nycflyer
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Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:09 am

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?
 
air2gxs
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:14 am

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).
 
TedTAce
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:21 am

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.
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srbmod
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:53 am

You're hard pressed at some hotels to even find pre-paid phone cards in their sundries shops.
 
airlinelover
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:20 am

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
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Go3Team
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:25 am

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!
 
backfire
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:39 am

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.
 
S12PPL
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:45 am

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.
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KC135R
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:48 am

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.
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:50 am

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
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NumberTwelve
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:52 am

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
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AzoresLover
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:02 am

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 
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xpat
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:52 am

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.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:14 am

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?
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
xpat
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:27 am

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
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:34 am

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!
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
srbmod
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:10 am

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.
 
trekster
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:21 am

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
Where does the time go???
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:34 am

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.
 
KC135R
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:47 am

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?
 
AMS
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RE: Why Are Phone Calls From Hotels So Expensive?

Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:24 am

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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