In the wake of the economic downturn, some hotels have cut corners to save money — and their customers have noticed. According to a new survey, satisfaction with hotel services is now at a six-year low.

The J.D. Power & Associates’ North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, now in its 16th year, revealed satisfaction dropped to 757 out of a possible 1,000 points. That’s down seven points from just last year, and it marks the lowest index score since 2006.

You might think the top complaint would be room costs, but it’s not. When the economy tanked a few years ago, many hotels cut back on staff and deferred some maintenance, and although things are brighter now, they haven’t replenished their workforces or addressed upkeep concerns.

As a result, the survey showed the most dissatisfaction occurred during the check-in/check-out process and with food and beverage services, hotel services and hotel facilities.

In addition, more than half of travelers want to use the hotel WiFi during their stays, and since they’re so accustomed to free WiFi, it really rankles them when they have to pay for it while on the road. In fact, hotels that charge WiFi fees rank 76 points lower on average than those that provide it at no charge.

Here are the hotel brands with the highest customer-satisfaction ratings in their respective categories:

Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton

Upper upscale: Omni Hotels & Resorts

Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn and SpringHill Suites

Mid-scale full-service: Holiday Inn

Mid-scale limited-service: Drury Hotels

Economy/budget: Jameson Inn

Extended stay: Homewood Suites

[Chicago Tribune]

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