As I sat in my West Hollywood hotel room with the Sunday Times, I came across Peter S. Greenberg's expose on unexpected surcharges that are added to guests' telephone calls by hotels in the United States and abroad (Sept. 8). Interesting, said I, but people should know better than to dial long distance from their hotel rooms. But, Greenberg points out, local calls are often subject to surcharges, as well. Perhaps I should check this out, I thought.
Well, it seems that the management had neglected to inform me that a call to the 818 area code is considered long distance in their scheme of things. The cost? $3.50 for a one-minute call from West Hollywood to Burbank! Yes, my phone bill was indeed higher than the cost of my room. Thanks to Greenberg for pointing out the hazards of life on the road. Let the dialer beware.