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£128 Hotel charge for calling Prestige Int'l Collect Number

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by AndrewOnTheRoad, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. AndrewOnTheRoad

    AndrewOnTheRoad New Member

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    I recently stayed at the IC London Park Lane on points and while there used the room phone to call the citi prestige international collect number on the back of my card to book 4 nights at another hotel to take advantage of the 4th night free program. Despite dealing the most difficult time dealing with the carson wagonlit person, it was booked and all was good.

    Until check-out when I noticed the hotel had a charge of £128 for a 31 minute 22 second phone call. I asked them about this explaining that I called an international collect number on the back of my credit card. The manager at the front desk simply told me that she did not know and did not have the ability to do anything about it. She suggested that sometimes people call numbers that they think are toll free but are not toll free internationally. I tried to explain that that couldn't be the case as it was specifically the international number my travel credit card gave me. She then said that their phone system was managed by a third party system so she couldn't do anything but if I sent her an e-mail with the phone number I called perhaps she could request that they look into it. (I didn't have my physical card with me nor the time to produce the number for her as my car to the airport was arriving.) Now a few weeks later at home I see that the bill includes the number right there on it so she could have gotten it then.

    In the meantime I initiated a secure message back-and-forth with citi prestige and in my initial message I quote the number listed on the card as the international number and ask why the hotel would charge for the call if it was truly an international collect number. Their response was that this was something I would need to take up with the hotel and the company that manages their phones. Then the agent proceeds to tell me that the international collect number is actually another, different number than the one I have listed. I have sent a follow-up asking why the agent quoted me a different number than the one listed on my card but have not gotten a response yet.

    So.... anyone have any idea how this happened?

    Ideas on how I should proceed with handling this?

    How does everyone handle international calls while traveling? My cell company would have charged $1 per minute hence the hotel's posted connection fee of 2 pounds and then 0 per minute fee for "international free phones" should have been cheaper.

    Does everyone just use skype or similar?

  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    It sucks that that happened but I have no idea how to handle it.

    However, a cheaper solution would be Skype or Google Hangouts/Voice, which uses Wi-Fi to make calls. If you're based in the US, using Google Hangouts/Voice to call a US number is completely free. If you need to call other international numbers, both Google Hangouts/Voice and Skype have reasonable rates for international calls.
    Gaurav and Tiffany like this.
  3. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    My only guess is that the hotel's policy is to charge for calls to your collect call number like some hotels charge for any local call. So while you may not get charged for the international connection, you might have been charged for just using their lines and equipment. It's hard to go much further without knowing more. I would follow up with the hotel manager and try to get a better answer.