It seems that hotels are finally making the best of a bad thing and realising the old days of fleecing their guests with overpriced phone calls are past. In fact, one hotel is suggesting that in fact it is on the customer’s side, if this ad from today’s IHT by Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels is anything to go by:
The wording is “Consider subscribing to Skype – the free Internet vocal communications service. It could save you a small fortune in long-distance mobile phone charges.” Note the ‘mobile’ inserted here, implying that it’s mobile operators who alone have been the culprit. Indeed, it would be interesting to see whether this isn’t some fiendish plot to get guests to pay for in-room Internet services.
Staying at the (otherwise magnificent) Conrad in Bali’s Nusa Dua a few weeks back (yes, it’s a hard life), for example, I was surprised by having to pay about $10 for an hour’s Internet connection which was slower than a blood-drunk mosquito. (Tip: just piggy back the lobby Wifi if you can. It sucks, but no more or less than the connection in the room):
I’ve asked the Shangri-La’s PR for details about the Skype ad and their Internet charges (if any.) I’ll post their comments once I hear back.