Nearly a quarter of respondents admitted to ‘cheeky charging’ their electronic devices in hotel lobbies, in a recent survey by E.ON.
As many as 24% of the 2000 UK consumers asked said they had topped up their devices while visiting hotels they did not plan to stay at.
However, more than a third of those surveyed said they were more likely to visit a business which enabled them to plug in, with 14% saying they would consider spending more with the business in return.
E.ON UK sales and marketing director Anthony said: “Our growing reliance on personal gadgets is starting to have a second-hand impact on the business world. There are clearly some benefits in terms of attracting and retaining customers, but while businesses may feel compelled to let visitors plug in to their heart’s content they should also be aware that it comes at a cost.”
The average top-up time for consumers was 28 minutes with mobile phones, laptops and tablets being the most commonly-charged items. Laptops are the most energy-hungry gadgets – costing nearly 50p per customer for half an hour of power.
This adds up to a potential cost of £12.5m for high street firms each year.
The most popular locations for ‘cheeky charging’ were pubs and bars (25% of respondents), followed by hotels (24%), cafes/restaurants (21%), libraries (15%), campsite (11%), leisure centre / gym (8%), doctor’s surgery / hospital / dentist / optician (7%), electronics store (6%), hairdressers (5%), clothes shop (4%).