Businesses are governed by the rationality principle of profit. It makes no sense to continue with a loss-making business. however, it does make sense to find out the causes of such losses. At times the real reason is not a fault in your product or services; it is an oversight of exorbitant & unwanted general and administrative expenses. Phone bills fall in this category. You will be surprised to know that you could reduce business phone bills by $50,000 annually if you are proactive enough.
Phone bills are a monthly affair, and most times, not much attention goes to them. However, if you look closely into what shows up on your business phone bill and do a little bit of elementary math, you will be sitting aghast at your desk, staring at the huge blunder you have been making all this while.
Below are some of the things you should be on the lookout for to reduce the business phone bill.
With technology evolving every second, there are better ways of doing everything. You need to be on your toes when it comes to Auto-Renewal of your business phone contracts. If you let it auto-renew, you will most probably be stuck with an outdated service paying more than what you should be.
Auto-renewal bites you when you’re unaware, and your contract auto-renews when you’re set to change telecom service providers. There’s an easy fix to this problem.
Either you can have the clause removed from the contract before you sign, or if you already signed, make sure to give notice before the contract is set to auto-renew.
The key is to know the clause exists, find out if it’s in your contract, and make the necessary steps. It is a big step to reduce business phone bills and also receive better services.
Third-party charges only appear on a bill by an incumbent phone company, like Verizon or AT&T. Most of the time, they are for services you never ordered or requested. They’re bothersome but easy to remove.
It is recommended that you scan your bills each month to see if charges from third parties exist. These are like ticks on your dog; Although these charges are annoying and can make you sick, if you’re proactive, they can’t do much damage.
As mentioned earlier, these are not so difficult to get rid of; all you need to know is the right method of doing so. Don’t waste time calling the phone company – they won’t help you, and the call will just make you more upset.
Instead, check your bill; near the charge breakdown will be an 800 number to call. When you call, it will be clear that the only calls they receive are from people wanting to remove their charges. What this means is that you will face very little resistance from them.
So, for such charges, it’s a must to monitor your phone bills every month. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to 3rd party billing.
$10 to $25 per third party charge, per month. Even if it is not a big way to save money on business phone bills, it is still better than not saving at all.
If you have any business phone system, your business shouldn’t be paying for inside wiring maintenance service from the phone or cable company. Even if you’re using the standard phone equipment, you probably don’t need this service. Not much can go wrong with internal wiring.
However, phone companies sell such services by different names, such as “Inside wire maintenance plans on business phone lines (POTS)” or “Coverage for the wiring on your side of the phone company’s demarcation point (Demarc or MPOE).” Before going for such a plan, you need to understand what exactly you are paying for.
It’s just dormant wiring that is mainly hidden in your office walls. The phone company tries to scare you by informing you that if their tech is dispatched and the problem resides on your side of the demarc, you’ll be charged a trip charge.
It is not how much a repair costs that scares you; it is how the phone company puts it for you. If you really look into it, a trip charge is typically $100. However, if you compare it to Wire maintenance plans, it is not such a big amount. These plans cost around 6.5 dollars a month per phone line.
If you have 10 business lines, that’s potentially $65 a month. Would you pay a $65 monthly premium to save one time $100 trip charge that is only paid when such a trip actually takes place? Of course not!
The first thing you should do if your lines go down is to see if your neighbors’ lines are also down. You can even call the phone company to see if there’s an outage in the area. In any of these circumstances, it is not your inner wiring that has caused the problem, and you won’t even have to pay the $100 trip charge.
However, if none of the above is the issue, then it could be your inner wiring. In that case, if you have a phone system, you’re probably already paying for maintenance, so have your phone vendor come out. That person will diagnose the problem and probably charges a lower hourly charge than the phone company does.
Big picture savings:
If you have 100 locations and three business phone lines with a wire maintenance charge of $6.50 per line, at each location, that’s $1950 a month or $23,400 a year in potential savings.
There was a time when it made sense to pay ten to fifteen dollars a month to buy down your long-distance per minute rate, but those days are long gone. Times have changed, and due to the popularity of email, texting, and cell phone use, employees aren’t placing as many long-distance calls.
Six cents per minute rates are standard now, and unless you’re operating a call center with email and cell phones, the long-distance portion of your bill should be less than $100 a month.
If you haven’t made the corresponding adjustments to the long-distance bundles you’re paying for, you could be spending more than necessary.
The key is to check your bill to ensure you’re not being charged for a plan and know your long-distance rates. Call your provider if you’re paying a monthly fee for a plan or you’re paying more than six cents per minute for long-distance calls.
If you’re paying $200 for a 5000-minute bundle of long-distance but only using 2500 minutes, the minutes are effectively costing you 8 cents instead of 4. If you can reduce the bundles to 2500 minutes, even if you have to pay more per minute, say 5 cents or $125 per bundle, you would still be saving $75 per location. If you have 50 locations, that’s $3,750 a month or $45,000 a year in potential savings. Now, if that’s not a way to reduce business phone bills, then what is!
You should know if someone in your company has a reason to make an international long-distance call. If you do business in your general area and all your suppliers and customers are local, you shouldn’t see much long distance or any international long distance.
International long-distance calls to wireless phones can be in the tens of cents per minute; it doesn’t take much for charges to pile up, and you won’t know about them until it’s too late.
Your provider has no responsibility for the calls and won’t reverse the charges. Monitor your bills and block calls to parts of the world your employees have no business calling.
I once worked for a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier). These are nothing but phone company’s competitors. These competitive providers have become notorious for making up fees or administration charges to add to their bills and increase the revenue collected from their customers.
Their sales reps often don’t quote the fees, and by the time you find out about them, it’s too late. These fees are typically in the $50 a month range.
If you’re receiving a quote from one of the phone company’s competitors, ask if there are any additional fees or see a copy of one of their bills. If you find out about the fee before you sign, at least you’ll know the actual cost of the services you’re considering and possibly be able to negotiate the removal of the charge.
Further, it is not just at the contract initiation when you have to be careful; you should regularly check your periodic bills. There have been cases when CLEC’s arbitrarily started charging all their customers a $25 a month administration charge.
It is nothing other than a money grab; they figure that few of their customers will notice it or fight it even if they did.
These charges are worth a customer service call; if you can’t get the charge removed, you can use it as a bargaining chip when your contract nears term. One way or the other, you can save money on business phone bills through this item.
If you’re considering moving to one of these providers, ask them if they have an administrative surcharge and ask to have it removed while you still have negotiation leverage.
$25 to $50 per month
You don’t need to use your phone service provider for your toll-free service. If your phone service provider is charging your company $5 to $15 per number per month, many capable, competitive providers will provide you with the same service with no monthly fee and maybe lower per-minute rates. You should also be conscious and take some measures to prevent toll fraud.
If your company has 50 toll-free numbers and is paying $15 per month per number, that’s $750 a month or $9000 a year in potential savings. In other words, this will reduce your cell phone bill by $9000 potentially per year.
There were times when it used to make a difference to get your business listed in the phone book, not so much anymore.
I live in Philadelphia and walk my dog around town daily. Whenever the phone books are delivered, I see the same books residing in recycling bins the following week. It is beyond reasonable understanding to spend even a cent more than nothing on such a service. You need to act today and get your phone company to remove such charges from your bills.
If your business has 100 locations and is paying $5 per month for one additional listing per location, that’s $500 a month or $6000 a year in potential savings.
Some business phone service providers charge an additional fee to send you a paper version of their bill. A paper bill charge is usually in the range of $15 per month. We don’t live in that era anymore where we would need paper bills. We can print it out on our own, and it would cost us much less. Further, we might not need the paper bill at all. So go eco-friendly. Not only will it save the environment, but it will also reduce business phone bills.
If you have 100 locations and receive a paper bill for each location, converting to electronic billing would save you $1,500 per month or $18,000 per year.
You can check this article to know more about telecom cost reduction techniques.
As you can see, there are huge savings lined up for you if you regularly monitor your bills. You might be paying for some legacy services that you don’t need anymore or simply getting duped by the phone company. You can eventually reduce or avoid casual billing which might add a large figure to your billing. Don’t incur losses because of these unnecessary reasons. Being proactive will help you to reduce phone bills significantly.
However, we understand that you might not always have the time to monitor the bills or stay updated with reduced charges. If you would like someone to audit your business phone bills to uncover savings opportunities or would like information on any other telecom consulting service, contact CarrierBid Telecom Consulting today, or fill out the form on the right side of this page.
We will do a complimentary bill audit for you. We’ll analyze your bills and offer feedback. On top of that, we don’t charge a fee or ask for a split of the savings we uncover.
We can even connect you to a better service provider. CarrierBid Communications is a full-service telecommunications consulting firm with agency relationships with over 100 leading phone and internet service providers.
CarrierBid simplifies the procurement process, saves you money, produces event-free service installations, and provides ongoing customer support.