Dear Ramada Inn Detroit Airport

Yours is a good motel. I haven’t felt compelled to write a letter to a motel since I stayed at the atrocious and dangerous “Dale Downtown Motel” in Colorado Springs.  Anyway I didn’t fear for my life last night, but it’s still an important issue…

I stayed at the Romulus Ramada Inn last night in order to catch my early morning flight to Denver. The room was as expected; everything worked, it was clean and quiet with minimal jet noise. The desk staff was friendly and my shuttle bus driver was very cordial and right on time at 6am for my 6:40 flight. Also I was surprised at the incredible cornucopia that was the breakfast bar!  What a welcome treat to see bacon, sausage, eggs, and fresh fruit along with the expected bread line-up that normally constitutes the entirety of most “continental” breakfasts.

Here’s the gripe though: You have a major infestation! No it’s not rats, cockroaches, or other sorts of vermin I saw on Discovery’s “Verminators”  last night while sprawling out on your spacious bed.   The problem is your “free lobby computer”   A free access PC is a great feature for the traveler, especially leisure travelers who don’t need to carry a laptop with them.

But your computer is not safe and should be avoided at all costs! Seriously, I jogged the mouse and saw a desktop half full of app icons, a start menu two columns wide chock full of – err, “programs,” more toolbars littering IE than I could count, and a check of the task list check revealed upwards of 30 processes running.

This is very very bad. I’m not just writing a funny letter – it seriously needs to be addressed for this reason:  The people your PC serves MOST are usually non savvy computer users who just want a quick email or bank account check.  These are the people who will be HURT the most because they don’t realize the enormous population of malware or log in/password harvesting programs that might be residing in this PC.

Of course I don’t know for certain what if any viruses are actually INSTALLED on this PC.  A nefarious trench coat wearing individual might never have sat down with their skull and bones flash drive and uploaded said keyloggers to this PC. However when you see a public PC that allows ANYTHING to be installed you should ALWAYS err on the side of caution when using it. In fact it would be better to REMOVE the PC completely rather than have it sitting there inviting grandmothers to type in their Hotmail passwords and credit union log ins.

I suggest you re-install Windows on this PC, create a “guest account” which prohibits installation of any programs, and ensure the “admin” account is securely locked.

Feel free to pass this along to other Ramada Inns as well.  I was too tired last night to take a picture but fortunately found a photo of your motel and offending PC on your website.

One more quibble: says this location has a “business center” and labels this photograph AS the “business center.” Sorry, but an unsecured Dell computer on a particle board desk in the corner is not a “business center.” But let’s take care of the computer first then worry about semantics.

Thanks again for a good nights sleep, and I hope you’ll address this matter.

All the best, James..

by James Van Dellen

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