AOL toll-free access in London?

Oct 31st, 2005, 06:06 AM
  #1  
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AOL toll-free access in London?

I've e-mailed my large hotel in London several times, and have not received an answer...

My local Internet provider does not have any backup access numbers in London. I'm thinking about loading AOL; does anyone know if they have toll free numbers for London which I can use from my hotel room? I definitely want to use my own lap top for work and e-mailing.
San366 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 06:21 AM
  #2  
 
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Is dial-up the only method of connecting to the internet you'll consider? There are many other choices.

With an Ethernet jack in your computer, you can plug into the hotel's LAN or that of an internet cafe.

With a WiFi adapter, you can cruise into a hotspot and go online wirelessly.

What, specifically, do you want to accomplish?
Robespierre is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 06:42 AM
  #3  
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Robespierre, I have a wireless card, but I'd prefer not to have to lug around my computer and peripherals that I need to work. The hotel has high-speed Net available at 20 GPB a day; I'm not sure if that will come out cheaper than phone connection charges for dial-up.

I'm only talking about using my computer a couple of half-days during my vacation, so hopefully it won't be a major project. I'm very disappointed the hotel (Thistle Marble Arch) has dismissed my e-mails thus far; it doesn't bode well for their customer service . I might have to break down and call them.
San366 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 06:42 AM
  #4  
 
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Robespierre, it looks like the primary concern is cheap or free. If the prices are anything like Glasgow, the hotel will be outragous.

Keith
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Oct 31st, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #5  
 
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Opps, forgot to say to San366.

Unless you are planing to start using AOL all the time - DO NOT LOAD AOL SOFTWRE ON YOUR COMPUTER!

Keith
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Oct 31st, 2005, 06:50 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi San,

I agree with Keith. AOL can be a real bear to uninstall.

ira is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 07:01 AM
  #7  
 
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Thistle has ethernet in each room; it costs 90p per minute with a £15 cap per day. But if you buy their upgrade package (better room, breakfast) you get free internet.

Failing that, go around the block to Oxford Street and look for a souvenir shop with terminals in the basement just east of the Tube station. They'll sell you a connection for cheap - ours was free because we bought some truly tacky hats upstairs.
Robespierre is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 07:21 AM
  #8  
 
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I think you may be a little confused. AOL provides free phone access - but that just means they don;t charge you to use the line.

The hotel will charge you to use the connection - and believe me they will charge every minute at a very nice profit.

(AOL dial up is good for me since the AOL connection is "free" - actually $24 per month - but only because I have unlimited local phone service for a small flat fee - otherwise the bill would be hundreds of dollars per month.)
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 07:37 AM
  #9  
 
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The Thistle Marble Arch is one of the very few hotels I've stayed in in London. Like any other hotel, its service is as good as the people it employs. I found their staff charming.

AOL does have "toll-free" numbers. But you need to check what AOL actually charges as a "communications surcharge" for them: usually between £2.50 and £10 per hour. As I understand it, though, AOL doesn' let subscribers have access to these numbers till they've been on board for 60 days.

On top of that, you've got the Thistle's own charges for accessing "toll-free" numbers. This is substantial (???£1 a call???), and I found their rate card difficult to understand about this.

The upgrade charges are a great deal more than £15 a day, and there's no shortage of good value breakfast places in the area. I eventually decided buying the £15 cap package was the simplest solution.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #10  
 
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IF you are going to use the internet in your room a lot, and IF you are going to eat breakfast anyway (restaurants charge for it, too) and IF you don't mind paying a little extre for a better room (£35?), then the upgrade isn't an awful deal.

For myself, I used the internet cafe and ate breakfast at Pret a Manger around the corner.
Robespierre is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 09:51 AM
  #11  
 
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Just go to an internet cafe. I have AOL at home and agree with the above advice -- do NOT load AOL onto your computer unless you intend to keep using it. They are terrible in terms of hijacking a lot of stuff on your machine and trying to get rid of all the pieces. They also have a lot of ads that a popup installer won't even stop, I think -- and they will advertise their own services to you even if you have your profile set to allow no advertising from them.
Christina is offline  

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