I was recently at a truck stop in Three Forks, Montana. The Pilot Travel Center, AKA: The Town Pump, advertises WiFi on all their billboards and publications. I pulled in, parked and set up my computer to take advantage of the SiriCOMM hotspot. I found that the hotspot was active, but I could not make a connection to the network. I went inside the store and asked the head cashier why the WiFi wasn’t working that day. I had used the same hotspot only weeks earlier and knew that it was a good place to connect. The cashier insisted that they didn’t have WiFi and they did not have internet service. I insisted that they did and I got a look like I didn’t know what the heck I was talking about. Finally, after about 10 minutes of trying to get an answer why their hotspot was down, the cashier finally confessed that their manager had disconnected the service because it cost the Town Pump too much money! I told the manager on duty that it was a poor decision to disconnect their hotspot and I wouldn’t fuel at their establishment. I promptly left and took my business to the Flying J in Belgrade, Montana. Their hotspot was working fine and I was able to finish my online business. It wasn’t that the Town Pump turned their service off, it was the way I was treated as a person, as a hard working truck driver. I wonder if that manager will experience anyone else not taking their business to that establishment? It is a shame that a manager would feel that turning off the hotspot was good for business. How about the $600. dollar fuel bill he or she missed out on because I fueled at another location?
If you look around you at many truck stops, you will find several truckers using their laptops in their trucks, at the restaurant and in the drivers lounge. I wonder how much money the truck stops actually make on hotspot subscriptions? I wonder how much business is brought to that truck stop because they have a WiFi hotspot?
I was recently at a Starbucks and a couple women were looking at me using my laptop in my pickup truck. I overheard one say, “he must be using WiFi”. I laughed and waved, they smiled and went on their way. I am just amazed at the “newness” or the discovery of WiFi for some people.
Is the Town Pump actually a Pilot Travel Center? The cashier said they weren’t. Although, the vest she wore said Pilot, my receipt said Pilot and the sign over the truck stop said Pilot. I would suggest the manager of the Three Forks Town Pump, AKA: Pilot, rethink the value of keeping the WiFi connection ON!