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Hotel Phone Charges

Rudy Maxa recently discussed the relatively new practice of hotels charging guests for incomplete in-room telephone calls, no matter if the line is busy or there is no answer on the other end.

I was charged for such "attempted" calls at the New Orleans Doubletree Hotel earlier this summer. As I hate cell phones and therefore don't carry one, I took an earlier tip of Mr. Maxa's to avoid hotels' local call charges and used the lobby pay phone to contact a private airport shuttle service. I made repeated calls from the pay telephone, but the line to the shuttle service was always busy.

In exasperation, I went back up to my room to make the call to the shuttle service. I thought: what the heck, what's 75 cents or $1.25 this time? Well, after five or six attempts from my room, the shuttle service continued to ring busy. So I then returned to the lobby and asked the valet to call the shuttle; he very gladly did so, and did get through -- finally.

When I checked out, however, I was surprised and irritated to see total charges of over $5 on my bill for local telephone calls, although none of those calls were completed.




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