Help! The Hotel I Booked Online Became a Homeless Shelter and No One Told Me.
What’s the first thing you do when you check into your hotel or motel room? The one you always do: Look for a phone. It might be the one with the biggest screen. The one that has the most features. The one that allows you to make or receive free calls. The one that has the least number of calls to make. The one with the fewest bars. The one you always have to dial before you can send someone a text, or make a call.
When you stay at a hotel or motel, your choice of phone is your worst enemy. But if you’re like many other Americans, you’ve probably been blindsided time and time again by the hotel and motel chain’s bad habit of using your phone as your portal to a less luxurious hotel, or shelter, for the night.
The practice of using your phone to book a hotel or motel is called cellphone-booking. In the United States, it’s usually done online. But other countries, including Canada, have cellphone-booking services as well.
The practice has grown a lot since the 1990s when it was considered almost as harmless as a cell phone. With a landline, you can call anyone — anyone in the country, or the world, in some cases. You can contact your doctor, tell your boss you have a new job, find a loved one, or find a hotel or motel room for your nights.
With the rise of mobile phones, it’s now a much more serious problem, because you can easily make free or low-cost calls from your hotel room. That’s a big problem because, at least for some people, there’s a better option from a hotel or motel — and a worse one, too. (The good ones, or, at least, ones that are cheaper.)
Cellphone-booking is a problem that can ruin a stay. The problems in the hotel industry are not