Business Irish

Monday 23 April 2018

How companies are hanging up on high mobile phone charges

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

MORE than a quarter of businesses questioned for a new survey say they are shocked at the cost of staff mobile phone bills due to roaming charges.

And seven out of 10 feel that roaming charges are too high, increasing to three out of four for large companies.

Remember those innocent days when you could switch off from work after leaving the office because you couldn't be reached?

Then came the mobile phone and the era of 24-hour accessibility.

Company mobile phones were once the preserve of only senior staff in businesses, but more and more companies began to roll out BlackBerrys, or more recently iPhones and other forms of smartphones, to all employees in a company. And with that came increasing costs for companies paying for phone contracts that included texts, calls and data usage.

But a new survey has found that the trend towards managers and staff simply using their own device is growing, with the company paying the cost of bills only and not the handset.

The study of 350 businesses across the country, carried out last month by Dublin-based Behaviour & Attitudes for mobile company Three Ireland, found about half of owner/ managers use their own mobile phones, with about one-quarter of their employees also doing so.

CHOICE

And about one-fifth of businesses will continue to push this idea in the new year also.

Eoin McManus, business and wholesale manager at the mobile company, said employees prefer having the choice of their own phone, with bills paid or partially paid, instead of having a company phone forced upon them.

"While a large number say that overall they are happy with their network provider, when we drilled down into their views we found some substantial areas of unhappiness," said Mr McManus.

"For example, 28pc have experienced bill shock due to roaming costs and another 27pc experienced it due to data charges."

As many businesses continue to feel the strain from the financial crisis, despite signs that the economy is stabilising, costs are a key issue.

Finding ways to ensure mobile phone bills are kept to a minimum is a priority.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business