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> Is It Ok To Charge For Wifi, Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?
Should Campgrounds Charge for WiFi?
Campground WiFi should:
be Free to entice more campers to the c/g [ 295 ] ** [77.63%]
be Free in the more "deluxe" sites [ 23 ] ** [6.05%]
be charged for on a per usage basis (recieve an access code at check in if paid for) [ 42 ] ** [11.05%]
be Charged for by an outside agency when loggin on [ 8 ] ** [2.11%]
not be a part of the camping experience (leave your technology at home) [ 12 ] ** [3.16%]
Total Votes: 380
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Lindsay Richards
post Apr 18 2013, 06:01 PM
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This doesn't work when the campground manager thinks the computer is a TV hooked up to a typewriter. It is the advantage of the "computer guy" to come out and get paid for a service call rather than teach them. I have talked to campground folks who did not even know their own server password. Not the password to their web site available for campers, but the password to start up their own server/computer.


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puddleduck
post Apr 23 2013, 09:00 AM
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QUOTE(Glenn Norton @ Apr 18 2013, 05:46 PM) *

I have asked staff to do a reboot so many times that I've lost count. I think I'm batting around 50% success in getting connected. If I got a dollar for every time staff have told me that they don't know anything about the Wi-Fi setup I would be a rich man indeed. biggrin.gif


If I had a dollar for each customer who has asked me how to connect to a wireless network I guess we'd both be rich.
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kcmoedoe
post Apr 23 2013, 09:31 AM
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QUOTE(puddleduck @ Apr 23 2013, 09:00 AM) *

If I had a dollar for each customer who has asked me how to connect to a wireless network I guess we'd both be rich.

I wouldn't doubt that several of the times I have been bumped off a perfectly good Wifi connection in the middle of a download was because some "internet expert" convinced the park to reboot their connections.
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Lindsay Richards
post Apr 23 2013, 09:43 AM
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A savvy park owner should know not to reboot on one complaint. When nobody in the park can get a connection for days, something is bad wrong and future business can be hurt via review sites. It pays to deliver what you advertise and it hurts to not due so.


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Texasrvers
post Apr 23 2013, 11:58 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Apr 23 2013, 10:43 AM) *

A savvy park owner should know not to reboot on one complaint.


Probably true, but we were at a park recently that we were having a lot of trouble connecting to their wi-fi. I called the office, and the desk person said they had not had any other complaints which they would have been getting if the problem was with their system. (They had quite a few long term residents who reported trouble quickly.) However, he said he would reboot (I didn't even ask him to; he just said he would try that). After that we had no more trouble, so I'm glad that in this instance, he did not wait for more complaints.
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puddleduck
post May 3 2013, 09:03 AM
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Our park is in a very rural area and the only internet available is satellite. We have the highest level of service plan that is available. (and it's not cheap) If we exeed our bandwidth limit (33 gig per rolling 30 days) the ISP will simply shut us down.
We don't place physical limits on usage but we explain this to our customers and ask that they limit their usage.
I have one customer who has been here 5 days and has been on line 50 hrs. I have another who checked in 12 hours ago and has been on line 8 hrs. (a 1/2 price customer of course).
Should I :
Charge for Wifi ?
Discontinue Wifi ?
Limit time allowed ?
Allow x hrs free and charge for more ?
Find new customers ?
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joez
post May 3 2013, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE(puddleduck @ May 3 2013, 09:03 AM) *

Our park is in a very rural area and the only internet available is satellite. We have the highest level of service plan that is available. (and it's not cheap) If we exeed our bandwidth limit (33 gig per rolling 30 days) the ISP will simply shut us down.
We don't place physical limits on usage but we explain this to our customers and ask that they limit their usage.
I have one customer who has been here 5 days and has been on line 50 hrs. I have another who checked in 12 hours ago and has been on line 8 hrs. (a 1/2 price customer of course).
Should I :
Charge for Wifi ?
Discontinue Wifi ?
Limit time allowed ?
Allow x hrs free and charge for more ?
Find new customers ?


We have stayed at several places that limit bandwidth use. Those that handle it professionally put limits in writing and say what will happen if the limits are exceeded (normally throttling). We have stayed at a few that forbid the use of Skype or similar due to bandwidth limitations. We have watched violators asked to leave by park management.

If it were my business, I would do whatever was necessary to ensure each customer provided a profit. As a customer, I would prefer a menu of charges for things like internet, perhaps a base use included in the site price, with additional usage at an additional cost. But, if you do that, would you have enough bandwidth to satisfy everyone if they all chose to pay for lots of usage? Sometimes, running a business and making those decisions is no fun. But above all, you have to make a profit to stay in business. Good luck.
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Lindsay Richards
post May 3 2013, 09:33 AM
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QUOTE
Allow x hrs free and charge for more ?


That would certainly be my recommendation. We use the internet for two major things. Surfing, where I check a number of news type sites and may end of watching some short (2 minutes or so), banking (just a few minutes), and backing up of photos that can use a lot of bandwidth. I would definitely put off the high band width items until we had a better site. I think most RVers are courteous, but there are always a few that will abuse. When using a lot of bandwidth, I will sometimes get things all setup to backup and then when I get up in the middle of the night to back up, I then click a bit and allow the backup of photos to go on while we are all asleep and usage is low. I also don't think hours of usage is a good measure of usage as some activities can use hundreds of times more bandwidth than others. Many people (especially when they have a hard time connecting) will just stay connected even when not using the computer to avoid the hassle. Bandwidth used is a much better measure.


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puddleduck
post May 3 2013, 10:54 AM
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I was hoping for a couple good responses and I got them.
I am trying to solve my problem without buying even more hardware.
I have the ability to:
limit speed by customer
limit speed globaly
limit time used by customer

I already force logout after 10 minutes idle time and force logout after 120 minutes usage. So abusers know that they are abusers.

I think I have a plan now that will work. Unfortunately all you good folks who try to cooperate will end up paying a little more to support the ones who are just takers. But I guess that's todays world isn't it?

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docj
post May 3 2013, 11:01 AM
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QUOTE(joez @ May 3 2013, 11:28 AM) *

We have stayed at several places that limit bandwidth use. Those that handle it professionally put limits in writing and say what will happen if the limits are exceeded (normally throttling). We have stayed at a few that forbid the use of Skype or similar due to bandwidth limitations. We have watched violators asked to leave by park management.

If it were my business, I would do whatever was necessary to ensure each customer provided a profit. As a customer, I would prefer a menu of charges for things like internet, perhaps a base use included in the site price, with additional usage at an additional cost. But, if you do that, would you have enough bandwidth to satisfy everyone if they all chose to pay for lots of usage? Sometimes, running a business and making those decisions is no fun. But above all, you have to make a profit to stay in business. Good luck.


IMHO campgrounds should make the investment to put appropriate software in place so they can limit customer bandwidth. If you don't want people to stream video then don't give them >1-2 Mbps access. Asking people not to stream is never going to work because all it takes is a few to ignore the request and ruin a slow connection for everyone.

As for asking customers to leave a CG because they used Skype, I'd sure like to know how that determination was made. If the CG was actively tracking what sites were visited I think there might be a privacy issue; if you don't want people to go to certain sites, block them!! The software exists, just buy it and use it!


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docj
post May 3 2013, 11:16 AM
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QUOTE(puddleduck @ May 3 2013, 11:03 AM) *

Our park is in a very rural area and the only internet available is satellite. We have the highest level of service plan that is available. (and it's not cheap) If we exeed our bandwidth limit (33 gig per rolling 30 days) the ISP will simply shut us down.
We don't place physical limits on usage but we explain this to our customers and ask that they limit their usage.
I have one customer who has been here 5 days and has been on line 50 hrs. I have another who checked in 12 hours ago and has been on line 8 hrs. (a 1/2 price customer of course).
Should I :
Charge for Wifi ?
Discontinue Wifi ?
Limit time allowed ?
Allow x hrs free and charge for more ?
Find new customers ?


I find it hard to believe that your ISP cuts you off for excess usage rather than simply charging you additional $$. I had Hughesnet satellite for 8 years and, yes, they severely throttled excess usage but I could always pay $$ to have the speed restored.

IMHO the examples you cite of customers using your internet connection don't prove anything. All you are looking at is how long a customer has remained connected, not how much data they have used. I keep my computers connected 24/7 but not much of anything goes on when they aren't actively being used.

However, I do think that you should limit your customer's bandwidth because very few will understand the reasons for the slow speed and long latency that a satellite connection exhibits. Just be upfront with them and tell them that their speeds are being limited to ~400 kbps so they can check email and do some surfing but not infringe on the rights of others.

Next, pay someone to install software that can do this. My beef with CG owners is that they try to run wifi networks without treating them as part of their business. If you pride yourself on having a degree of professionalism then extend that to your network. View your investment in it as a way of making your customers happy and reducing your overall hassle factor.


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Lindsay Richards
post May 4 2013, 08:15 AM
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If a service is there, most people are going to use it. Would you meter electricity for each site? I have seen many times people leave their AC on full blast when leaving for the day so it will be nice when they get back in the evening. WiFi is just another example of the same thing.


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Dutch_12078
post May 4 2013, 11:00 AM
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A few weeks ago we were at a campground in Florida that does meter and charge for electricity at each site, even for overnighters, although they can pay a flat rate instead. Since we were only paying $14.50/night at the weekly rate though, the extra cost for electric wasn't an issue.


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puddleduck
post May 4 2013, 11:04 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ May 4 2013, 08:15 AM) *

If a service is there, most people are going to use it. Would you meter electricity for each site? I have seen many times people leave their AC on full blast when leaving for the day so it will be nice when they get back in the evening. WiFi is just another example of the same thing.


Actually the frugal electric user would be better off if each site were metered. As it is, he is helping to pay for the guy who runs his AC all day.
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Lindsay Richards
post May 29 2013, 07:53 AM
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It would make check out a hassle though. Now we just dump, pack up and leave without having to pay again.


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