We are staying at Skegness Butlins.

I’ve got stuff to do while we are here. That stuff is on a computer. I’ll need to send stuff. I will need to access the wifi.

Using my iPhone I connect to the wifi. I need to choose an option.

  1. Connect to 30 minutes of free wifi
  2. Use a voucher code to connect to the wifi
  3. Pay as you go for the wifi
  4. I’ve pre-paid for the wifi

I don’t know how 2 and 4 compare, but I haven’t bought any internet access. And I am going to need more than half an hour today, and more over the weekend. I plump for 3.

I read the page. I choose a “tariff” (£15 for four days), give some details (name, home address, email address), and go to the next screen. I provide some payment details. I click submit. Job done.

I then decide to connect my Macbook to the wifi. I get the same four options.

  1. Connect to 30 minutes of free wifi
  2. Use a voucher code to connect to the wifi
  3. Pay as you go for the wifi
  4. I’ve pre-paid for the wifi

Ah. I must have just bought a voucher code to connect to the internet. I click the option.

In smaller type I see Please note that the service is not transferable to a different device.

I open my email on the phone. I look at the email from Virgin, the wifi provider. I cannot clearly see a “voucher code”. I look again. Nope. Nothing. Hmmm.

I go back a page. I take in the options.

Maybe it is option 4: I’ve pre-paid for the wifi.

Nope. And again Please note that the service is not transferable to a different device.

I go back to the options.

I click on option 1: Connect to 30 minutes of free wifi. This doesn’t tell me the service is not transferable. But also this option is for limited access does not requires a financial transaction.

I revisit option 3: Pay as you go for the wifi. Maybe I missed the Please note that the service is not transferable to a different device. I didn’t. It’s not there. I nip back to the landing page. Nothing there either.

No warning to users along the journey, from the initial page to registration and payment, they are paying for wifi access for one device – in a moment when many people won’t think whether they can log on with another device. And in a place where families come to stay, there’s a strong likelihood of there being more than one device. It’s a fatal omission.

I did grabs of the screens.

Canvas of the screens for the wifi registration process at Butlins

View a high resolution version of those screens.

Anyway. That exclusion of Please note that the service is not transferable to a different device. feels pretty sneaky, dark, even cynical money making omission. Humph.


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