Cheaping Out on Your Wi-Fi Will Make You or Your Business Look Bad

Have you ever been to a place that has terrible Wi-Fi? An airport, a barber shop, or at your local auto parts store? If you did, you probably remember the exact name of the place as well as the experience you had. You remember how it took you ages to load a simple webpage, and how it kept booting you off the network. On the other hand, you can’t recall too many of the good Wi-Fi experiences you had. “I don’t need to,” you think, because being ‘good,’ fast, and stable is the expectation in 2021.

Too many times, customers would come into the Best Buy I worked at and buy the least-expensive router we had. They refused to listen to my — and others’ — recommendations that they should likely upgrade to something more powerful than a $30, N300 router. I never recommended things that I knew they didn’t need; I wasn’t a commission-based salesperson and had no true incentive to sell people extremely expensive products.

If someone mentioned they had a five-bedroom home with four people streaming 4K Netflix at all times, I’d do my best to make sure they didn’t end up with a router designed for a small apartment. Despite my pleas, they’d often ignore my advice and rationale; one customer even said that “paying over $50 for Wi-Fi is a scam.” More often than not, they’d buy the $30 router and then come back complaining that it didn’t work [as well as they hoped it to.] Naturally, they often refused to admit that they should have bought a better router; instead, they‘d grumble about prices and the government.

When a customer bought something that suited their needs, they often didn’t pay us a subsequent visit regarding that product. The product they bought worked and they were likely satisfied. There would be some people that came in and thanked us for giving them a solid recommendation. In some cases, their experience would be better-than-expected because they weren’t used to doing things like watching a video and not having it buffer.

Most people don’t feel the need to vocalize their satisfactory experiences; others chomp at the bit for the opportunity to leave a scathing, negative review of a product or experience. Whether it be at someones’ house or at a business, it’s always a nice feeling when you can quickly connect to Wi-Fi and have a seamless, fast experience. If you leave a review (Google, Yelp) for a business, you might not mention that the Wi-Fi was great; instead, you’re much more likely to mention it was terrible if you had a poor experience.

A WiFi 6 wireless access point. NETGEAR

Simply delivering a positive, issue-free Wi-Fi experience for your friends, family, customers, or whatever they may be might not affect your image very much. On the other hand, delivering a poor Wi-Fi experience can be quite detrimental to you. Your friends will remember that your house has shoddy, unreliable Wi-Fi, or your customers will feel that their internet-centered lives will be affected and hindered once they walk into your establishment.

I’m not writing this piece to try to sell you a particular product. I’m just annoyed that people and/or businesses go out of their way to avoid spending what they should spend in order to provide guests or customers with good, seamless experiences. I understand that these kinds of products can be expensive — especially setting up wireless access points and other networking-related equipment for a small business. However, if you run a business and want to strengthen your guests’ or clients’ perception of you, providing them with a poor Wi-Fi experience will do anything but that.

So, if you’re looking for something to improve your guests’ experience, invest in good Wi-Fi. If you don’t care about improving peoples’ experiences but would care about them thinking poorly of you, you should still do yourself a favor and invest in good Wi-Fi.

I just like to speak my mind.

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