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Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?  
User currently offlineNYCFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1388 posts, RR: 9
Posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

Random thing I've always wanted to know. The subject heading says it all. It seems that the degree to which phone calls from hotel rooms are expensive is beyond reason. Even a local call! Anyone have a theory or concrete information about why this is?

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3566 times:

Probably because in the age before cell phones, hotel phones were a cash cow for the hotel. If you needed to make a call you either used the phone in the room or walked to the nearest payphone (which was conveniently, not in the hotel).

User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3559 times:

Yeap Air 2 got this one square on the head. There have been a lot of articles (I'm sure Dvorak has done a few) about Hotels panicking with the advent of VOIP and the popularity of cellphones bypassing their system all together. It was a VERY fat cash cow, and their losses have jacked prices up further as they have to make more to keep the system reasonable to have in the first place.

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3547 times:

You're hard pressed at some hotels to even find pre-paid phone cards in their sundries shops.

User currently offlineAirlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3530 times:

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 3):
You're hard pressed at some hotels to even find pre-paid phone cards in their sundries shops.

That's why you make sure you have them BEFORE you go. Plus, a lot are even charging for "toll free" Calls. THe QUality Inn at KBUF does, a lot of hotels in LAS charge for ANY Call you make. .

We have a payphone at the hotel where I work, though most ppl bring cell phones..

Chris



Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3526 times:

A 2 minute call from my hotel room in AMS to a US Cell phone in Scotland cost me less than 1€. I was quite suprised when I got the bill.


Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3517 times:

Hotels used to be able to charge high rates because there was no other realistic choice - people staying in a hotel would rather reach for the room phone than go out and search for a cheaper alternative.

But with the spread of mobile phones, hotels are quickly learning that they can't compete on rates - so a lot of hotels have cut their phone rates dramatically in order to retain some of the revenue.


User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3513 times:

Yeah, I can't believe they still charge for LOCAL calls at hotels. That is fucking ridiculous to me. If I don't want to get raped by room service and order a pizza from some place, I shouldn't have to pay a buck or two to do it.

User currently offlineKC135R From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

I was "stuck" in Hawaii post 9/11/01 and, due to the horrific events, I made a few phone calls to family, etc. Also, back home, a hurricane was threatening the area so I called my roommate a few times to make sure things were OK. All in all, I spent about 1-2 hours on the phone over a period of 10 days.

The bill when I checked out? Over $400 in phone calls!!! I learned my lesson the hard way!

Needless to say, I carry a cell phone anytime I travel now.


User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1312 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3511 times:

Hotels have also realized that high speed internet is almost a necessity for any traveler, business or leisure. A lot of the hotel chains, including my company, offers packages where you can purchase highspeed internet and unlimited phone calls within the US for a fixed daily fee. People mostly buy it for the internet, but it at least covers some costs of the phone system.

cheers



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineNumberTwelve From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 1431 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3511 times:

Quoting KC135R (Reply 8):
Over $400 in phone calls!!!

So what do you complain about? If the phone rates aren't published, ok. But if you know the rates, you accept them. Also minibars in hotels are more expensive than in supermarkets.
Do you want to tell the hotels what rates they have to charge for phone, pay tv and minibars? You getting to be Socialists?  Wink



signature censored by admin - so check my profile
User currently offlineAzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 759 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3507 times:
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My last stay in Manila was at the New World Renaissance, a Marriott hotel. Internet prices were $10 per half hour in the Business Center, with a half hour minimum. To connect to the internet in your room was "only" $18 per day!!

However, I walked right across the street to a local Internet Cafe, and used the internet for the price of approximately 80 cents per hour!!!!

Guess where I did my daily emails. surfing, etc, to stay in touch with things back home??!!  cheerful 



Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
User currently offlineXpat From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

As many have answered above, phone services are a pure profit center for hotels. I'm amazed at how my hotel company has not lowered their charges for phone calls. It appears that phones in hotel rooms are in danger of being obsolete as most people traveling today have cell phones.

There are some hotel brands that offer free local calls. That is just a brand standard and not a promotional thing. Of course those hotels are not frequented too often by the business traveler. As WindowSeat mentioned above, many hotels (mine included) offer a package that includes unlimited web acess and local calls (noon-noon) at a pretty nominal rate ($9.95/day the last I checked).

There was a time that we were charging for toll-free calls!! The first 20 minutes were free, then you accrued a charge after that. That was quickly, and rightfully, protested by our guests and discontinued. Also, a few years ago when there was a power shortage in California, hotels were charging an energy surcharge...EVEN IF THEY WEREN'T LOCATED IN CALIFORNIA! Once again, that charge was quickly abandoned.



The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3475 times:

In adding to reply#7...

...why does it cost $45 to order friggin toast/eggs/juice in the morning for room service???

The meal can't possibly cost more than $5 to create; but even combined with chef-work, and delivery-- HTF does that justify a $40 markup?


User currently offlineXpat From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3470 times:

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 13):
-- HTF does that justify a $40 markup?

It absolutely does not!



The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3464 times:

Quoting Xpat (Reply 14):
It absolutely does not!

...and yet, people do it every day.

Hell, some do it in places that even offer complementary (downstairs) breakfasts!


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3452 times:

Quoting Airlinelover (Reply 4):
a lot of hotels in LAS charge for ANY Call you make. .

A few of them charge you $1 a day for unlimited local calls, regardless if you use the phone at all.


User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3447 times:

I had a heart attack when i got the bill for a total call of 5 min in 5 days, was like $50 at the CIRCUS CIRCUS hotel

Mucked up my plans that day. Only had just enough to get the cab to the airport and have something to eat


User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1312 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3443 times:

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 13):
...why does it cost $45 to order friggin toast/eggs/juice in the morning for room service???

The meal can't possibly cost more than $5 to create; but even combined with chef-work, and delivery-- HTF does that justify a $40 markup?

Actually you'd be surprised how much it does. The food cost may be minimal, but the overhead expenses are tremendous. The single biggest expense for a hotel is labor, especially in union hotels. It is natural for hotels to pass on the costs to the customer, and not to mention for the convenience of a hot breakfast delivered to you in your hotel room you should be prepared to pay.

We're currently in pricing discussions in the new hotel we're opening. You can safely assume that the things you mentioned above will cost you about $ 90.

cheers



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineKC135R From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 728 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3436 times:

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 10):
So what do you complain about?

I did not realize (my own mistake) the rates would be so much, especially since I was using a long distance card to pay for the actual long distance - this was just a phone usage charge per minute or something.

I paid the damn bill, but I can complain if I want - it does seem excessive, no?


User currently offlineAMS From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1692 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3421 times:

There is a simple answer to your question;

HOTELS WANT TO MAKE $$$$$$$$

even some hotels disturb cell phone signals, so that you are forced using their expensive calling rates.

Regards,
AMS


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