Battery backup and customer service
I was thinking of Elon Musk the other day and realized I have something in common with this most innovative and creative mind: no, I did not create a car company from scratch nor did I send a re-usable missile into space… but… like him I believe in batteries and optimizing energy use. I also believe in battery backup systems when power grid is down or when consumption peaks. Elon Musk recently unveiled a collecting/storage device that for a price below $4,000 can power your house in case of a blackout. At our Tremont Street location (and soon at our other location) I did the same. I want my guests to be in touch at all times. Like Elon Musk I believe in service. So I installed 3 battery backup systems for our internet modem, the wifi repeaters and the video surveillance which monitors our front door. Why?
Because in case of power outage, I worry that a guest who has his phone battery depleted, may not be able to communicate with the outside world. An emergency could happen, he/she may also just want to alert parents or us about an emergency situation and without a phone and no power to replenish cell phone, this would be impossible short of walking down the street to engage emergency personnel or us about the situation. With internet always on, a Skype call or instant messaging will be available to all CAJ House guests no matter how bad things get. The backup batteries we installed should provide full power internet wifi for 5 hours. This is part of our attempt to anticipate and service our guest needs. Oh, and I also have adopted PAYPAL as our reservation payment system since its inception; another system he co-invented.
Contractor shreds connections, brain repairs them.
Last week we renovated the doors and trims of our most popular CAJ House Worcester Street furnished apartments: 8W and 9W.
Anticipating there could be parallel and unforeseen collateral damages, I made a point to inform our contractors to stay away from the ethernet cable that connect our lower floor guests (apartment 1W and 2W) to the internet via a hard wired access point in downstair hallway. I showed them the sketch I enclose above. This shows how cables carrying our internet connection in hall where doors to apartments 8 and 9 are, run around door trims, down stairs under carpet to lower access point (we have two access points hard-wired two floors above the router and two floors below so that there our wifi is seamless throughout 45 Worcester Street).
When contractors finished work (which was excellent, by the way), I inspected and found all trim elegantly installed, doors crisp, I also checked and internet wifi was working fine… upstairs…
Unfortunately two days later I received calls from our lower floor guests about spotty internet access. I tested our access points: above apartment 8 and 9 all seemed to work. Downstairs, near apartments 1 and 2 there was intermittent service: every five minutes to ten minutes, the connection would drop for a few seconds… If you ever use Skype, you know how annoying that can be: intermittency of a few seconds is long enough to interrupt your phone call. Very frustrating.
I re-examined all our visible wires, router, access points and could not figure out what the problem was.
Until my brain made a curious connection.
As part of my testing, I was loading youtube videos and assessing how long the wifi interruptions were. After the nth wifi hiccup, I noticed the lower level access point started blinking (meaning disconnecting) at the same time one of our guests walked up the steps upstairs near apartments 8 and 9. Coincidence? I had to investigate this further… I asked Javier who works with me to walk up and down the step and each time he did, the wifi access point would blink a disconnect signal… BINGO my brain’s random or precise connections had directed me to the problem!
This is what I was able to determine: our ethernet wire to our downstairs access point, passes under the second step to the landing of apartment 8W and 9W (see drawing above). I checked the section of ethernet cable wire which was invisible to me until then (it was stapled under the carpet runner covering the stair step to the landing in front of apartments 8 and 9). I found the wires plastic casing was shredded and all connections were literally hanging by a thread… each time a weight such as a foot flexed the wood to which the ethernet cable was stapled the cable would stretch enough to disconnect… from there it was an easy fix: we removed all the old wire and installed new ethernet cable from router to access point. My contractors must have pulled the wire while removing the old trims around the doors and never noticed that the stretching was enough to rip the cable casing and pull a few copper connections loose. After two days of inconclusive searching, a wonderful random brain connection between a guest climbing stairs, a blinking light made my guests and me very happy.
We never stop thinking of ways to improve your stay. Even during a storm… During past storms, we noticed that all items needed during an emergency such as flashlights, disappear from store shelves. This causes all to feel panicky. With the comfort of our guests in mind, we already stocked up on flash lights and will distributing these FREE to our guests.
Here is a colorful collection of our guest flashlights…
We believe attention to details make for a superior stay at our short term apartments. Even the mundane keychain is getting a makeover. We have designed a solid steel keychain with our emblazoned logo. If you like it, you can take it with you when your stay is over. We love that you will keep us with you forever… If you are a previous guest and would like one, please drop me an email at rent at cajhouse com and send me a postage paid envelope and I will gladly send you one.
Our CAJ House logo(ed) recyclable, re useable, beautiful tote bags have arrived! Serviced apartments taken to a new level.
We will be handing these out to all our guests present and future. How can we improve your stay?
CAJ House is a self – service furnished apartment community, this means we do not provide a front desk. But security and safety are uppermost in our minds. So we offer one extra security feature which distinguishes us from most furnished apartments: we greet you at check in. We do this so we match who are with the copy of the photo ID we requested during the reservation process, we also like to help you with your bags…All other amenities such as wireless internet and cable or Satellite TV and all accommodations you are used to, including your very own kitchen, are provided.