Bargain Hunter: Cut the cost of connecting to the internet at your hotel


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The Independent Online

Good news: rip-off hotel internet charges could be coming to an end. Leading chain Thistle is sending out a challenge to rivals. Its parent company, GLH, has teamed up with BT Wi-fi to offer free unlimited Wi-Fi service to all guests at its hotels.

Thistle's research suggests surfing on British mini-breaks costs us up to £123m a year, with hotels charging from £1.19 an hour. Mike DeNoma, GLH's chief executive, said: "It's crazy to think that in 2014 hotel chains are still charging up to £20 a day for Wi-Fi. Free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi is very important to holidaymakers." The hotel chain promises no registrations, no limitations and no fine print for users of its Wi-Fi. Let's see others follow.

Put yourself in the frame

for history museum deal Two-for-the-price-of-one tickets are on offer for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at London's Natural History Museum through book chain Waterstones. To be eligible, you need to sign up to the company's free loyalty card at your nearest branch, then print off the Waterstones two-for-one voucher. Take it, with your card, to the exhibition any weekday between 10am and 5.15pm and buy a £12 ticket to get one free. The exhibition runs until 23 March.

Energy minnows lay down price gauntlet to Big Six

Independent energy suppliers First Utility and Ovo have challenged the Bix Six firms by announcing new cheaper tariffs this week. The deals are fixed so guarantee no more price rises for at least a year. Ovo's is fixed for one year and First Utility's until the end of April 2015. Ovo's tariff saves a typical gas and electricity customer £308 a year. Details at the companies' respective websites: and

Direct debit households in line for power refunds

EDF Energy has become the first gas or electricity supplier to give a full annual refund to any direct debit customers who are in credit. They will get the refund at the time of their annual review, provided the company has an up-to-date meter reading for their account.

Vouchers offer discounts for shopping with Ocado

VoucherCodesPro has an exclusive £25 off at Ocado for first-time purchases of £100 or more. The offer is at and runs until the end of February. The online supermarket has a range of discounts this month, including half-price on all Ben & Jerry's ice-cream and up to a third off lamb.

Travelodge in special deal for hotel rooms in London

Travelodge has released 150,000 rooms for £45 or less across its 60 central and greater London hotels. The offer applies for stays from now until 30 April 2014.

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