Gregory Pennington: tackle debt before it becomes unmanageable

Released on: September 2, 2008, 8:10 am

Press Release Author: Gregory Pennington

Industry: Financial

Press Release Summary: A survey by debt management company Gregory Pennington suggests that even people in control of their financial situation are still carefully monitoring their income and expenditure.

Press Release Body: A survey by debt management company GregoryPennington.com indicates that today’s economic troubles may be encouraging people in debt to keep a closer eye on their finances.

Only 6% of those questioned saw their debt as unmanageable. Yet a full 35% of respondents who considered their debt manageable also declared they were unhappy with their financial situation.

A spokesperson from the debt management company commented: “In many ways, that 35% figure is actually a positive sign. It means people who aren’t actually struggling with debt are nonetheless aware that their finances could be better. They’re thinking beyond the present and considering the impact their debts could have on them in the future.”

That awareness is, in itself, a form of protection against financial problems in the future. “We always remind people that the sooner they seek professional help managing their debts, the more likely they’ll be to avoid serious debt altogether. Keeping a close eye on their finances is obviously key to this, as it enables them to take action at the first signs of trouble – and taking action in time can make all the difference between needing to make a few short-term lifestyle changes and being forced to live on a shoestring budget for a number of years.

“Perhaps this is one ‘silver lining’ to all the negative economic news we’re hearing these days. In good times, it’s tempting to assume that the good times will keep up. It’s human nature to focus on enjoying today when there’s no perceived threat of tomorrow being any different. But hearing all those gloomy predictions tends to make people think more about the future.”

No-one, however, has solved their financial problems by dwelling on them: “There’s little point in someone just worrying about their debts unless they take it a step further, making the necessary lifestyle changes and talking to a debt specialist about improving their financial situation.”

For people who do this before their debt becomes unmanageable, it may simply be a matter of cutting back on a few luxuries. “Nobody likes economising, but a few minutes with a calculator and pencil can prove beyond all doubt why it’s worth the effort. Exactly how they do it is up to the individual: some choose to reduce their spending to a bare minimum for a short time; others prefer to sacrifice just a few luxuries every month, even though this means their debt will take longer to clear.”

The important thing is to address their debts sooner, rather than later – while it’s still relatively easy to do: “Even if someone can comfortably manage their monthly debt repayments today, there are plenty of reasons to clear their debts at the earliest opportunity. Avoiding interest charges might be the most obvious reason, but interest isn’t the biggest threat: even small debts can rapidly escalate out of control if their situation takes a turn for the worse. If they lose their job, for example, finding that extra money every month might be all but impossible.”

Web Site: http://www.gregorypennington.com

Contact Details: Melanie Taylor
melanie.taylor.gregorypennington.com
0845 056 6480

Pennington House
Carolina Way
South Langworthy Road
Salford M50 2ZY

Nothing Phony about Free 3CX VoIP Phone Offer

Released on: September 2, 2008, 5:01 am

Press Release Author: 3CX Ltd

Industry: Telecommunications

Press Release Summary: 3CX delivers a business soft phone completely free of charge

Press Release Body: London, UK – 2 September, 2008 – 3CX (www.3cx.com) has announced the release of a totally free new VoIP phone that allows users to make and receive calls from their computer using popular VoIP providers or SIP servers. 3CX VoIP Phone, unlike other free soft phones, has a straight forward, business-style interface and includes important business features such as call transfer.

Nick Galea, CEO at 3CX said: “3CX VoIP Phone is great for businesses that wish to have an easy to deploy, business-level VoIP soft phone. Because it is free, the usual hassle of administration of client licenses is avoided. The free editions of other VoIP phones do not have key features such as call transfer or the ability to put a call on hold.

“VoIP Phones are an interesting option for businesses – they are easy to administer and environmentally friendly. Hardware phones require additional electricity, administration and desk space.”

3CX VoIP Phone has a user-friendly and intuitive interface with dial pad and buttons that make transferring or forwarding calls a breeze. It also allows users to review their history of calls, put calls on hold, to easily accept, reject or ignore calls with a mouse click, and much more.

Launch calls from Microsoft Outlook – without re-typing the number

One of the key features of 3CX VoIP Phone is its integration with Microsoft Outlook. Users can launch calls directly from their contacts’ list within Outlook by just right-clicking on the name of the person they wish to call. There is no need to dial any telephone numbers since Outlook works as 3CX VoIP Phone’s address book.

Other features of 3CX VoIP Phone

  • Supports several SIP profiles
  • Shows personal call log/history – ideal for salespeople
  • Message Waiting Indication (MWI)
  • Supports G.711 (A-Law and u-Law), GSM, iLBC and Speex codecs
  • STUN support for NAT/firewall traversal
  • Installation provided as MSI for easy deployment

Key advantages of 3CX VoIP Phone

  • Completely FREE – no license fees or hidden charges for use of advanced features
  • Not proprietary – can be used with most popular IP PBXs and VoIP providers
  • Quick and simple installation
  • Easy to use via an intuitive user interface with dial pad and buttons
  • Environmentally friendly

The new 3CX VoIP Phone can be downloaded totally free of charge from: http://www.3cx.com/VOIP/voip-phone.html

About 3CX and 3CX Phone System for Windows

3CX is an international developer of telecommunications software, headquartered in Europe with offices in the UK, Germany, Cyprus, Malta, USA, Australia and Hong Kong. It is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and is backed by an experienced management and development team. 3CX Phone System for Windows is an award-winning software-based IP PBX that replaces a traditional proprietary hardware PBX. It is entirely SIP standard based, and therefore interoperates with leading SIP phones, VoIP Gateways and VoIP providers. 3CX’s IP PBX has earned Windows Server 2003 Certification and has been developed specifically for the SMB market with a full set of features that make it simple to install and manage. For more information on 3CX, 3CX Phone System for Windows and 3CX VoIP Phone visit www.3cx.com.

Web Site: http://www.3cx.com

Contact Details: Block B, Office 303
Engomi Business Center
1, 28th October Street
2414 Nicosia, Cyprus

mc@3cx.com
Tel: +357 22444032

Think Money warns boom in rental market indicates ongoing trouble for mortgages


Released on: September 2, 2008, 4:43 am

Press Release Author: Melanie Taylor

Industry: Financial

Press Release Summary: The recent boom in the rental market reflects the continuing difficulty for homeowners trying to sell, and may even prolong the problems in the housing market, says Think Money.

Press Release Body: Financial solutions company Think Money (thinkmoney.com) have warned that a recent boom in properties put up for rent may indicate further trouble in the housing market towards the end of 2008 and going into 2009.

Recent findings by RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) have shown a significant surge in the number of homeowners being forced to put their homes up for rent rather than selling, because many homeowners believe that “becoming a landlord is a better option than selling in the current climate”.

Faced with increasing mortgage costs and a very slow housing market, many homeowners are finding it more financially viable to put their own homes up for rent, while at the same time renting cheaper accommodation for themselves – effectively making a ‘profit’ each month, which helps towards their own costs.

The survey also indicated that many would-be homeowners are currently forced to stay in the rental market, as the UK economy experiences 70% fewer mortgage approvals than this time last year.

Melanie Taylor, Head of Corporate Relations for Think Money, commented that the RICS’ findings reflect a continuing downturn in the housing market, despite recent suggestions that mortgages are becoming more freely available.

“The news that several lenders have been dropping their interest rates raised some optimism for the housing market,” she says, “but these statistics from the RICS give a less positive picture.

“It’s true that interest rates are coming down for prime mortgages, but for the majority of consumers, getting onto the housing ladder is still proving difficult.

“For those already on the housing ladder, it’s getting off it that’s proving difficult. The lack of activity in the market continues to be a real problem for those looking to sell – which is forcing many to put their homes up for rent while they wait for the housing market to recover.”

Mrs Taylor also added that the boom in the rental market could have a knock-on effect on the mortgage market. “Even though the number of homes for sale is getting smaller, the decreased demand for mortgages means that the fall in house prices is being sustained,” she says.

“Only when mortgage lenders begin to relax their lending criteria are we likely to see this situation change.”

Mrs Taylor continued that in the current market, renting out your home can be a viable option for freeing up extra funds, but warned that the responsibility of becoming a landlord is not to be taken lightly. “As long as you are willing to make a temporary compromise on your living conditions, you can significantly cut down your outgoings each month, which could help you financially and enable you to save up for when the housing market recovers.

“But it’s important to remember the responsibilities of being a landlord. In particular, if anything goes wrong, you are responsible for the costs,” she says. “So make sure you aware of the risks if you’re considering taking this step.”

Think Money (http://www.thinkmoney.com) are a financial solutions company based in Salford Quays, Manchester. The company specialises in a range of financial services, including mortgages, loans, debt help and advice (including debt management plans, IVAs, and debt consolidation).

Web Site: http://www.thinkmoney.com/mortgage/

Contact Details: Melanie Taylor
0800 074 4222
melanie.taylor@thinkmoney.com

Evade Car Insurance at Your Own Risk

Released on: September 2, 2008, 4:12 am

Press Release Author: Rias

Industry: Financial

Press Release Summary: The credit crunch has caused a lot of people to look for new ways to save money, one increase seems to be the number of drivers without car insurance.

Press Release Body: The credit crunch has led brought economising to the for front of many British drivers mind – we are all keen to save money – and car owners in particular are feeling the strain with rising petrol prices and the new Vehicle Excise Duty levels next year which could see some paying up to £2001 more on family saloons. But drivers trying to save money by not taking out car insurance are cost-cutting to a foolhardy extreme, warns RIAS.

Apart from the fact that driving without insurance is against the law in the UK, and those found guilty of it could get themselves a criminal record, it also costs other car drivers more than half a billion pounds per year, according to the Motor Insurers Bureau. This equates to around £30 extra on every premium, effectively being subsidized by the fully insured user.

“There is no question that driving without insurance is both unlawful and ill-advised,” says RIAS Managing Director Janet Connor. “If you are worried about the cost of insurance, it is worth talking to your insurance provider to check whether there are any savings to be made. At RIAS, for example, we specialise in finding tailored insurance solutions for the over 50s, who can often benefit from cheaper premiums because of low mileage, or because their cars are parked off-road or kept in a garage. We advise customers to ensure they ask about discounts and flexible payment plans when they call us for a quote.”

While efforts are being taken by the relevant law enforcement authorities many believe it is society’s collective responsibility to help fight this nuisance and that neighbours, friends and family should not look the other way if we know of drivers that are evading car insurance.


Evading Car Insurance – the facts:

* Last year, around 160 deaths and 23,000 injuries were caused in road accidents involving uninsured drivers.

* Claims made against drivers without insurance can be complicated forthe victim to process.

* Throughout 2007, the British police seized over 150,000 uninsured vehicles – that’s one vehicle every three minutes.

* Number plate recognition technology and better link ups between police and insurance companies is facilitating police in the fight against unisured veichles.

1Source: The AA 2Research from the Motor Investigation Bureau, Report: The Road Ahead, Issue 15, 2007

*Call RIAS for a quote on your car insurance to see if we can save you money: 0800 052 5250

All services including house insurance can be purchased online.

Janet Connor, Managing Director of RIAS is available for further comment and interview. To arrange an interview with, or photography of, Janet, please call Simon Robinson on 07976 329823 or e-mail srobinson@rias.co.uk.


About RIAS

* RIAS was founded in 1992 and is a specialist provider of insurance products for the over 50s age group

* RIAS negotiates with a panel of insurers to secure competitive, value for money products

* RIAS has over 970,000 customers and currently employs over 1,200 people across two locations – Bournemouth and Belfast

* In July 2007 RIAS’ home insurance contents and buildings policies received four ‘Best Buy’ awards from Which? magazine

* In December 2007 RIAS won the ‘Personal Lines Broker of the year” award at the Insurance Times awards


RIAS is part of Fortis (Insurance UK), a leading provider of award-winning personal and commercial lines insurance solutions in the UK and the 2007 British Insurance Awards ‘General Insurer of the Year’. The insurer’s successful customer-centric strategy has been founded on aligning its activities to how customers want to buy insurance, combined with delivering high quality products, manufactured at costs better than market norms.

Fortis’s unique multi-distribution capability enables it to deliver products face-to-face, by phone (inbound and outbound), over the Internet and via SMS technology. Aligning its business activities with its partners’ general insurance strategies enables Fortis to offer end-to-end white label capabilities in product development, marketing, campaign management, sales, fulfilment and claims – providing a seamless integration with partner brands.

Insuring in excess of 6.7 million customers and working with a range of partners, Fortis is recognised for delivering consistent and high-quality customer experiences. It employs 2,901 people as of 31/12/07 with a head office based in Eastleigh and others in Belfast, Bournemouth, Gloucester, Haywards Heath, Redditch, and Stoke-on-Trent. In 2007, its profit before tax and interest (excluding impact of weather related events) was £92.2 million and its GWP was 757.8 million.

Web Site: http://www.rias.co.uk

Contact Details: Sadie Sheppard

customerservices@rias.co.uk

RIAS PLC,
RIAS House,
Deansleigh Road,
Bournemouth,
Dorset
BH7 7DU

01202 254545

Capping the market – A world first!

Released on: September 2, 2008, 4:03 am

Press Release Author: Liquid Interactive

Industry: Internet & Online

Press Release Summary: Designacap.com is an innovative new website that specializes in custom-designed headwear.

Press Release Body: Capping the market – A world first!

The world’s first fully-customisable online cap design studio, Designacap.com, became a reality yesterday and is the latest player in the hugely competitive custom promotional merchandise market.

Specialising in custom-designed headwear, the Australian-based new-comer has already caused a stir with arguably the most innovative online presence in its category. More than a simple online design application, designacap.com immerses users within the design experience, facilitating complete user interaction throughout the entire process.

The site allows users to select from a range of exclusive design templates and guides them though each step of the process. Visitors will notice that in addition to being able to adjust the color and text of the cap, they can now also customize stitch coloring and even upload their own images to be embroidered.

“We wanted to put this level of customisation within the reach of our customers without the need for them to contact suppliers directly”, said the company’s Managing Director, Gregg Warren. “We’ve achieved an interface that essentially replaces those annoying sales reps”.

Catering to the needs of general consumer groups, as well as larger businesses, sporting organisations, and multi-national corporations, the company differentiates itself from its more specialised competitors. “We definitely wanted to cater to widest audience possible”, added Warren, “And with a minimum order of 100 caps, we can easily do so”.

The company’s faster-than-average production and international delivery turnaround has also been a hot topic in industry circles. “We can have caps produced within 14 working days of receiving an order – turnaround of this speed is virtually unheard of in this industry”, asserted Warren.

Designacap.com, which was founded in 2006 as a ‘side project’ to Warren’s other Australian-based clothing supplier, Queensland T-Shirts, now services clients in countries across the globe.

For further information and direct quotes please contact Gregg Warren on 0419 725 683 or gregg@designacap.com

Web Site: http://www.designacap.com

Contact Details: gregg@designacap.com
+6171673546
0419725683