It is estimated that more than 10% of all telecom charges are made in error. As a business owner, you should be on the lookout for these errors to ensure no resources are wasted. While not always nefarious, when it comes to billing, telecom companies benefit financially from your confusion and lack of clarity. Before engaging in a contract or renewing with your provider, it is imperative that you understand the financial aspect of your telecom services.

To help you do just this, we have identified 8 questions you should ask when assessing telecom spend.

  1. Are you still paying for disconnected services? Did the provider do exactly what you asked them to? Review your bill closely to make sure you are only paying for services you agreed to purchase and still have in operation.
     
  2. Are services not under contract still costing you? Do you remember all the services you signed up for when you first entered your contract? Review your bill to catch any unwanted add-ons and check with your provider if anything looks out of place. All too often, additional services are added in error if the provider doesn’t double-check the billing.
     
  3. Are you utilizing obsolete services? With the rapid advances in technology, if you haven’t reviewed the services that you contracted for in the past, chances are you are using slower, more expensive, and less efficient methods. Identify what you currently are paying for and what other options are available.
     
  4. Is your plan outdated? Changes in telecom are swift and constant. If your plan is outdated, so are your prices, and you may be overpaying. Be diligent about staying on top of innovations in telecom, or find a provider that will offer that information to you as it occurs.
     
  5. Are you paying someone else’s tab? Yes, even in telecom, you can fall victim to a case of mistaken identity. Company names can be very similar and with system automation, computers (with a help of a missed keystroke.) may erroneously assign the wrong company to your account. While this doesn’t occur often, make sure you read through your first bill when you get it to ensure everything is in proper order.
     
  6. Are there multiple charges for the same account? If you have multiple accounts with a provider, you need to cross check your subscribed services to the accounts to ensure that you are not paying for them more than once.
     
  7. Is there excess or under usage of your plan allowance? If you consistently use more or less services than your plan allows for, you may be paying premium rates for services above and beyond your plan or wasting resources. Make sure you monitor your usage, monthly.
     
  8. Did you fall prey to the “one-size-fits-all” mentality? Just because a plan is right for one customer, doesn’t make it the best solution for all. In today’s environment, it isn’t uncommon for telecom providers to subject their clients to a cookie-cutter philosophy and just cut and paste the same services into their plans. With variety of available options, you should be able to find a plan that best fits your business needs and objectives.

After reading these important questions, if you are still wondering about the best way to achieve peace of mind, secure a telecom audit. Independent telecom agents can provide this service for free in exchange for the opportunity to represent you for new services that your company will need. Since the agent is paid directly by providers, there’s no upfront cost to you and can only put more money in your pocket. Plus, you to tap into the agent’s expertise regarding bill analysis and cutting-edge solutions for your current business needs.

Author: Ben Humphreys

About Comtel

Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.

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