Premium-rate call shock for UK companies

2003

Employees in the UK make an average 15,000 calls to premium-rate sex and chat lines every hour, costing UK business millions of pounds a year, according to research by BT.

The study showed that a total of 35 million calls were made from UK workplaces last year to numbers costing a minimum of £1.00 per minute. It all adds up to a phone bill for UK companies of up to £25 million.

Financial advisors, car dealers, mechanics and hotel workers were most likely to call sex and chat lines when they should be working, with workers in London, Birmingham, Chelmsford and Leicester making the most calls.

But bosses in Norwich, Wrexham, Milton Keynes and Sheffield can breath a sign of relief. Their staff make the fewest premium-rate calls, BT claims.

Craig Rowland, managing director of BT Business said that firms should be more careful about the use of phones in company time and pay more attention to their phone bills. "For many companies, the amount of premium rate calls can cause an unexpected shock when the phone bill arrives," he said.

"Some companies put bars on certain types of calls while others find that a warning to their staff can do the trick," he added.