Hotel groups defend high telephone tariffs

Hotel groups defend high telephone tariffs

Government working party

HOTELIERS have defended their high telephone tariffs following criticism from the Government.

Hotel groups claim the tariffs are high because they have to pay for expensive telephone systems and staff them around the clock.

However, tourism minister Janet Anderson and consumer affairs minister Kim Howells are unhappy about the situation and have set up a working party to investigate hidden hotel charges. The party will be led by the British Hospitality Association and will have representatives from the tourism industry on the panel.

Hotel groups claim they already stick to BHA guidelines about clear displaying of prices in the rooms and charge existing prices to cover phone system overheads.

A Savoy Group spokesman said: "We need to provide a switchboard that is staffed 24hrs a day by professionals and that is expensive."

A Forte spokesman also said hotels had to cover the costs of running an efficient system. "The cost of calls takes into consideration the provision of an efficient professional 24hr switchboard and message service plus the cost of the system itself, which can cost up to £100,000 in a large hotel."

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