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Hotel Phone charges

First of all, everything depends upon how the hotel is managed as to how they bill calls.

The PCs that track all calls made on the phone system have the ability to assign a value to each call. It can be a flat fee, a percentage markup, or a combination of the two. The industry is looking to this as a profit center, to the tune of thousands of dollars each night.

As a "savvy traveler" it is prudent to ask at check in about their policy regarding dialing around the hotel's direct dial rates. Often, if you dial an 800 number to access your preferred long distance carrier you bypass the hotel's surcharge and are billed the standard rate for your calling card.

Lastly, a couple of points about how billing begins and ring cycles. Years ago, in an effort to reduce toll fraud the ringing you hear when you make a call was taken out of sync with the ringing heard on the distant end. That way, little Johnny who set it up with Mom to listen for a call a 8 p.m., if it rings twice I'm ok, if it rings three times pick it up. If the ring cycles are out of sync, you don't know how many rings the distant end has heard. When you make a call from a hotel/motel (again, depending upon the phone system) the system isn't waiting for you to receive an answer in order to "start the meter running." It is usually based upon elapsed time.

For example, if you make a call and it lasts more than 10 seconds it will show up on the bill. If you hang up after six seconds, you haven't passed the "threshold" and you'll never see that call. When I travel I actually go to the trouble of noting the time and date as well as the number I dialed on the little courtesy note pad so I can cross check it with my bill.

I hope this info was helpful.



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