Posted - 30/08/12 | 0 Comments

Phone bill shockers – at the double!

Stories about alarming invoices are featured regularly in this blog. And this week we’ve got a horror double bill involving mobile phones.

First up, there’s Devon woman Anne Roberts who was, reportedly, left with a £27,000 bill after purchasing a £20 pay-as-you-go phone while on holiday in Wales.

It’s reckoned that a technical glitch meant that the mobile phone company began withdrawing £20 every ten minutes after she bought it. That’s £120 per hour!

According to media reports, she discovered the bad news after receiving a text from her bank and putting her card into a cash machine to discover her balance was massively in the red.

However, soon after, it seems the company apologised and refunded the money.

Meanwhile … a mobile user in the USA is reported to have received a bill for over US600 dollars after donating her old phones for charity.

She says that one of her old handsets was still active. Thinking the organisation would wipe all the data, she didn’t worry. And then the bill arrived.

The woman says she actually called the old number and a man answered, saying he’d the phone off the street – and thought it came with free minutes!

Since then, the call charges have been dropped, say media reports.


Posted - 23/08/12 | 0 Comments

Football fans get top billing

The new premiership football season has kicked off – with the usual crazy results you get when some teams appear still to be in ‘holiday mode’. But there’s another big score announced recently that’ll make any dedicated fan pause for a few seconds at least … before wolfing down their next chicken balti pie.

A new survey by a tyre manufacturer has estimated the total bill spent by the average football fan during a lifetime of supporting their team. It’s a whopping £56,000!

Per season, that’s around £1,300 splurged on match tickets, petrol, programmes, food and drink. The survey, which questioned 2,000 fans, also included things like travel to some away games and team merchandise, as well as subscriptions to club TV channels or websites.

So what else could you do with £56,000? We took a look online and found a three-bedroom maisonette in Birmingham. Alternatively, there’s a Mercedes Benz CLS-Class 350 at just under budget or you could hire a top-of-the-range luxury yacht for a couple of weeks.

But spread over decades, maybe following a football team isn’t such a bad deal after all? That is … as long as your club wins something during your lifetime!


Posted - 16/08/12 | 0 Comments

A bridge too far – and a bill so huge!

An encounter for a speed camera on UK roads could cost someone £60. More serious offences result in bigger fines. But, just recently, a Chinese driver broke the world record for the most expensive traffic infringement. He received a bill for nearly £16m!

The driver, quoted in media reports only as “Mr Zhang”, was driving a truck filled with sand near Beijing. But it was so overloaded, so it’s claimed, that a giant concrete bridge collapsed under its weight! You can watch the video here.

The event happened last year. But now court officials ruled against the driver.
Local government have blamed him completely for the disaster and sent him the repair bill! A court has backed up the decision – although the driver is claimed he was just following orders, it’s reported.

How he plans to pay off the bill remains to be seen.


Posted - 09/08/12 | 0 Comments

Precious seconds bring home the gold

It mattered to Usain Bolt, Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis and the hundreds of other medal winners at the London Olympics: Every second counts!

For small businesses and freelancers, every second counts too – that’s if you get paid for them. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying for them yourselves.

A while back, the Clear team introduced a nifty innovation to our electronic invoicing service … a stopwatch. The concept is simple: If you look after the seconds, then the hours will look after themselves.

Billing customers by the hour will always be an approximate business. But our stopwatch feature makes it as accurate as possible. So there’s no need to look back at notes in your diary or make vague guesstimates when it’s time to invoice.

Clear’s timer is just like a stopwatch – whether it was the 2:25 minutes you spent replying to emails for a client, or the conference call that lasted 8:30 minutes. Just click once to start, once to finish, add the client and the job. Clear does the rest, collecting up these scraps of time and auto-populating your invoice with a precise record of what happened, when and for how long.

Note: If the Timesheet/timer option is missing in the Clear menu bar, then you can activate it. See our online Help guide page called choosing an invoice layout that fits your business.


Posted - 03/08/12 | 0 Comments

Are you getting a slice of Olympics pie?

When market researchers contacted companies across the UK, they found that 4% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are part of the Olympics supply chain. More than you might imagine.

About half have been involved with deliveries to the Olympic site. The rest have supplied goods elsewhere or provided services in areas such as infrastructure, professional consulting and legal advice, according to researchers BDRC Continental.

Overall, there are mixed opinions over the staging of London 2012. Some smaller companies worry about disruption, their own staffing and the environment. But there’s an upbeat feeling too, as nearly a quarter expect increased profit/trade from a boost in tourism.

If you won an Olympics contract for your business, then how is it working out? And when the work is done, will the invoicing and payments process zip along like a 100m sprinter – fast and slick enough to claim the gold in the procurement category?

We look forward to reports afterwards – and we’ll try to link to them in our Tweets.

A win/win for everyone would be great for ‘Enterprise GB’!

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