by Mike Masnick

Hotels Putting Up Illegal Mobile Phone Jammers

from the that-can't-be-good dept

We've written about how excessive in-room phone charges are a scam that many hotels run, which was increasingly being undercut by folks using their mobile phones instead. Many hotels responded by increasing the fees they charged to the few guests who had no mobile phones to use (yes, this is a backwards move). Now, some are resorting to even shadier solutions. Found over at comes the news that (at least in Scotland) hotels are buying up illegal mobile phone jammers which make mobile phone users believe they have no service in their rooms - forcing them to use the hotel phones. First off, I wonder how prevalent it really is. The "source" for the story is the guy selling the devices, who has every incentive in the world to hype up how well he's doing. More importantly, businesses that go ahead and install such devices are coming up with a short-term solution that's going to hurt in the long term. As so many travelers rely so heavily on their mobile phones, finding a hotel that seems to not have mobile phone service at all will only make a large percentage of business travelers cross that hotel off the list of hotels they'll stay at in the future. There's no shortage of competition, and offering customers what they want might go a bit further than making a few extra bucks on long distance phone calls.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Aug 26th, 2003 @ 5:25pm

    Degrees of market freedom

    In a truly free market, suppliers have the power to set prices regardless of what an Econ 101 textbook says the theoretical price should be.

    The market for a place to stay is, theoretically, a perfectly competitive market -- one need only Craig's list to find plenty of people offering places to stay for the night. The reality is that people do prefer the predictable environment of a hotel setting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Can You Hear Me Now ?, Aug 27th, 2003 @ 8:52am

    Re: Degrees of market freedom

    But I think the problem is that people are being fooled into believing they do not have service ...
    Thats dishonesty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Mike, May 15th, 2006 @ 9:23pm

    I think I'm sick of this crap. How about thinking what we would like and maybe that would get us to come to your hotel? :O! OMG THATS SUCH A BAD IDEA. >_>

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    ooocf, Mar 18th, 2007 @ 5:00pm


    reserve this one

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Matt, Apr 18th, 2007 @ 11:53am

    Re: Degrees of market freedom by Can You Hear Me N

    I agree. Any business cutting people's phones off for no reason but to force them to use a hotel's high-priced landline is wrong. However, I feel jammers have a legitimate place when used sparingly by users and ONLY when needed. For example, many 'big' jammers offer metres of range and transmit many watts of power. Others, such as this portable unit: , claim to only emit mW, not Watts! I think these types of low-powered portable devices should be available to all who want to silence jabbering maniacs on their phones, while not wanting to interfere with communications farther away from their immediate vicinity. In short, if for personal use, go for it. If it's used just to 'force' someone to make a high-priced phone call, then that's just wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    geoff, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    phone jammer

    Great site with info on phone jammers

    cell phone jammer

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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