The following are ten ways to save money on your business phone and internet services that don’t require a change in service providers. A business could implement any of the following and experience instant savings.
Eliminate Wire Maintenance services. Inside wire maintenance covers the wiring on your side of your carrier’s demarcation point. It’s almost always inside your office walls and once it’s installed, there’s very little that can go wrong. Most businesses have a phone system and a service vendor that maintains that system. If there’s an issue, that’s who they would call. Wire maintenance costs approximately $5 per month per line. If you have 10 phone lines, you could have $50 per month by eliminating a service you don’t need.
Eliminate phone features you don’t need or use. Call Waiting, Call Return, Anonymous Call Rejection are examples of phone features that probably shouldn’t be on a business phone line. If you’re paying for these features, call your provider and have them removed. Phone features average $3.50 per feature, per month.
Add feature packages for the phone features you do use. If you have features you use but they’re being billed for them individually, ask your provider if they offer feature packages. Many phone companies offer phone line packages that include up to three phone features and the phone line at a lower rate than buying those services separately.
Bundle your services. If you’re receiving your internet and phone service from separate providers, consider using the same provider for both. Most carriers offer discounted bundle pricing. If you’re still using a separate long distance carrier, have your current phone service provider provide you with long distance services. Not only should you be able to achieve a lower per minute rate, you can eliminate some of the duplicate taxes and surcharges that show up on telecom bills.
Re-price your phone lines. If your business has a number of business phone lines but you haven’t checked your rates in years, you’re definitely paying more than you could be paying. Call your phone company and inquire about the availability of discounted line rates. Competition in the telecom industry is high and phone companies have responded with more aggressive pricing. It’s possible to cut your line rates in half without making any physical changes to your service or switching to a different provider.
Eliminate frill services. If you are paying for deluxe internet packages that include services like web hosting, anti virus protection, vanity email addresses, or any service that you’re already receiving from another provider, eliminate the services or drop down to a less expensive plan that doesn’t include unneeded features.
Consolidate your billing. If you are receiving multiple bills from the same provider, have that company consolidate your billing. It’s estimated that it cost a company between $15 and $25 to administer one bill payment. If you can turn 10 bills into one, your company could reduce its administration costs by over $100 each month.
Eliminate third party billing charges. If your receiving business phone service from a local phone company, like CenturyLink, AT&T or Verizon, make sure you analyze each month’s phone bills. Phone companies operate as third party billing agents. Third party billing charges are typically for services you didn’t order and don’t want. If you don’t routinely scan your bills, you could be paying $10 to $25 each month for a service you’re not using and don’t need.
Reduce your minute packages. More and more employees are utilizing cell phones and email, subsequently reducing the amount of long distance minutes their company bills each month. Check your bills to see if you’re paying for a bundle of long distance minutes. If you are, compare the amount of bundled minutes to the number of minutes you actually use. Check a few months’ bills to make sure you have an accurate sample. If the number of minutes in your bundle is more than the amount you’re using, contact your provider to see if there is a smaller bundle available or if it would make more sense to pay per minute.
Eliminate redundant services. If you have voicemail as a feature of your phone system, make sure you’re not paying the phone company for that service. If you have a phone system with conferencing, you shouldn’t pay the phone company for 3 Way Calling. If you have a Find Me feature with a Unified Communication service, you don’t need to pay for Call Forwarding. Don’t pay for AOL if you have a broadband internet connection.
Many of the charges described above might not seem like much individually, but they can add up. Next week, in part 2, I’ll detail the potential results of overlooking “small” charges for unnecessary phone and internet services.
If you would like help implementing any of these items, contact CarrierBid Telecom Consulting today.