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Telephone Charges Article in the NY Times

Telephone Charges Article in the NY Times

Old Mar 25, 01, 7:08 am
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Telephone Charges Article in the NY Times

There is a good article in today's (3/25/01) issue of the New York Times regarding hotel phone and high speed data link charges. The link currently is:
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/25/travel/25PRAC.html

A few points stood out:
1. From a FCC brochure being distributed to hotels: "it is not enough for a hotel to put information about its phone service into the usual tabletop portfolio or even in a drawer; the information, including how to reach other telephone companies, must be posted "on or near the telephones".
2. Also from the same brochure: "guests must be able to dial all three types of access codes: 800 codes, 950 codes and 10-10 or 10-15 "dial around" codes that circumvent the hotels' preferred long distance companies".
3. "The Starwood policy for high speed dataports, where they are available, involves a $9.95 daily charge for use, with a charge of 10 cents a minute after the first hour. 10 cents a minute for high speed link!! Doesn't Sheraton know when enough is enough?
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Old Mar 25, 01, 8:00 am
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Bill, I'm virtually certain the $.10/minute for high-speed access after the first hour is either a composing error or a misconception on the part of the writer. I've used high-speed connections at Marriott, Courtyard, Westin, and even Holiday Inn, and it's always been a flat daily charge of between $7.95 and $11.95. The only other difference between them has been whether the charge is for a 24-hour period from when you start, or whether the billing day ends each day at check-out time.
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Old Mar 25, 01, 8:03 am
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Yes, it is pretty bad out there. I generally try to stay at Hampton inns as local calls are free. This past week I stayed at a Embassy Suite who charged 75c per local call. I called the operator first to make sure it was unlimited for 75c. If it had not, I would have called back every hour and then never stayed their again.

I have become very picky about this and now do not stay at many hotels over the phone rates.
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Old Mar 25, 01, 4:00 pm
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I have seen hotels charge as much as $1 or $1.25 for each phone call. And, I have seen 20 minute call limits on top of that.

Ever try to get your company to reimburse you for that?
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Old Mar 25, 01, 9:41 pm
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Recently I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. In addition to an outrageous charge for making local and/or 800 number calls, they also had a per minute charge ($0.10 ??) after a certain amount of time (I think it was 10 or 20 minutes, but I don't remember which).
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Old Mar 26, 01, 6:24 pm
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I think the mention of $9.95 plus .10 per minute is a confusion of two different rate plans. Many hotels (with or without the high speed lines), do charge after so many minutes. Though you and I may not like, there is a good reason. The hotel may have 300 rooms, but only 30 or so outside phone lines. Just a like a business. And, when people make a few short calls and maybe the occassional longer one, it all works fine. BUT, if we plug in the PC and stay online all night long, they need to put in more lines. Easier said than done.

This may suck, but just the way it is.
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Old Mar 28, 01, 8:45 am
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A hotel in San Juan charged the $1 after the 4th ring!!!

[This message has been edited by Viajero Joven (edited 03-28-2001).]
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Old Mar 28, 01, 10:14 am
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This morning, at the Sheraton in Buenos Aires, I heard the front desk describing their phone charges to a guest: for local calls, $1 for the first minute, then 0.50 for each minute thereafter! Fortunately for me, there were no phone charges on my folio, as I would not stand for that kind of robbery (which is not published anywhere in the room, btw).
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Old Mar 30, 01, 6:17 am
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I recently needed a long-term hotel for a 2 week stay and chose a Marriott Residence Inn at $95 a night. They hit me $.75 a local call and I had a lot of local calls to make.

After a few days, I moved over to La Quinta, which is a great alternative similar to Hampton Inn if you're in the western states. Most of their facilities are very new, the breakfast, while not hot like Marriott Residence, is quite good, and free. No phone charges for anything, good voicemail system and very well run. The one I went to was $68 a night with AAA discount.

As for the Marriott Residence Inn I left, I heard the desk clerk say they were running 60% full. With me they made another $15 by charging me for local calls, and then they had an empty room for 8 nights that I would have paid $95 a night for.

And I bet there's an MBA in corporate who thinks the phone charges make them a lot of money.
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Old Mar 30, 01, 8:26 am
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A buck a minute for local calls .. what a BARGAIN!

I stayed 5 nights til Tuesday this week at the (Hilton) Waldorf Astroria in NYC.

Phone costs .. $US1.75 plus tax per each local call, PLUS they were time capped. That is darn close to TWO BUCKS A CALL, and I sadly needed to made dozens to catch up with other FT'ers etc, leave messages etc.

Business Center .. 80c a MINUTE plus tax for internet use. No discount for length of time. $5 minimum.

That runs over $50 an hour to check or send emails, so little wonder I was "quiet" on FT for a few days!

Anyone have an email address for someone at NY TIMES, as I will pass these charges on to them in case they do a follow up - have a bill loaded with them.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum94/HTML/004365.html

------------------
~ Glen ~
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