Public letter to Tenet Odessa


Dear Mr Topilin!

Firstable, congratulations for such a big success, to win half of the restaurants in the city as customers for your wifi systems. Unfortunately, your success is my grief, as that way I’m kind of forced to use your wifi systems everyday when I sit somewhere for a coffee. Really, it could be a more pleasant experience! So please let me briefly elaborate my grief and suggest some small fixes for the wifi system, that would make the life of especially your frequent end users much easier.

  1. Let’s start with the login process. In whichever restaurant I sit, it always redirects me to the same… URL first. So far so good. The problem with this is, the URLs are not distinguishable for the browsers. Which means, all the password saving mechanisms don’t work and just try to remember one single password for all restaurants together. If you would follow some simple principle, in directing every installed wifi to it’s own url, the browsers could save the password for every restaurant, and make the login process much easier. It would either safe the waiters from stupid questions to get the password, or safe my time, not digging into some text files, where I noted it down manually the last time I was sitting in that restaurant. Something simple like… or would be enough. And it would be a matter of maximum one hour for your server admin, adding three lines to your HTTP servers rewrite rules , to configure something like that, without even touching anything of the source code of the webpage (see here for example).
  2. Second, the login screen itself. Have your web designer ever heard something about ergonomy? The whole login page has one very simple purpose: Get the password entered, and get the password submitted and authenticated. This means, when the screen opens, the only thing I want to do is this: Start typing the password (or have it autofilled by the browser), and hit enter. Unfortunately this does not work, as the web page does not set the focus correctly on the password field, so I need to first grab the mouse and hit the password field by hand, which let’s say takes precious 2-3 seconds for every single login. Your web designer could fix this in less than 10 minutes. And further, if the password is entered, I can’t just hit enter, as in basically every other HTML form in the internet. Nope, I got to grab my mouse and click the button manually. Again, this is something that your web designer could fix in less than 10 minutes, and would avoid annoying your end customers on every single login process.
  3. Another thing that’s really annoying is using VPNs in your network. It looks like traffic on port 1194 is intentionally slowed down. Not completely blocked, but after a successful initiation of a connection it is kind of forcefully interrupted. I suppose you do this kind of blocking to avoid P2P traffic and only allow some well known ports for web and mail traffic. Nevertheless, as your wifi is completely unencrypted, basically everyone should be actually encouraged to use a VPN solution. That’s why port 1194, the standard OpenVPN port should not be blocked. Again, a matter of a minute for your admin to fix this.
  4. Last but not least, currently the user gets logged out after a while, even if he was active all the time. This is of course also unpleasant for the end customer, as you get to login several times, while one single stay in the restaurant. Now I don’t suggest to have an endless login interval, but it should be at least doubled or tripled, from whatever it is right now.

So, please do your customers this little favour, redirect this mail to the responsible people, and get this fixed! Thank you!

Kind regards

Michael Loeffler