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Business To Business: Sorry, you don't have mail.

SMALL businesses are ringing up massive bills on the Internet - and getting nothing in return.

Many rush to embrace the wonders of the Net without really knowing what they are doing, a survey reveals. As a result, more than half the connections they make are a waste of money.

Most bosses don't know it is happening or have no idea what to do about it, says FreeCheck Internet, a company which provides a service aimed at cutting the cost of Internet connections.

A lot of the cash is wasted when staff use the Net to check for e-mails.

The average small firm makes 112 Net connections a month, looking for e-mails, the survey reports.

But they find something on only 54 of those occasions, ringing up needless phone bills on the rest.

Thanks to a lack of specialist computer staff and poor advice from suppliers, most firms were not aware they could have an automatic connection to check for mail, FreeCheck discovered. The service will look for mail two to three times an hour at no extra cost to the company.

"When over half of your Internet connections collect no e-mails, that is a major waste of money in a sector that can't afford it," says FreeCheck's Mike Brown."E-business is no passing fad and it is vital more and more small businesses get used to working online.

"However the Internet can be an overly expensive mechanism if it is not used correctly. The lack of Net nous is costing the small business sector thousands."

Companies looking to remedy this waste of cash stay with their current Internet service provider but register with FreeCheck at www.freecheck.net.

Registration takes two minutes, and firms do not have to load extra software on to their computers.

Connections are then routed through the firm at cheaper rates.

Calls to FreeCheck are charged at local call rates when staff have unread e-mails.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Business
Author:Reilly, Kevan
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 17, 2000
Words:319
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