Hotel phone charges

Beware the hotel in-room telephone (Photo by Mark Hills)
Beware the hotel in-room telephone

Avoid the scandalously high cost of making a phone call from your hotel room

This one's simple: hotels charge obscenely high telephone rates—we're talking markups anywhere from 150% 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 local "toll free" call (0800 or 0808).

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 the hotel phone doesn't exist and use Skype or a cellphone with a roaming plan (or Skype using he cheap T-Mobile data plan)

Skype links