Avoid using the hotel phone

Six main hotel rip-offs
• the minibar
• the telephone
• the parking garage
• the breakfast
• the laundry service
• the taxes
This one's simple: hotels charge obscenely high telephone rates—we're talking markups anywhere from 50% to 400%—especially on long-distance calls.

As usual, the more expensive the establishment, the higher the mark-up (often, modest little cheap hotels will only charge you the same price as a payphone, which is very stand-upish of them).

Many hotels will even charge you for what should be a "toll free" local call (anything that starts "0800") so you can use your calling card! Their totally indefensible excuse for this bit of thievery is that you are tying up one of their outgoing lines, and so should be charged for the usage, when really they're just miffed that they're missing out on the chance to gouge you big-time for an overseas call.

I have a simple rule: just pretend that hotel phone doesn't exist and use pay phones, cellphones, or Skype instead.

The most I'll use a hotel telephone for is to receive a wake-up call from the front desk.

» Lodgings in Paris: Booking.com, Venere.com, Bedandbreakfast.com, Getaroom.com




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