Front Desk

A wake-up call to hoteliers

It's sad when someone needs to invent a technology because hotel operators can't do their jobs correctly.

A clever new website,, allows travelers, or anyone, to get an automatic phone call on their day and time of choice. The user goes to the site, plugs in the time and date and, if they choose, a brief text message. And it works. I tried it last week, and at the appointed time my phone rang with a voice giving the message I wrote.

It's simple to use and seemingly works perfectly, which is something hotel operators have been unable to achieve when it comes to wake-up calls. Most guests, including me, are reluctant to rely on a front desk person or other hotel employee to make sure their wake-up calls arrive on time. And, of course, very few people—again, including me—can figure out the intricacies of the clock radios in most hotel guestrooms.

It's sad that after thousands of years of operation, the hotel business can't master one of the most basic functions of hospitality.

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