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This morning I received a mail from BT exhorting me to join their campaign for cheaper calls to mobiles. click here
And I thought it was only Americans that didn't get irony.
Now if BT were to support a campaign to reduce charges for BT land line calls or remove the levy for paying BT by other than DD I might be persuaded that it was the customer's interests they were considering.
'cos the BT mail states:- 'We think MTRs (which can be as high as 4.7p per minute) are unfair so we're campaigning to get them reduced, saving our customers hundreds of millions of pounds a year.
so they obviously believe in being fair to their customers.
PS I also believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.
BT is trying to get the Mobile Termination Rates reduced.
It would mean hundreds of millions of pounds in savings for the company's customers. At the moment the big mobile networks get around £2million a day between them because people call Mobile numbers from BT landlines. BT is trying to get the MTR reduced, and Ofcom is in favour.
Obviously there's likely to be a spin-off benefit to BT, inasmuch as there's likely to be an increase in the calling volume to Mobile numbers from BT lines if the MTR is lower, but it doesn't alter the fact that it will be good for consumers.
I fully understand the point of BT's stance.
If the MTR is reduced BT would expect to benefit from the increased number of calls made from mobiles to land lines.
Although this is undoubtedly to the benefit of mobile 'phone customers BT is in a 'win-win' situation as it can only profit from any such change. Any loss of revenue would be to the mobile service providers.
I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of BT portraying themselves as the customers friend - when it may increase turnover and profit at no cost to them - whilst they themselves extract every penny they can from their customers, particularly those who have no alternative to BT.
I'm fully aware that this is normal business practice.
It is BT's attempted 're branding' as the customers advocate in seeking to reduce charges and tariffs I find amusing.
BT wants to be able to offer its customers a selection of monthly payment, flat-rate calling packages, so you would pay one fixed amount, regardless of whether you made calls to landlines or UK mobile numbers, no matter how many calls you made.
At the moment the company can't do this because of the high MTR, and that's why it wants it reduced. Ofcom agrees, because it sees MTR levels as a restriction on competition, and so do the 200 or so MPs who signed an early day motion about MTRs.
Of course BT has a commercial interest - nothing whatever wrong with that; the real winners would be us, the people who pay the MTR charges.
Of course BT wants to keep its customers happy, but only for sound commercial reasons.
A larger number of happy customers means bigger profits and a bigger dividend, and that, in both the literal and figurative sense, is the bottom line.
Anyone who can see, or attempts to see, any altruism in this is being extremely naive.
As one who depends on BT for some of my retirement income I would be very perturbed if BT started looking after its customers to the detriment of shareholders.
that looking after customers isn't necessarily something that works to the detriment of shareholders, exactly the opposite is often true.
A lot of happy customers usually means a better bottom line, and of course most of BT's shareholders are also BT customers in one way or another.
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