Business Phone Lines (POTS lines) bill consolidators have agreements with all the incumbent local exchange carriers (regional phone companies like CenturyLink, AT&T & Verizon), to resell their services. Typically, these aggregators offer these services at a discount.
The benefits of working with a business phone line bill consolidators are:
• Cost savings
• Bill aggregation
• Single point of contact, nationwide
Let’s look at these benefits individually.
Cost savings. Although aggregators offer a percentage discount on the carrier’s services, they tend to tack on surcharges that reduce the amount of savings. Also, aggregators discount the carrier’s tariff rates, not their promotional rates. In some regions, where the rates for POTS (business phone lines) are low, the aggregator simply passes through the carrier’s charges. In some circumstances, the aggregators reduce the rates of the carrier’s network services but charge more for other services, long distance for instance.
Bill aggregation. This is the number one reason to use an aggregator. A national company, with thousands of locations, would have to devote a considerable amount of resources to manage bill payment. Hundreds of bills, from multiple providers can lead to waste and over billing. With so many bills, how could a company expect to catch every billing mistake or erroneous charge, much less effectively manage their telecom spend?
The large carriers, like Qwest, AT&T and Verizon, have responded with their own consolidated billing services, but they don’t provide all their services out of region.
If a company is considering deploying telecom expense management (TEM), aggregators can simplify the process.
Single point of contact. This is pretty basic. If a company reduces the number of companies that supply them with services, they will reduce the number of people they need to interact with. A single point can be a good thing, as long as the single point is quality. Ultimately, a company that purchases their service from an aggregator is dealing with a third party, which could lead to finger pointing.