Comments on: Here Nothing Is Free http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free Mac & Technology Writings by Daniel Jalkut Sun, 16 Mar 2014 19:39:31 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 By: forrest http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-42075 Mon, 08 Jan 2007 19:59:39 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-42075 Over at Wesabe, Marc Hedlund wrote up a description of a recent economics paper that explains why this happens, and why hoteliers and their holding companies have no incentive to change this. The weird thing I’ve noticed is that people who get used to this bullshit when traveling for work also seem unperturbed by it when they’re paying for everything themselves, too. Man, screw that. Life’s too short to reward that kind of cynical nonsense.

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By: Mark Glossop http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41608 Sun, 07 Jan 2007 08:32:31 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41608 A colleague and I stayed in the Argent for WWDC ’03; didn’t mind it at all at the time. Having been back to SF a few times since then (I’m from Perth .au, so “a few”=3), and staying in other hotels/chains, some comments on hotel stays:
* I’ve found it a lot easier to simply request a “room fridge”…I like having a stash of coke and ice-cream around (since I love my coke and well, the US has ice cream flavours that we just don’t get in Australia, and I just duck down to one of the local mini-marts rather than buying it through the hotel – helps me find my way around whereever I’m staying at the time.) Most hotels have some sort of provision for a room-fridge – you just need to ask for it. I’ve never been charged (well, except for the tip to the housekeeping staff – being Australian, I’m not sure I’ll ever grok the whole “tip” system.)
* Internet access – yeah, wasn’t wireless back then, but work was paying, we just shared it wirelessly and to a few new friends we met who also were at WWDC :-)
* The parking fees – I’ve seen overnight rates in SF of $45 at much less prestigious establisments, so $30 seems cheap. Still, the BART station is about 5 minutes walk away – about 5 months ago was the first time I drove in the US, and that wasn’t in SF (SF driving scares me!)
* Phone calls – grab a calling card instead. The hotel can’t nickel-and-dime you for using those (IIRC nothing even shows up on the bill when you use them – but as always, check with the hotel.)
* And I could be mistaken, but I think “Argent” is actually Latin (and French) for “silver”. Hence in chemistry, Ag=silver, from the latin “argentium”…I would imagine it’s a result of the Argent hotel actually looking like it’s made of silver…

This whole post has made me wonder if some of the Mac tech community could negotiate better WWDC hotel rates than what Apple manages each year…some of the discounts aren’t even $10 off the going rack rates. Something to think about I suppose…

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By: Micheal J http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41325 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 07:25:00 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41325 FWIW, the Airport Express was just screaming to be used in such occurrences. I used one when in SF for WWDC.

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By: Sean Harding http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41317 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 06:24:16 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41317 I hate the nickel-and-dime thing too, though I deal with it almost everywhere I say. I guess I’ve gotten a bit numb to it, but $30/day parking fees and exorbitant “resort charges” still bug me.

If the “refreshment center” was anything like the minibars I’ve used, it’s quite likely that your food would spoil. I think I’ve given in to the allure of the minibar for a drink about four times in my life, and every single time the beverage was barely below room temperature…

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By: Daniel Jalkut http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41284 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 04:13:48 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41284 PGM: I had fun telling my friends that I was staying at “The Money” …

Jonathan: a lot of hotels are like that, but not all. What’s infuriating is that the nickel-and-diming is almost unheard of in the mid-range hotels. If you stay at a Holiday Inn or something, chances are internet access will be free. It’s the richer hotels who, I suppose naturally, think they can ream you out of a bit more money.

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By: Jonathan Wight http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41281 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 04:04:39 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41281 I stayed at the Argent once during WWDC (back when it was in San Jose). Wasn’t overly impressed.

But almost all hotels are going to nickel and dime you. Seems to be the norm these days.

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By: PGM http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41271 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 03:26:00 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41271 Well, you could have known; after all, “argent” is French for money…..

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By: brad http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41249 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 01:48:10 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41249 I stayed at the Argent back in 1999 or so. I’d heard great things about the ANA, as it was called under its original management, plus their website promised high-speed internet in every room. It turns out that they were actually using their website to describe their hopes and dreams for some rosy future, rather than reality. When I asked at the front desk, they acted like I was crazy to believe anything from their website, saying “we have no control over that.” Great. After haggling a bit, they very reluctantly knocked $20/day off my bill. Not even enough to pay for their overpriced parking. I haven’t been back.

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By: Peter Hosey http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41248 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 01:44:49 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41248 A no-prize to anybody who gets the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference in those Death Cab for Cutie lyrics.

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By: Chris http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free/comment-page-1#comment-41247 Sat, 06 Jan 2007 01:32:26 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/249/here-nothing-is-free#comment-41247 You should try the Kimpton Hotel chain next time. We’ve always had good luck finding cheap rates ($100-$150) around the holidays. Pet friendly (they’ll even loan you a goldfish if you didn’t bring a pet), fresh baked cookies at reception, nice rooms, usually a good restaurant attached as well.

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