Hotels' Holdup: Phone Fees
from the extortion-for-travelers dept
Like most mobile phone users, the idea of using the room phone at a hotel just doesn’t make sense any more. However, as more people are doing so, it sounds like hotels are trying to compensate by pushing up the in-room phone prices even higher – forcing those who don’t have mobile phones to pay insane rates for phone calls. SF Gate took a look at the phone call rate card in several San Francisco hotels, and found that you’re better off not communicating at all. As an example, they listed a 10 minute phone call from one hotel – within the same area code – that would run $31.64. International calls are much worse. A six minute call to Tokyo: $77.71, which they compare to a basic AT&T rate, where the same call would be $0.96. The hotels claim that they need to earn money somehow, but they’re basically encouraging people to not use their phones at all. I guess, if they can find one or two suckers willing to pay $100 for a simple phone call, then they come out even, but it’s only going to make most people go in search of more reasonable rates – or alternatives like mobile phones. For international travelers, it’s probably cheaper to simply rent a local mobile phone than to pay such rates.