According to research by BT, UK workers blew £25 million last year dialing chat lines, sex lines and TV vote lines from their desks.
A total of 35 million calls were made to premium rate phone lines – costing up to £1.50 a minute – when employees should have been working.
Financial advisors and hotel workers topped the league for rogue callers and London, Birmingham and Chelmsford in Essex were the areas with the highest numbers of offenders.
The best-behaved employees were in the health and social work sector. Norwich and Wrexham were the most honest areas.
But, BT said, bosses were now able to hit back at this sort of wastage by using their ‘network call performance solution’ which allowed them to pinpoint where premium calls had been made and launch a crackdown.
Craig Rowland, managing director of BT Business said every hour 15,000 UK workers call a premium rate number from their desk and this was a graphic illustration of the need for businesses to have greater certainty and control over their phone bills.
“For many companies, the amount of premium rate calls can cause an unexpected shock when the phone bill arrives but our new Business Plan lets you analyse your call patterns for free, then decide what action to take.
“For example, some companies put bars on certain types of calls whilst others find that a warning to their staff can do the trick.
“Our customers are increasingly telling us they want certainty and simplicity with their phone services,” he said.
For further information on BT’s Business Plan package customers can ring 00800 389 8721 or visit www.bt.com/btbusinessplan to check their eligibility.