Feeds

Comic Relief leaves BT laughing

...all the way to the bank

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

It's Comic Relief day* today. Subsequently, you are likely to be bombarded with daft and silly events in the hope that you will part with a few quid. As ever, one of the main fundraising tools is a premium phone line which people can call to vote for various TV clips, people etc etc.

At £1 a call, this is a very good way to raise money as people donate to charity and they get something back as well. Imagine our surprise then when the Today programme today on Radio 4 revealed that for every phone call made, Comic Relief receives just 64p. Where does the other money go?

Why, BT of course. Apparently it costs BT 36p of every £1 for line rental and setting up the network. That's over a third of the total cost. Does this not seem a little excessive? Especially considering that the entire event is for charity?

If this really is cost price to BT, it must surely raise questions about BT's efficacy. It sets up hundreds of charity phone lines every year and has been doing so for a couple of decades. Does it really cost 36p for every phone call? And we thought telecoms had become a low-cost all-encompassing industry.

We called up BT and are waiting for it to get back to us to explain just how expensive and complicated these systems are. We also called up Cable & Wireless to ask how much it would charge for the same service. Last week, C&W took a £700,000 contract off BT for the Samaritans because callers were getting engaged signals. It charged the charity half what BT was asking.

A C&W spokesman told us however that he couldn't give us a breakdown of costs at such short notice. Besides, he told us, "it's not really in the spirit of Comic Relief to denigrate a competitor". Well, at least one company has charitable intentions. ®

* For our non-UK readers, this is an biennial (once every two years) charity event set up by leading comedians to provide funds for developing countries. The premise is that people raise money by enjoying themselves.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.