Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Costly hotels and awful clock radios

On occasion, and neither by preference nor choice, I stay in an expensive hotel. Most of these places show odd market failures of one kind or another, but the most striking one for me is the clock radios.

They are usually incomprehensible and remarkably cheap. This one featured some Timex branded monster that plays CDs (who carries CDs these days?) and looks like it was assembled by a justly resentful Chinese prisoner. The prize, though, is the alarm. Despite two disgusted efforts, I couldn't figure out how to set the darned thing. It reminded me of configuring the Hayes codes on the first generation of error-correcting modems.

I can only guess the Hotel manager has never actually stayed in her hotel.

Even if they were the same price, the alarm clock alone would send me to the Residence Inn.

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