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TOPIC: Lobby Pay Phones

Lobby Pay Phones 08 Sep 2006 08:36 #13277

  • Tom Watkins
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I'm looking at payphones.com about a lobby payphone. Does anyone have experience with this? It looks farily straight forward and could be a small revenue source.

Also, does anyone have a ATM machine in the lobby?

Thanks

Tom Watkins
Magic Lantern Theater
Bridgton Maine
Tom Watkins
Magic Lantern Theater
Bridgton Maine
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 08 Sep 2006 08:48 #13278

  • dsschoenborn
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Tom look up some of the older posts on this site about ATM's. There has been some great discussions on this. Remeber you have to change the dates to search to find the older posts.

End of story is take credit cards and don't worry about the ATM. CC have been very painless for me while I think an ATM would have been much more work for me and trouble based on what I read here.

The phone company took our payphone out this spring. The one or two kids who don't have cell phones and need to call for a ride can use our phone. Not sure it has been missed much.
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 08 Sep 2006 10:26 #13279

  • Linda
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The phone company also took our pay phone out this summer for the same reason, not enough revenue for it because nearly everyone has a cell phone.
We have an ATM in our lobby, that I put in several years ago to keep from having to accept credit cards. It didn't work, people were still walking away because we didn't accept credit cards. It still gets some use, but our income from it is under $100 per month., so I'm not sure it is worth it.
Accepting Credit cards is definitely the way to go.

[This message has been edited by Linda (edited September 08, 2006).]
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 08 Sep 2006 11:31 #13280

  • rodeojack
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We still have a payphone outside our drive-in. It gets used, but not often. Lately, it's become a bit of a problem, because kids will hit 911 on it and the Sheriff responds to all hangup calls (though their dispatch now calls my cell phone first). The phone company hasn't said anything about the revenue, though I wonder if it's only a matter of time.

When we opened our indoor, the issue came up. The phone company wanted $600 to install it, and $50 per month for 6 months, while they studied the income. If the money didn't hit a certain level, we'd have to continue to pay the $50 (though the phone company still would get anything in the cash box). We passed.

Long distance revenue checks to us have stopped, though they weren't much to begin with. As dsschoenborn says... pretty much everyone on two legs has a cell phone these days.

If I was going to install a pay phone, I'd probably look at buying my own, and hooking it up to an online number, like Vonage. Those lines are flat-rate, so what little long distance you'd get through your phone would be all gravy for you. Past that, it'd pretty much be a matter of whether you'd make the $25 monthly cost of the line, plus any maintenance/repairs to the phone. I doubt if I would put my own phone outside the building, though.

Ken Layton has some good links for payphone suppliers.

Regarding plastic & ATMs:
28% of our business volume this year was in plastic. Over the past 5 years, our customers have increasingly come to expect the convenience. Our RTS system uses on-line processing, which makes the transaction literally as fast as cash. Also, what they say about people being more likely to use plastic on larger transactions is absolutely true... very fast and convenient.

Personally, I wouldn't touch an ATM. You're forcing the customer to take a couple of extra steps to get in the door or past the concessions line. Seems to me that anything that keeps their focus off of the money and onto the product would be good.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited September 08, 2006).]
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 08 Sep 2006 23:28 #13281

  • Ken Layton
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A local theater owner has a multiplex theater that the local telephone company refused to install a payphone. In fact that same telco was actually removing payphones all over the city. Well my friend bought a full sized payphone and outdoor pedestal & enclosure from payphone.com

To make a long story short, his payphone is a goldmine doing a steady $400 a month!
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 09 Sep 2006 02:21 #13282

  • Pieman
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We don't have a payphone. Most people have a cell and those that don't can use ours. Its locked to only local calls.
We have an ATM and have had it for approximately 5 years. The vast majority of our customers know its cash only and many come in and go straight to the ATM. Of those who do produce a credit card, 80% have the cash on them anyway and 19% of the rest just use the machine. Its extremely rare for someone to be stuck with no cash and not able to use the ATM.
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 09 Sep 2006 03:25 #13283

  • sevstar
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An outdoor payphone will do much better business than indoor. But your also exposed to more vandalism and repairs. We have had both. And the indoor one began loosing money about 4 to 5 years ago when cell phones took off.

On ATM's. There are a lot of people me included. Who use credit cards but have never wanted or activated a PIN number. I use mine for the cash back bonus. Other people us them for flyer miles etc. So if the place I am doing business does not accept credit cards directly, and I don't have the cash on me. I am not buying....
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 09 Sep 2006 07:18 #13284

  • Mike
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We do not take credit cards. Don't forget there's a +/- 3-5% off the top. But that is not the reason we do not take them. You need a secure phone line for cred card or atm so add that new biz line cost to your bottom line/ we have atms withing 100 yards of our 2 theatres. People who have a busy atm tell me they set it low: 100.00 or 50.00 with a 1.00 service fee and those that are busy make a lot of money.

We installed our own pay phone wall mounted. It is a bit of a pain but is a good service. But so many people have phones in their pockets I do not see the amount of kids hanging around it that once did. It does bring in a stream of change. It does require a private line.

Lastly: we have a policy of letting people use the phone/ we'll ask: can I dial that for you? The phone is on the concession stand.

Keep in mind: these are two small towns.

No gangstas.


Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Lobby Pay Phones 09 Sep 2006 10:09 #13285

  • rodeojack
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need a secure phone line for cred card or atm so add that new biz line cost to your bottom line...

The fast systems use broadband internet connections for CC processing... about 3-5 seconds... though you would have to have internet there. Don't all theatres? :-)

We used a check guarantee service before we went to plastic. It seemed stupid to pay $25/mo to guarantee the $4.50 popcorn checks that some people were bouncing, so we switched to plastic. The percentages I pay for cards are a small tradeoff for the convenience. Many of our big admit and concessions purchases are made by people who pull those cards out and barely notice what they just paid.
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