Company Phones for Personal Use

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by seymansey, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. seymansey

    seymansey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Just got me thinking...

    The company I work for, as part of my job, mandates that I have a blackberry. Useful enough for me work wise (even if it does have that ability to get to you to do 'work' anywhere) and has proven very useful for my personal life too, just being able to pick up personal email, etc.

    Seems to be the standard rule that it's OK to use the phone for personal use, but don't take the pee. I've never been brought up on it, I just use the phone, not that many calls and the odd text, a very small amount really.

    However, the company has decided that provider X is now being ditched in favour of provider Y (god knows why, they are pretty low on the UK ratings in general for service and signal), and it looks like since costing will be moved, then monthly costs for each phone will be more stringent, to the point where I might have to get another phone for personal calls / texts.

    There might also be a knock on effect that if we get our own mobiles, then we will pay less attention to the company blackberrys ourside working hours and this doesn't always work particulary well when you work with a company that operates mainly in the US and thus the odd out of UK hours email might come in.

    What are your experiences of using company mobiles for personal use like? Do you have to itemise your personal calls yourself? Allowance taken from your pay? Or do you just use it 'as is' as I do..?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  2. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    I have to itemise calls and take a recharge. It doesn't really bother me as I'm not a big personal user, although the company side can be well battered..:D
    What is slightly galling though is that some users are on electronic billing and some are not. All users are meant to itemise their personal calls either at source or online, but if a user not on electronic billing doesn't bother, their bill is unlikely to be checked.
     
  3. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    Our company issues mobiles with 2 lines, i.e. the same mobile can have 2 numbers. One for business one private.
    That way employees benefit from having a descent phone and the company from the employee always having the phone with them.
     
  4. Mark300SL

    Mark300SL 1962-2010. Gone, but not forgotten.

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    I hammer my my company phone for work - and consequently always have it on night and day. I pay a nominal £30 a month for unlimited personal use and the company pays me a nominal £30 a month to have it on all the time despite not being on call.
    This is based upon the fact that I can have a personal mobile for a similar amount but would then have the inconvenience of carrying 2 phones

    My number only gets rung if the default on call engineering number remains unanswered - and this shouldn't ever happen.



    In the early days I did have to account for every call, and it took more of my time than it was worth - until one day my personal calls (at a fixed rate) were actually more than my bill - so we came to the above agreement which suits everyone.
     
  5. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    My company issue me with a phone, a Blackberry, a Windows mobile device and a also a 3G data card for the lappy. I also get to test all the latest devices when they come out. I'm on call regularly, I travel and I occasionally need to access internal servers from weird out of the way places. I try not carrying all the devices everywhere as I look pretty dumb with 4 or five phones on my belt or seriously bulging pockets.

    All personal calls a free as long as you dont take the P*** although they did ask that we put an asterisk in the phone number of all our personal numbers so they could separate the costs internally. This didnt work as it meant you couldnt text any personal numbers because of the asterisk. So everyone ignored the idea.

    I've hit the threshold whereby you get a warning from finance once only (on a 12 week stint in Silicon Valley) and apparently I was nearing the thousand pound mark for personal calls in 5 weeks.

    I'm guessing that personal calls present tax issues as payment in kind hence some companies getting worried about it.

    Which network allows two SIM cards BTW? Is it only Orange still that does this?
     
  6. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I used to have one phone and reimburse private calls over £5. Since then I've changed jobs a few times so find it more helpful to have a personal and work phone so that my personal contacts don't have to keep changing number. So at present it's a blackberry for work and a Nokia E51 for me (and the car:) )

    General policy at last two places of work is that personal calls are OK but don't be silly.
     
  7. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    Hi Sp!ke

    Not sure about the two SIM cards but Orange provide 2 lines with seperate numbers on the one SIM
     
  8. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    If we tried to charge people for private calls then they'd just turn their 'phones off out of hours and, as much of our business is with the US, that would be pretty disruptive.

    The only times I've known it be an issue is with some of the girls who are sending 500+ text messages per month (we virtually never use texts for work) or huge "phoning home" bills when abroad. But complain about that and people say they won't travel.

    The only really serious issue I had with an employee was someone who was accepting multiple reverse charge calls per day from his girlfriend (who had "issues") while he was abroad. The bill for one week he was away was £1200. But his expenses generally were insane. He was poached off me by another department (which goes against *all* the company rules) then they tried to send him back after 2 months. :p


    One thing that drives me bonkers is people who dial an international number for a web training session from their mobiles. Often there will be a UK number, sometimes even free, but they'll dial the international number from their mobile becuase they don't like to tie up their home landline (which we pay for too). :mad:
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  9. fyonn

    fyonn Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I work for a large (the largest) government department and I have a work phone. originally we were supposed to get a copy of the bill and mark off any personal calls which would then get taken off our salary. but after a while it was realised that the process of doing all this checking and chargin was costing many orders of magnitude more than it was saving, so now they tell us that we can use our work phones for personal calls but not to take the pee.

    basically if you end up with a substantial monthly bill, they'll take a clioser look at it, but otherwise they'll ignore it.

    dave
     
  10. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    I like to play with a straight bat, and so have my own phone for personal calls. It also means I can have a nice phone rather than whatever is being issued at work at the time. It also comes in handy to keep my number when changing jobs.

    There's no formal policy, but reasonable personal calls on company mobiles is fine, just like reasonable use of office phone, and that interhighwayweb thingy.
     
  11. fyonn

    fyonn Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    yeah, to be fair, I have my own phone anyway, so I rarely make personal calls on my work phone. but it's nice to know I can if I need to.

    dave
     
  12. para alpha

    para alpha Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I used a company phone for a while with similar "perks". I used to pay for all personal calls. I used to log all calls I made in a small diary. Than asked the finance department for a copy of the bill and then give them the money. No other employee did this! Until one day I was called into the office by the Operations director.

    He was unhappy that I used over £150 in calls over the period of a month. When I pointed out that I was the only one in the company who had the lowest phone bill and 95% of the use was legitimate company use because I had to do other peoples job, he was less than happy to speak to me. I also pointed out that If he had did his research and asked the finance department a few questions he would have found out that I pay for all personal calls. And the £150 bill would have been reduced...

    Anyhow, he told me that if the bill was to get to such an amount again, he would have no choice but to bring me up on a disciplinary. I was a little shocked about this, So I took the phone out of my pocket and placed it on his desk and said he could keep it. I told him that I would use my personal phone and charge all company calls to the business at my network providers rate. My problem was solved, the lowest bill was £175:p
     
  13. crockers

    crockers MB Club Veteran

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    My Company gave us a mobile & a blackberry ... no problem with personal calls and texts ...but it did give some interesting comments when a few people used to to text one another around 1000 times a month and they were married - but not to one another.....
     
  14. NewMB

    NewMB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My company (which I am the owner of) will allow some personal use on company mobiles. But as it has been mentioned before, don't take the pee.

    Personally, I hardly ever use my phone and my monthly rental (£9) are actually reguarly higher than my call charges!

    Saying that, if someone would use their mobile for "excessive" personal use, then they would have to pay. Certainly no need for disciplinary action.
     
  15. para alpha

    para alpha Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Oh, this guy just being an ar$e! This guy took my company parking space for the company vehicle and gave it to his niece who started working for the company as a office clerk! So I parked the company car out side the car park and it got scratched, and parking bumps that where only caused by parking it out side the office. I had my own car I used to drive home every evening or when ever...
     
  16. ROBB

    ROBB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've had a company mobile for a few years - and so long as there is no pi$$ taking: its fine.
    So long as your not near the top of the list :cool:
     

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