Honestly, I’ll not have a bad word said about BT

No seriously, I’ve always found BT to be a really great company – great products and wonderful customer service – I’ve always said as much…but on Friday one of their guys called me to apologise for recent events. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to divulge the terms of the compensation package they’ve given but suffice it to say I’m off to the Pound shop now to buy 450 individual items!

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Is BT making a profit out of charity ?

Sad as it is, I’ve just finished watching the end of Fame Acaademy on the BBC and felt quite disgusted that it appears BT are making a profit out of charity unless I’m very much mistaken.

Since I occasionally apear to have a worldwide audience I should perhaps explain that Fame Academy is a show the BBC (tv company in the UK although I’m guessing most people have heard of it beyond our shores!) produces, where a number of talented musicians/singers compete on a show to win the prize of a £1m recording contract for a year. The show starts with a number of contestants, say 14, and each night the 3 show judges vote for those who should stay in the competition with about 3 of them ending up in the “drop zone” each night…which is where BT come in. Those in the “drop zone” can be saved by members of the public who call a telephone number or send and SMS text in…BT being the company that runs the telecommunications infrastructure for the show. The contestant in the drop zone with the lowest number of votes is voted off the show that night…and that repeats every night until someone is left standing as the winner.

Now, what happens is that when people call in/send an sms to the show to register a vote it costs them a certain amount of money – about 50p per vote these days it seems. This money goes to BT…which, when the show is unrelated to charity seems fair game to me, however, the show has been “hijacked” in recent years – more successfully than the original in my view, for the Comic Relief charity movement and raises a lot of money by running a similar show where the talented musicians are replaced by various celebrities who fight to win the competition in the same way. When the show operates for charity one would think that the telco in question wouldn’t take any of the money that each vote produces…but oh no, it appears – in the small print displayed on screen of course – that BT charges 50p for each vote and “at least” 34p goes to charity – so where does the other 16p go? Well, far be it from me to say, but perhaps they use that to make the big fat cheque they then present on the charity night to say “look how generous we are at BT…here’s a cheque for £1m quid”?

Yeah, I know, I’m a bit bitter cos they screwed up my broadband installation but hey ho…you know what they say about a bad customer experience being reported to at least 10 people that person knows…

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