The hotel-room telephone is not obsolete

Back in August 2010 Barbara De Lollis asked USA Today readers “Is the hotel-room telephone obsolete?” In her Hotel Check-in section she asks:

Readers: How often do you use that traditional telephone set in your hotel room these days?

With so many travelers glued to their cell phones, some hotels are exploring the idea of doing away with the guestroom phone.

 Now there is the obvious question is “why do hotels still need the in-room phone, they can they do everything via a smart phone app”?

Yes these days you can unlock your door, order a towel or room service,  and other guest services aimed at guest loyalty.

But these are not the real reason that hotels still have the in-room phone. Today for a hotel in Europe to qualify for 3 or more stars they need to have the phone. In the past year the need to connect to emergency services from the room was enough of a factor that they are looking to change the law to force these calls to work via direct dial without pressing 9 first. There is even a petition to Require all MLTS/PBX Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari’s Law towards forcing this change.

But what if the in-room phone could be useful again? What if hotels could regain the guest’s trust that using the phone will not cost them a fortune?

This is what Phonebnb is all about. Flat-rate international charges for the guest without the hotel eating the cost, maybe even making a bit of a return on the investment that they are paying for their phone switch, lines, and software.