Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gaming Google reviews?

I'm staying at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel for the Strata 2012 conference. It has some good features, but, for a geek, it has a problem. The room wireless connectivity is feeble, and the old wall ethernet port is disabled.

This isn't a demand problem -- the signal is simply very weak in my room. It's a typical big hotel problem; the Courtyard's can manage it but the big guys can't. Still, this is Silicon Valley after all. How can they get away with it? Isn't their Google Maps site full of complaints?

Well, no. Because they don't exist on Google Maps. You can't leave a review. The Hyatt's current location is occupied by a 'closed' site:
Westin-Santa Clara: 5101 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, California
That facility was presumably refurbished and rebranded to create the current Hyatt-Regency. There's no problem finding the Hotel on Google of course -- even the (supposedly) unpaid listing is #1. It is a bit hard to find on Google Maps however -- if you don't know the address.

So is the hotel's invisibility diabolical scheming to better manage reviews? A happy accident? Free rooms to Google execs? Am I the first geek to ever notice this and lodge a notification with Google's map listing? [1]

It's a minor mystery.

[1] I suspect it's a happy accident and I'm the first person ever to lodge a notification. The greater mystery is how the Hyatt could do a major geek-oriented refurb (outlets built into the bedside table) and blow the wireless.

Update:  Since I'd actually complained in a blog post, my conscience forced me to call the front desk and give them a chance. They fixed the ethernet (disconnected cable, broken port - bet someone else was fighting it) and noted the poor wifi signal.

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