Marriott fined by FCC to the tune of $600,000 for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots at one of its hotels

Marriott fined by FCC to the tune of $600,000 for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots at one of its hotels
If you travel often, chances are you use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, or have your own Mi-Fi mobile internet device. Travelers like using Mi-Fi devices in lieu of using hotel provided Wi-Fi connectivity due to cost and security. Plus in many cases, carrier networks offer far superior performance.

Marriott was caught blocking its customers’ personal mobile internet signals at its Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Blocking the hotspots was bad enough, but what the hotel was doing to its guests beyond that was even worse, charging customers up to $1,000 per device to get online using the hotel’s connectivity services. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel has been under the management of Marriott since 2012, and following an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau in 2013, it is believed that the hotel chain has been jamming Wi-Fi signals since the beginning.

The jamming equipment would scan for Wi-Fi networks and send de-authentication packets to users which would interrupt their browsing. The FCC ruled that Marriott’s action violated Section 333 of the Communications Act which states, “no person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter or operated by the United States Government.”

The FCC assessed a $600,000 penalty and Marriott must stop blocking its guests. Moreover, Marriott must hand over details over its access point containment features at all 4,000-plus properties owned or managed by the chain, and file quarterly compliance reports for the next three years.

Marriott issued the following statement over the affair:

via: SlashGear



1. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

This is such a rip-off to the highest degree.

5. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

"oh we care oh so much about ur privacy!!!" yea right!!! if ur customers are such valued guests, why would you rather rob them blind, than jus say you dont wana have ID theft and hacking going on in your establishment? hell give me Free wifi then like most other similar chains!!! sad part is, most customers would STILL understand and Gladly pay for it, even though in reality theyre being Duped with a false claim of added value. but "additional" privacy is a big seller in todays world. i think the lying about it is what did them in on this one. i hope Big Money doesnt buy off the fcc official handeling this.

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Greedy f*cks. Serves them right. Fine should have been higher.

2. iluvsonynokia

Posts: 161; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

wifi trouble

3. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

THAT'S what was going on?!?

4. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

LOL love the spin: "ensuring that when our guests use our Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots" What could be more 'rogue' than using your own hotspot from your phone.

6. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

$600k was not nearly enough of a fine.

11. Sprissy

Posts: 193; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

How about refunds for anyone who was charged for using their wifi service....and you are correct the fine should have been higher.

13. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

That'll probably come in a class action lawsuit after this ruling.

17. buccob

Posts: 2974; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

600 paying guests......

7. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

Is nobody going to comment on the the name of the hotel?

9. tango_charlie

Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

It is named after Gaylord Focker :)

10. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

Who is that??

12. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Gaylord Focker Greg is a character from "Meet the Parents” a film made in 2000 In 2004 a sequel followed, "Meet the Fockers" (without ever staying in a Hotel) he had an RV. Greg parents Bernie & Rozalin were played by Dustin Hoffman & Barbra Streisand. In 2010 another sequel “Little Fockers” all the major players reprising their roles So now in 2012 it appears that the Marriott has sketched the outline for another film, which may or may not but should, change a vowel in the films title signifying a reboot. So yes you have guessed the title change to “Bug” the Marriot blocked a Wifi source and breached an EIGHTY YEAR old law Title 47 Chapter 5; Subchapter III; Part I Code § 333; enacted in 1934 "FCC-authorized equipment provided by well-known, reputable manufacturers" Lots of things are authorised the point is you DONT get to use it illegally mixedfish #4 is completely right, and if it were reversed and your signal was being blocked law abiding and all that, then that perpetrator would be paying the fine and NOT you

8. alumoyo

Posts: 392; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

I had no idea anybody could have the audacity to do that. The fine should have been $60 million!

14. HASHTAG unregistered


16. PK1983

Posts: 215; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

The real rip off here is the govt. gets $600,000 to piss away on illegals or analyzing the effects of crackers on parrots or some other BS. Meanwhile the people who were actually screwed by Marriott will either get nothing or will get some tiny amount while their lawyers receive millions.

18. Blazers

Posts: 751; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

This is the same chain who is encouraging guests to tip housekeepers, instead paying them a fair wage. I'm all for tipping a housekeeper, but this money should supplement their wages, instead of making up a large portion of their income. Typical cheap corporation who is out of touch.

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