It’s 2023 – why are so many customer/public Wi-Fis useless?

My youngest had a drowning scare two days ago (don’t worry, she’s fine, was fine, just a couple of misunderstood questions, too much chlorine, and a very concerned mom) and we ended up at the hospital. The hospital, and all of the college attached, have a guest network and it works or it doesn’t on a day to day and building to building basis.

A sad and blue Wi-Fi logo generated by Dall-e

It of course did not work when we needed it (waiting and waiting and waiting on a doc and discharge papers and probably a $700 bill to listen to her lungs,) and trying to get a signal for data in a bunker of a hospital was otherwise an exercise in futility. Oh well. Handed over a phone and she played Minecraft offline soaking wet still in a 68 degree room.

A couple of weeks back we were at Dollywood. Next to no cell signal at the gates and needing to pull up some e-tickets. Oh good, there’s a guest network and it… totally didn’t work. We stood waiting to get into the line until we managed to get the images to load, but that was a wait and we weren’t the only ones.

First restaurant we hit in Pigeon Forge – internet connected, couldn’t get past the terms and conditions page. Kind of would help since the menu was a QR code.

In the past two weeks I’ve run across maybe seven places that offered internet but it straight up didn’t work.

I only use Wi-Fi outside of the house when my cell signal isn’t cutting it. It seems like with the world’s dependency on connectivity that a priority would be to get the relatively inexpensive, and already purchased, Wi-Fi services working.

Or maybe I just had a very odd couple of weeks. It just feels to me that a business without connectivity for their customers is a dead zone. For me, lack of being able to communicate with work or loved ones means I tend to shy away from these places. Not to mention if I have to stand waiting for something for 15 minutes and I can’t pop open Fark.com or Reddit and see what is insane in the world that hour, it’s infinitely boring.

I mean yeah, I can bring a book, and I do. But I can’t get a call on my book or take over a customer’s server for a minute to get a service restarted.

A bit hyperbolic but somewhat true for my circumstances and I suspect many – if it’s a dead zone, it’s dead to me. Even if that’s a bit of an exaggeration it seems like businesses would prioritize checking and maybe rebooting the freaking router to get it back up and running.

Like seriously, I work in IT. If I don’t have a connection to the internet I don’t have a lot of freedom to roam. I also have a couple of little rugrats and not much in the way of a support system and if I don’t have a cell signal and don’t have Wi-Fi, I tend to get back into service and discover one of them needs to be picked up from school.

So many places have obviously decided that internet is important, connectivity is important. They also decided that the task of making sure it works is not a priority, and that’s really odd.

Seriously businesses, just put up a sign that says “the Wi-Fi isn’t working, if you’re in IT you’re welcome to go fix it” and I’m pretty sure that will get done.

Pocketables does not accept targeted advertising, phony guest posts, paid reviews, etc. Help us keep this way with support on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

Avatar of Paul E King