Feeds

Comic Relief leaves BT laughing

...all the way to the bank

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.