12 Feb 2008
C30 Hotel, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Hotel
A$12.60/£5.75 night
12°14'32.32"N 109°11'34.87"E
1 room

 

After taking a very comfortable overnight sleeper bus (no chairs, just bunk beds) we arrived in Nha Trang at 6am. We had a coffee at a guesthouse which looked OK and had good reviews but they were full. The people allowed us to leave our bags whilst we found somewhere to stay, so we had plently of time to trawl around.

We thought we'd found a beauty. Wrong.

The hotel itself was of a good standard and we had nothing to complain about - small balcony, fridge, fan and air conditioner, and TV with only a few English language programs on, but as long as we've got BBC World, CNN or Asia News Channel and Bloomberg or CNBC we're happy.

The room was very clean, although a little noisey at night being directly on a main road.

The problems started with the WiFi. We don't check into hotels that don't have broadband Wifi. $5 a night places have WiFi now - it's standard in most places we've been to, even out in the boonies.

I picked up a the only signal straight away, but could only get local access, not full internet access. It was my first interaction with the staff, and it's fair to say that it could have been better.

After getting nowhere with the receptionist who kept telling me my laptop was broken, she called someone to back her up when she realised I wasn't going to give up. In came the "IT" expert (who for some reason pretended to be a guest not an employee). His English was excellent (when it suited him). He wouldn't allow me to plug my laptop into the cable in his office (although he was a guest not an employee so I'm not sure how he had such open access to the office which couldn't have been his as he was a guest) so I could prove that I had no problem with internet access. He got his own laptop off the desk of the office which wasn't his), and with 4 bars of signal as opposed to my sometimes one sometimes two, he connected to the net without problem. To prove my PC was working, I got the receptionist, who was doing a bit of sighing, to come to the restaurant next door with me. They had free WiFi. I could prove to her that there was nothing wrong with my PC, there was a problem with the router in the hotel. I didn't bother disconnecting the signal before going, and when we arrived at the restaurant, surprise surprise. I was still connected to Linksys had 5 bars and full internet access. (RANT WARNING: Why are so many people to bloody lazy to bother to giving their networks a name so they all end up being called Linksys or Dcom? And we all know that secured networks have to have a minimum 10 digit password and almost ALL of them are 1234567890 or abcdefghi or a combination of the above with abcde12345 being the most common one I've come across so far).

It turned out that the hotel didn't have the free Wi-Fi-access they were advertising at all. They were leaching off the restaurant next door. The restaurant certainly weren't very happy when they found out that the hotel were using their network.  Might go back and talk to them about how long they've been using it.  In Vietnam, you pay by the download, so it could have been costing them big time, over a long period. Might even report the hotel for internet access theft if it's an offence over here.

Why so fired up I hear you ask?

The receptionist didn't really understand what was going on, but she understood my computer was working just fine. When we got back into the hotel though, the IT expert (who was really a guest) didn't get a chance to talk to her before starting on me. He had his laptop on the reception desk and and had mulitple websites up and going. Then he made a mistake. A very, very bad move.

He started LAUGHING at me - not figuratively, but literally.  As I said - bad move. Probably the worst move you can make with someone with my calm and relaxed temperament.

"Something wrong with your computer - mine works fine ha ha ha.  You need to fix ha ha ha".  It took me all of 90 seconds to wipe the smirk off his face and had him cowering in a corner, without even raising my voice.  Quite simply, the antenna in his laptop was stronger than mine, which was why his worked for full net access and mine got local access only as the restaurant was just a little bit too far of range of my antenna. Before I started on his hotel stealing internet access from another business, I very firmly put in his place by using a few non nonsensical when used in a real sentance words, but very technical sounding term with lots of Unix, OS2 and MSDOS 3.1 words, proving I know an awful lot more about computers than he did and probably ever will.  In fact, I surprised myself. I haven't used MSDOS 3.1 since - well - it would have to be going on for 20 years, but I remembered so much. It just came pouring out. And for some reason, mentioning TCP IP Stack still gives horrified looks from people. I'm not even sure if they use them with WiFi.

No sympathy at all. It was totally his own fault.
At least in the morning the hotel had realised that their IT expert (who was no longer pretending to be a guest) wasn't quite so expert and had called someone else in to fix it up and now there is a second network up and running called C30 (which just happens to be the name of the hotel0, even though it was only local and not full net access on 5 bars.  Hope the bloke doesn't think he's finished the job.

Anyway.  It keeps me busy, keeps my mind active, and gives Peter plenty of exercise when he walks away, because he always knows he's in for a long walk.  I have more patience than most people when I think I'm in the right, and once my backside hits a chair, it ain't moving until I get what I want.  I got almost 25% discount on the hotel for my inconvenience.  They said no chance at first.  And again.  And again, even when I said I wasn't going anywhere. My backside wasn't moving.  Took me an hour, but I told 3 people who had walked in to check out room rates not to bother as the hotel people weren't honest and they walked out.  I honestly wouldn't have bothered and would have paid the full amount if the employee who pretended to be a guest hadn't been such an arsehole. I worked for an ISP for long enough. I know there are problems, and having ho access to the net for one night really didn't matter.

The price above includes the discount if you're remotely interested. Do yourself a favour and don't go there.

(25% is only about 3.50, but it's the principle.  As I said.  Laughing.  At me. Bad move).