back to any NH Hotel or any other hotel that offers Swisscom services. In fact, whenever I have got to go to Madrid I always stay in another hotel where not only is the wifi free, but incredibly fast as well and with some really good customer service.

      Both NH Hotels and Swisscom have lost me as a customer many years ago and it doesn’t look like I will be back any time soon. Unfortunately (for them)

    1. Hi Jenny, I am really sorry you have to experience such an appalling service by both Swisscom and NH Hotels. They surely don’t understand what the concept is of a business traveller, wanting to continue being productive while on the road, and having the imperative need of being connected with a decent Internet connection in order to get work done. 5 years later since I first wrote this article and the horrifying service is just as bad as it used to be. Even now with the ‘free’ wifi. Laughable to no end while we are still waiting for a response that would help address these issues. Again, sorry you have to go through this and I’m hoping you will manage to get by somewhere else, because as far as NH Hotels and Swisscom there won’t be a single response or even an intention of helping out!

      Now you will understand why I am no longer staying at NH Hotels ever and why I run like the plague from every single service Swisscom may be offering regardless of the country. I would want to spare myself of the sheer frustration, the incompetence and the inability of helping their own customers in making the most out of their services. 5 years later, they still haven’t got a clue about it. Very sad.

  13. …Now August 2015 and this fiasco continues. I’m staying at the NH Mantegna in Padova, Italy, and the “free” Swisscom WiFi is limited to 0.25Mb/s with a 250Mb daily cap. 10 Euros to use “fast”, aka normal WiFi.

    I complained to as there is no mention of this abusive limitation on the hotel page on their website. At least they recognised the issue and have confirmed that they will update the listing so other travellers are aware before making (or not!) their booking.

    To add insult to injury, when I complained to the hotel manager she rudely told me that the WiFi has nothing to do with NH Hotels, so I should address my complaint to Swisscom!

    1. Hi Rob, my goodness! I am really really sorry for the horrifying and rather excruciating experience that both Swisscom and NH Hotels seem incur upon their customers. It’s definitely a good way to demonstrate, steadily, and over the years, how NOT TO TREAT your client base, unless you can’t care much about the whole thing, which is what I have always believed to the case.

      5 years after I wrote the original first blog post and after several dozens of responses and we have yet to hear / read the first comment from either Swisscom or NH Hotels about perhaps wanting to own the problem and look for a resolution of the same. In today’s day and age, and for biz traveling, it’s TOTALLY unacceptable that we have got to go through such dreadful experiences at the costs of paying for a room and that rather poor upgrade to ‘normal’ wifi. Yet, here we are waiting further along …

      I don’t expect an answer from either of them, to the point where I have given up on both. I avoid NH Hotels like the plague, and whenever I go to a new hotel where the Internet provider is Swisscom I try to stay away from them as well. I’m sorry for the people working in those hotels, but lack of accountability and ownership of a growing problem that’s been there for over 5 years is what it has: customers will just move on. We have moved on…

      Hope your stay in Padova is a pleasant one, Rob! If I ever get to make it over there I know which hotel to avoid and ignore 🙁

  14. I am writing from an NH Geneva Airport hotel with swisscom.

    The base internet connection is free of charge but it is terrible and dropping every 90 secs.
    I tried to buy a premium package (~12 CHF/day) but even that did not work.

    Unbelievable service.

    Will not choose NH any more.

    1. Hi Mark, thanks a lot for dropping by and for sharing your (awful) experiences with Swisscom and NH Hotels. I am really sorry that even in their own country, Swisscom, the ISP provider hasn’t even gotten their act together to provide some decent connectivity for business folks to continue working effectively while on the road. It’s no longer even a joke, to see how, 5 YEARS LATER, the situation, the customer service, and the support are just as awful as they have always been. Yes, I, too, walked away from NH Hotels and Swisscom and don’t think there would ever be a day when I’ll be back to them. They don’t seem to care much about their own customers, as this blog post keeps proving / documenting over the years!

      Hope you had a chance to get your work done elsewhere and wish you safe travels when you move on from that hotel chain and Swisscom. They don’t deserve us as customers, really. Even more so when they keep ignoring the serious issues they have been having all along! Grrr

  15. Staying at the NH Atlanta in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in Oct 2015: Unusable internet connection. Ridiculously slow, connection timeouts, certificate errors, etc.

    1. Hi Til, thanks a lot for taking the time to drop by and for sharing your frustrating experience with us while trying to get connected via Swisscom at another NH Hotel. It looks like it’s pretty much universal at this stage, at least, within Europe, to get stuck at a NH Hotel where Swisscom is the provider and fail to connect and get back to work! Yikes!!!

      As mentioned in previous comments, it’s amazing that over 5 years ago I put together the original blog post and we have *yet* to see the first reaction from both companies on wanting to do something to address and fix the frustrating experiences from their customers across Europe! And, yet, nothing has happened so far! Arrrggghhh

      Hope your issues may not have been impacting your work too badly and here’s hoping that one of these years Swisscom gets their act together and start putting their $$$ where their mouth is!

      Thanks again for dropping by and for sharing with us your disappointing experience with them :-/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *