New MediaTV

More on premium rate phone lines

By March 13, 2007 2 Comments

Premium phone calls 

As I’m reading more about the premium rate phone line scandal here in the UK I’m struck more and more by the thought that a healthy industry wouldn’t try and rip off its customers like this.

In the FT this morning (again no link because of their DRM) they reported that Virgin Radio and LBC have now been drawn into the row over phone-in charges.  Virgin Radio stands accused of asking listeners to phone in requests to a pre-recorded show.  That is scandalous.

Also reported is a House of Commons select committee report that the odds of getting through to some of these phone-in lines could be as high as 8,500 to one, at peak times.  That means the customer base as a whole paid £8,500 for every successful call.  There is no way they would treat their customers like this if they weren’t hurting so much from declining advertising revenues.

The decline of old media businesses (including record shops) is interesting to me because it is the flip side of the massive opportunities we see online.  TV companies and are hurting precisely because online advertising is growing so quickly.  That money has got to come from somewhere after all.  I wouldn’t want you to think I’m some kind of vulture that enjoys picking over the bones of dying companies.