business phone and internetShopping for business phone and internet services isn’t like shopping for those services for your home; there are many more carrier options and the technology can be intimidating.

Here are six helpful tips if you’re shopping for business phone and internet: 

Start Early:  You should start shopping at least six months before your current contract expiration date.  If you wait too long, you’ll end up paying for overlapping services, or worse, an auto renew could kick in, meaning a whole new term with your current provider.

Know your options:  Ask yourself, “How many different carriers am I aware of?”  If your answer was limited to your local phone and cable companies, and maybe your wireless provider, you should seek outside assistance from a telecom agent.  There are many good phone and internet service options for businesses; don’t limit yourself.

Compare apples to apples:  Make sure you’re comparing the monthly recurring costs, minus any taxes and surcharges, related to your current service to the costs being quoted by companies vying for your business.  Many customers make the mistake of comparing the monthly prices they receive in a Request for a Proposal (RFP) to the total amount billed by their current provider.  It can be difficult to estimate the amount of taxes and surcharges that will be billed; it’s much easier to eliminate the fees and compare the costs of the actual monthly services.

Don’t over value long distance:  Many companies are making unlimited local and packaged long distance calling a standard feature of their VoIP phone lines.  That’s because, thanks to Voice over IP (VoIP), the cost of long distance has dropped considerably.  Look through past bills to determine the approximate amount of long distance calling your company completes each month, then shop accordingly.  An hour of long distance per workday amounts to less than a buck or two at today’s prices.

Don’t settle on the first round of pricing:  Carriers typically don’t lead with their best rates.  Obtain pricing from a number of different carriers and then take the lowest, most realistic price received and make it known to the other carriers.  It’s possible the other carriers will match or better the price.

Don’t drop your guard after you sign:  Make sure the pricing you agreed upon is what shows up on your first bill.  Many times there are errors: certain discount codes aren’t applied, you’re billed for items you shouldn’t be…  Your first bill is going to be for the time period from your installation date to your billing date and an additional month (carriers bill a month in advance).  You might want to analyze your first couple of bills to make sure they’re correct.  If you miss something, carriers are only required to go back the period of time they specify in their term and conditions in your agreement, to issue credits.

If you would like help with the procurement of any business voice or data service, contact CarrierBid today or complete the form on the bottom of this page.

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