The key to nowhere

This is a hotel keycard. It’s supposed to let you operate the lift and open your room door. Except it doesn’t always do that.

I’ve been in the Ramada Downtown for a week, and I’ve had to have my card “recharged” or changed four times.  [Update: it’s happened five times in 10 days.] On the second occasion, the very pleasant check-in clerk told me I shouldn’t keep it in my pocket near my mobile phone.

But it’s not as simple as that.

As I told her: “Everyone has a mobile phone.” I should have added that mobiles have been around for long enough for the key-card technology to be changed so mobiles don’t affect them, whether they are in pockets or bags or on a table nearby.

So, I put it in my wallet. And last night, yet again, it didn’t work and had to be recharged.

I’ve had this problem at other hotels — including the Dusit Thani in Pattaya, Thailand, where I had to walk from one end of the very big resort complex to the other to get it fixed.

It’s an irritant to an otherwise pleasant stay. Somebody must have a solution.

Update: Two theories have emerged in feedback:

A friend with a tech background says they reuse the cards too often, meaning the magnetic strip is damaged and the signal won’t hold. Replacing them regularly might fix them.

Another friend tweeted: “Hotel staff deactivate your card if you annoy them – so you have a long and annoying trip back to reception. Happens all the time.”  I hope this is not the case in this instance.

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