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December 21, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken: HOJO hotel features

HojoMark Makower points out this screenshot from (from the Howard Johnson hotel chain). Look carefully in the lower-left corner to see two of the perks of this particular location:

Free Copy Machine - $.25 Per Copy
Free Faxing - $1.25 Per Page

Just shows that nothing in life is free - unless, of course, you're charged for it.


Many places like this charge you to use such machines, a flat fee plus a per use, just like the hypothetical cable guy chages $100 just to walk into your home, plus an hourly fee.

This place has 'free use;, as in no flat access fee.

Posted by: Jim King at December 21, 2004 12:21 AM

I would like the room with $10 instead of a microwave please!

Posted by: I'm Too Funny at December 21, 2004 02:13 AM

If you charge money for photocopies or faxes then it isn't free regardless of the fee structure. By that logic, my gas is free since I'm not charged a flat pump fee on top of the gas that I fill in my car.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at December 21, 2004 08:26 AM

Free as in "free beer" is not the same as "free" as in "free speech". I think Jim King is trying to argue that you have the freedom to use their copy machine anytime you want, which is a technically accurate use of the word free.

But if so, it's terrible usage! Come on, when we see things that usually cost something marked as "free", we think the price has been waved.

What's *really* broken is not the confusing and self-contradictory language---it's the nickel-and-diming mentality of hotels.

Posted by: Robby Slaughter at December 21, 2004 08:46 AM

Mark has already commented on the customer experience and hotel phone charges.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at December 21, 2004 12:23 PM

Why can't you people see? The reason it's free is because it isn't chained up!

Posted by: Someone at December 21, 2004 03:59 PM

C'mon everyone! The copying/faxing is free, the paper is what they're charging for. I'll bet you can copy and copy all day and all night as long as you take all the paper out of the machine.

Should try it. Makes for some wierd looks.

Posted by: Trevor Hall at December 21, 2004 04:17 PM

Everything free in America,

For a small fee in America.

from West Side Story

(for example

Posted by: Phil Jollans at December 22, 2004 02:33 AM

So then, if I brought my own paper, would I not have to pay?

Posted by: Ilan at December 30, 2004 07:13 PM

Well, here's something interesting about viewing that matter what I did, I could not get to the lower left corner of it. The window would not scroll and was already full-screen (or as near as one can get to full screen within AOL)

Posted by: Gatz at January 19, 2005 11:56 PM

I have had a bad experience in HoJo. first of all, you can see that the building was going to hell, with holes in plaster pillars with mesh and insulation sticking out of them. you could also see there was a stairway to upstairs rooms with a big ominous crack going straight across the stairs. hazardous, maybe? also, when I finally got in the room, after trying the card 5 times, there was no trash bag or towels or hot water. The phone seemed gutted and missing a couple of parts, and to no surprise, it didn't work. and strangely enough, when I woke up the next morning, I found that there was no CAFFINATED coffee. all there was was decaf.

I'd go into all the other crap I had to go through that day, but I believe I have proen a point.

Howard johnsons isn't great, or at least the one I stayed at. perhaps if they were a little better at that gosh darn pain known as serving the customer, I may choose to use them again.

Posted by: t at August 15, 2005 01:50 PM

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