Why it costs so much to use a hotel phone and other burning questions

An interesting interview with J. Willard Marriott Jr., the 72-year-old chairman and namesake of the 2,700-hotel Marriott Hotels International, in the Boston Globe recently. Along with news about the chain and its plans—including plans to upgrade the beds a la Starwood—he answers the question I’ve always wanted to ask: Why is it so expensive to use the phone in your hotel room?

His answer: "In a hotel, you have a whole cadre of people who answer the phones and take the messages for you. You have your own personal answering service. So we try to cover those expenses."

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