HOLIDAYS RUINED AS HOTELS STILL FAIL TO GRASP CUSTOMER WIFI NEEDS

From lurking in corridors to hanging out of windows, holidaymakers do desperate things to get WiFi access yet hotels still say it is not a priority, NETGEAR study reveals

Bracknell, UK — August 2014 — Over the coming weeks a third of holiday makers will return from their longed-for break vowing never to return to the same hotel again – all because of unreliable or non-existent hotel WiFi.

This trend, revealed in a new study  by wireless network company NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTGR) is matched by a worrying lack of awareness among small to mid-sized hospitality venues about just how much WiFi really matters to guests.

The study found that 76 per cent of venues are convinced customers care far more about quality of service and facilities than WiFi, and as many as 43 per cent believe customers think poor or non-existent wireless access is a price worth paying for the overall experience on offer.

However, the study shows that customers don’t agree – and are voting with their feet.  A third (33 per cent) of leisure travellers say they would not return to a hotel that offered inadequate wireless access.

Respondents spoke about having to stand in hotel corridors late at night in order to connect to the WiFi service and catch up on email and chat; or perching on window sills with devices held out over the hotel pool.

It’s not just about social media, streaming films or playing games either.  Nearly one in four holidaymakers are now just as worried about losing online contact with work. Some respondents said they ended up having to abandon their family and spend days in local coffee bars that did offer a good WiFi service.

“WiFi access on holiday is now a basic need,” said Jonathan Hallatt, regional director UK, Ireland & South Africa for NETGEAR. “People away from home want to share their experience in real-time. They want to send or post pictures and stories. Others want to keep a watching brief on what is happening back at the office. Hotels must wake up to this fact and take action. Guests should be allowed to choose for themselves whether or not to connect, not to have that decision made for them by the hotel.”

NETGEAR advises smaller venues to go for an easy-to-implement and cost-effective solution that does not require advanced IT skills, can be installed quickly using existing infrastructure and that delivers consistent wireless access across the venue.

“Consistency and quality are of equal importance,” concludes Jonathan.  “Customers don’t expect a drop in electricity power across the venue and the same now goes for WiFi. If something takes five minutes to download in the lobby, it should not take five hours back in your room.”


ENDS


Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for NETGEAR, Inc.: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Specifically, statements concerning NETGEAR's business and the expected performance characteristics, specifications, reliability, market acceptance, market growth, specific uses, user feedback and market position of NETGEAR's products and technology are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the following: the actual price, performance and ease of use of NETGEAR's products may not meet the price, performance and ease of use requirements of customers; product performance may be adversely affected by real world operating conditions; failure of products may under certain circumstances cause permanent loss of end user data; new viruses or Internet threats may develop that challenge the effectiveness of security features in NETGEAR's products; the ability of NETGEAR to market and sell its products and technology; the impact and pricing of competing products; and the introduction of alternative technological solutions. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect NETGEAR and its business are detailed in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. NETGEAR undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

U.K. Media Contact:
Lauren Davies/Jenny Jones
Berkeley PR
0118 909 0909
NETGEAR@berkeleypr.co.uk


[*]  Opinion Matters for NETGEAR, the study surveyed 150 small and medium-sized hospitality and leisure venues in the UK, as well as 2,042 UK adults.  The research took place in May/June 2014.