InterContinental Hotels: Priority Club & Inter-Continental Ambassador - Are free local calls going by the wayside?
SMF UA 1K
Aug 11, 03, 7:53 am
I have been a 6C Platinum member for the past five years, staying 150+ nights each year, and I can not remember ever having to pay for a local call. However, things seem to have changed recently. This calendar year alone, I have stayed at three properties where free local calls are not available to Priority Club members:
- HI Schenectady
- HI Dulles Airport
- CP Philadelphia
Also, at the HIEX Midtown Philadelphia location, I was told that free local calls were only available in "area 1". That area must be a three-block circle around the hotel because I was charged for making several calls to a number that was within the Philadelphia city limits.
I stayed at the HI Dulles in January 2002, and I know I was not charged for local calls then. When I checked out of the same hotel 10 days ago, I had about $21 worth of local call charges. I was surprised to find out that they were no longer free.
I am wondering if this is a growing trend. Has anybody else experienced this? I always thought free local calls was a staple of being a PC member.
Aug 11, 03, 8:09 am
Free local calls have never been an elite feature in the past four years I've been active in this program. However, when upgraded to a Club/Exec floor at CPs and HIs, such calls are generally free as a benefit for staying on this floor.
Hotels, like airlines, are having to remove elements of services and benefits that used to be considered a part of the basic price. With telco deregulation in the US, all sorts of new fees began to be added to room charges, because local phone rates began to soar and became a more significant cost to hotels. Add internet use, which increased the local phone useage, and systems had to be upgraded, at a cost. WIth room rates depressed by a weak market, these have now become a major cost centre, and revenue source.
So unless you are upgraded to Exec/Club floors, local calls are a cost factor to contend with. Or else use your cell for regular calls, and limit internet to high speed links, etc.
Aug 13, 03, 3:37 am
I have always enjoyed free local and 800 calls as a PC member for years, but at the downtown SLC HI I was charged 75 cents for a local call and $2.10 for a 15 min 800 call.
When I complained they pointed out a tiny label on the envelope they give you with your check in stuff.
I filled out a customer satifaction survey with a negative comment.
I will ask on check -in from now on.
Aug 13, 03, 11:37 am
Here in europe I never had any problems at SC hotels getting "0800" free of charge. This is great since I can connect to the internet thru a roaming system with a free "0800" number, then I get a monthly bill for all internet time for the same price as local calls here in Sweden.
Aug 13, 03, 12:55 pm
Local calls have NEVER been a Priority Club benefit. I was at a hotel recently where this lunatic was literally screaming at the front desk clerk over what turned out to be a 40 cent local phone charge. The clerk pulled out the PC brochure, and sure enough, there is no mention of free local calls (or free faxes, free breakfast, free massages, etc). But being confronted with the facts wasn't enough. Finally, the clerk took 40 cents out of her own pocket and said, "Here, I'll pay for your call." The guy ahead of me in line let the jerk have it for giving travelers a bad name. No wonder we keep running into untrained folks at front desks everywhere: why would anyone in his right mind willingly keep working under such conditions as dealing with insufferable jacka sses.
SMF UA 1K
Aug 13, 03, 6:53 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by aks0516:
The clerk pulled out the PC brochure, and sure enough, there is no mention of free local calls (or free faxes, free breakfast, free massages, etc).</font>
I completely agree that there is no mention of it in the latest PC brochure. I just wish I had some of my old ones, because unless I have completely lost my memory, and that is a real possibility, I would swear that this was a published benefit in the past. If nothing else, I know for a fact that I am now being charged for calls that were free at the same hotels just in the last two years.
Complaining about 40 cents is just ridiculous though. I haven't complained about my local call charges, and I wasn't trying to do that with my initial post. I was just wondering where this benefit -- real or perceived -- had gone.
I agree with Shareholder's assertion that hotels, like other industries, need to find ways to increase revenues without actually raising their base prices, so I really shouldn't be all that surprised that I now find myself paying for such calls.
Still, if you stay at a hotel once, and you don't pay for local calls, and then you stay there again and get a $21 charge for such calls, you should be a little surprised...
Aug 15, 03, 3:08 am
The free local calls may not have been a "benefit" officially, but I use my laptop to access my company internet site and I never paid for local calls as far back as I can remeber, except for last week.
[This message has been edited by jimc_usa (edited 08-15-2003).]
Aug 25, 03, 10:22 am
Just stayed at the Holiday Inn Raleigh North
was charged 50c for local phone calls, it said so on the phone, but then on my bill was credited back the charges. Wonderful.