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Telephone overcharging prompts Stakis rethink

01 January 2000
Telephone overcharging prompts Stakis rethink

By Angela Frewin

Stakis is to provide clearer telephone call charge information in its hotel bedrooms following an article in this month's Which? magazine over a customer charged £117.69 for 16 minutes of calls to Monaco.

A Stakis spokesman admitted that the customer, who was staying at its Islington hotel, had been overcharged due to a one-off mechanical fault. He said the call should have cost £30.07, and that the extra charge had been refunded.

The Consumer Association's magazine criticised the inadequacy of the call charge information card, which gave a cost of 49p for the first unit and 26p thereafter, without explaining how long a unit was.

Stakis said this information was standard across the industry, but added that over the next two months it would introduce new cards detailing typical costs for five-minute calls to local, national, and foreign destinations.

While telecoms watchdog Oftel said it had no powers to cap the tariffs levied on pay and room phones, as demanded by Which?, it said it was reviewing the rules on what sort of information should be shown alongside them.

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