Business phone & internet bills are notoriously difficult to understand, but it is well worth taking the time to make sure that you understand every line of your bill.
It is surprising how many businesses could save money by having a closer look at their monthly bills for fixed phone lines, mobile phones and internet services.
The reason that many businesses don’t regularly review their telecommunication service provider bills is that these bills are frustratingly complex. As a result they are difficult to interpret and correlate with the actual services being used.
Over the years we have come across cases where businesses are paying unnecessarily for:
- phone lines and services that are not being used or are unnecessary;
- uncompetitive call packages for fixed phone lines or mobile phones; and
- outdated (ie slow) and expensive internet packages.
The paragraphs below give some examples of how we have been able to save money for our customers by carrying out a detailed audit of their bills for telephone and internet services.
A refund from BT
We had a case recently where a long established business in Edinburgh had an item on their BT bill for a service that meant nothing to us or to the customer.
We queried this with BT and they also had no idea what the service was.
In the end we managed to get a rebate for our client of over £1,000 for something that was being incorrectly charged.
Unused lines & expensive calls
Another case that we had recently was a chain of pubs and restaurants in Edinburgh that had been built up gradually through acquisition over the last 20 years.
We visited each establishment armed with the phone bills for that establishment and physically identified the lines and services that were being used and compared them with those listed on phone bills.
We were able to save money immediately by ceasing unnecessary lines and services.
We also managed to make some long term savings in call charges by switching all the lines and calls to a single provider with a significantly better call package.
This scenario is typical for organisations that have several sites or businesses that pay the service provider bills centrally.
The person paying the phone bills at the head office often has no idea what services are being used at each site.
A better & cheaper internet package
We had another customer who was paying Virgin Media £70 per month for an old Telewest 4Mb/s internet service.
We were able to switch the customer to the current Virgin Media business package that had a much faster download speed of 20Mb/s with free phone line rental and free landline phone calls for a total price of £50 per month.
The key point here is that service providers are under no obligation to switch a customer to their current lower-cost better-value packages.
It is the customer’s responsibility to identify a better package and request the switch.
Renting your phone system from BT?
Another area where we find that customers have been paying for something that is not required is phone system rental.
The phone system rental charge appears on the BT phone bill alongside the phone line rental and it can be difficult to separate the two unless you are familiar with the terminology or jargon.
We have come across situations where businesses are paying BT for rental of an old phone system that is not being used any more.
Usually the phone system is in a cupboard waiting to be collected by BT.
More common is the situation where a business is paying rental for an old phone system that can be replaced with a newer and better phone system on a lease that is significantly less than their current rental payments.
Call diversion services
We recently had a client who had moved offices a few years ago and in order to keep their existing number they ported their phone number into their service provider’s inbound service.
With inbound services you pay for every incoming call that uses that service because the call is effectively routed to your service provider who then routes it to the “real”underlying phone number at your new premises.
This can be a useful service, but over time it is very expensive to be paying for every incoming call.
In general it is better to have an announcement service that advertises your new number for (say) 6 months.
Alternatively you could install a VoIP system at your new premises and your old number can be ported directly on to the VoIP system without the need for any call diversion.
What made things worse for our customer is that calls from their other office were using the inbound number for all inter-office calls instead of the underlying number.
This in effect doubled the cost of inter-office calls.
Before paying your monthly (or quarterly) phone & internet bills take a moment to ensure that you fully understand the bill and that you are not paying for any items that are not required.
Get in touch with Premitel if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.