Tuesday 24 February 2015 by Philip Kendall

‘Monstrous’ couple face public backlash for refusing guests access to house Wi-Fi


Unhappy man unable to access wifi

A middle-class couple from Surrey are facing a public backlash for refusing visitors to their home access to their wireless internet connection.

The rejected pleas came despite frequent mentions of poor network coverage, and one male guest being forced to hold his phone above his head to try and get a signal.

Clive and Elaine Swan-Layton invited a group of colleagues and old school friends to their home in Tilford, Surrey on the night of Feb 19 for drinks and to celebrate their daughter’s acceptance to a preparatory school where half the curriculum is taught in French.

Guests were shocked, however, when they found that the couple’s home was located in an area with particularly poor mobile phone reception and the only available Wi-Fi network password protected.

Mark and Mary Blake were among the worst affected by the lack of Internet access at the gathering.

“We first realised how dire the situation was when we tried to check in on Facebook,” Mr Blake told reporters.

“Mary tried to upload a photo of me pretending to ‘open’ her with a corkscrew, but it was taking forever.

“At first we thought it was just her phone, but when I looked at my own phone I saw that I had one, maybe two bars of signal at best.”

Shaken and under mounting pressure to talk to other guests, the couple sought to gain access to their hosts’ Wi-Fi network, but their subtle hints fell on deaf ears.

“Given the dreadful signal in the area, we assumed someone would offer us the password at some point, or perhaps that it would be written on a card and left out somewhere.

“But even after I slagged off my mobile provider and held my phone up in the air to look for a signal, no one offered.”

Another witness described his frantic attempt to guess the password.

“I thought it might have something to do with the kid’s new school – ‘bonjour’ or something – but nothing worked.

“It’s been nearly a week, but I still have nightmares about it.”

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