1. Take advantage of new technology to reduce costs
What are the benefits of having an optimal and powerful telecom network and technologies for your organization? You may be thinking sure there may be benefits, but probably expensive to incorporate…Right? Not true…actually in many cases newer technology can DO MORE FOR LESS!
No matter what the industry, organizations are constantly looking to enhance their overall productivity, competitiveness and performance while controlling costs, if not even reducing them. Telecommunications is one area of any organization from health care, multi-location businesses, transportation, legal, finance to construction where reviewing telecom strategies and finding new ways of improving networks can not only reduce costs but increase efficiency. Many organizations not only use less-than-optimal technologies and telecom networks, but end up paying above-market prices, over buying capacity and not detecting ongoing billing errors.
Newer technologies can also help to streamline processes within your business and make your employees more efficient allowing you to re-purpose those hours saved and use them for more important tasks. Cloud and hosted technologies are helping businesses to connect and collaborate better than ever before while reducing dependence on expensive equipment that constantly needs maintenance and updates.
2. Review invoices for billing errors. Look for unexplained items like “reoccurring charges” and “other services”.
You will likely see a MRC (Monthly Recurring Charge) on most invoices, which is the base price for your services charged by that vendor. This base price usually includes a group of services that are provided to you. For example, your telecommunication provider (ATT, Verizon, Sprint and all other telecom providers) may be bundling several telecom services into a bulk or combined MRC.
Most MRC’s contain multiple hidden costs that are grouped together under the one charge. Here are some examples (not all):
• long distance services
• inbound or outbound calls
• toll free service
• international calls
Many of these components, fees, costs (reoccurring and one time) are often overlooked and are not questioned. Busy businesses continue to pay for services and contracts that are incorrect and are continually overcharged. Errors and overage charges in telecom billing components allow companies to be taken advantage of, and these billing inconsistencies are costing your company money!
3. Be aware of Bundling
When you start looking at the services many different ways, you start trying to analyze why wouldn’t it be a better solution to have all of these unique capabilities of services through one price, one carrier, one contract, one service provider. While that sounds good on the surface and it is – you get a great rate for a lot of services that you are using. However, the “gotchas” are the deeper ones. Often times these are promo prices that are included for a small amount of time. Those prices increase over time or during the contract period.
4. Look for hidden fees and 3rd party charges.
The FCC, along with the CFPB and state attorneys general, announced that Verizon Wireless will pay $90 million and Sprint Corporation will pay $68 million to settle investigations that revealed the companies billed customers millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party premium text messaging services.
With these two cramming cases, the FCC, working together with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and states’ attorneys general has brought a total of $353 million in penalties and restitution against the U.S.’s four largest wireless carriers, structuring these settlements so that $267.5 million of the total will be returned to affected customers. (Federal Communications Commission, May 12, 2015).
Are you a victim to cramming?
Some third-party billing is legitimate, such as charges for AOL, DirecTV, and Dish Network. But if you’ve been billed for voice mail, e-mail, Web hosting, or other services from unfamiliar companies that you didn’t order, you’ve been crammed.
5. Check your contract against your invoice for validity of charges.
If your organization is like most, you are purchasing an increasing variety of telecommunications services, each with a unique pricing schedule based upon a combination of complex service guides or tariffs and contractual agreements. The validity of the charges on the resulting bills cannot be easily verified.
Do you think that your telecom bill has errors? Well for many businesses like yours, surveys show telecom bills having over an 80% error rate which is HUGE and means every month their and potentially your providers are being overpaid. That probably doesn’t rest well with you? Are you OK with overpaying these large profitable companies every month – out of your pocket? If you are under the notion “well they are large corporations and they can’t overcharge or this is probably against the law and can’t occur or they wouldn’t go against best business practices”. We don’t like telling you this but you are probably WRONG! In fact, it happens every day.
If you have questions regarding your telecom/utility invoices contact LT~CRS.