$8 for 15 minutes

$8 gets you 15 minutes.  Of what?

I’m in New York.  Times Square to be exact.

The place I’m in is open 24 hours a day.  The price is still the same, regardless of whether you drop in right after lunch or stumble in at 2 am.

I decided to stop by and check out some stuff because I’ve got an hour to kill before a speech…

You guess what it is yet?

It’s the fee that the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square charges guests for internet access in its business center.  Every time a guest wanders in and inquires, the attendant tells them the rate with a smile – and no fewer than 5 groups of leisure travellers have ponied up.

The interesting thing to me is the seeming randomness of the charges.  Yet another guest asks about internet access and the reply is a friendly "$8 for 15 minutes."  Well, a guy came in and asked about an hour.  "$32 for an hour."  The guy asks about a half-hour. [long pause] "Umm…$15 for 30 minutes."

The guest says, "OK, I’ll go for 15 minutes."

I guess if you’re going to pay that much, you’re not using much sense anyway.

[BTW I’m using a tethered Blackberry.]