Read all about it! (for a price)

William M. Dowd photo

LEDYARD, CT -- As she flipped through the "complimentary" copy of The Providence Journal left at the door of our guest room at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino, my wife shared with me what she considered the hottest story in the newspaper.

"Look at that sticker," she said, pointing to a square piece of paper attached to the front of the third section. "I thought this paper was supposed to be complimentary for guests."

The note informed us, "A copy of the Providence Journal is included with your stay. If you do not wish to receive the newspaper, please contact the front desk for a $.13 refund daily, or a $.50 refund on Sunday."

Regretably, this is a legitimate gimmick, although a cheesey one. It does nothing to benefit the consumer who is placed in the position of first ascertaining that he or she is being unexpectedly charged for something then having to take action to change the situation or end up footing the bill, small though it is.

Under the industry's Audit Bureau of Circulations rules, newspapers can sell bulk batches of their product at half-price and still count them as individually full-paid circulation.

What this boils down to, dear traveler, is that this 50-cent newspaper actually went for only a quarter to the Indian casino hotel, and it passed along more than 50% of its discounted price to its guests. Human nature being what it is, they no doubt figured, correctly, that few people would ever ask for their 13 cents back. So, it was a great deal for the newspaper and the resort.

Just a tip for one more thing to keep an eye on during your travels.

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