How to read between the lines of your business phone bill to find the best savings

ANDY HOLLAND

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. It is a universal truth that little things add up. And this is immediately apparent when you conduct a forensic analysis of your business lines and minutes bill.

Comtec has completed hundreds, if not thousands, of these assessment exercises for UK organisations. Looking at the last two years alone, the accumulated results are startling. We’ve found that the average business is:ip-telephony-security

– Spending 37% more on its fixed and mobile lines and minutes than it should. In some cases, the figure is up to 60%.
– Reviewing its lines and minutes contracts every 20.5 months. Best practice is to review it quarterly, but around 1 in 10 organisations we encounter have never had their bills independently reviewed.
– Not regularly reading its phone bills. 56% of business/IT decision-makers admitted they didn’t have time to do this or that the bills were just too complex.

The biggest problem businesses face when they enter the world of phone contracts is not knowing what they don’t know. Who’s to say that this great tariff you’ve signed up to will still be competitive with other market choices a few months later?

This is the value of getting an independent expert to examine your phone bills, advise you on your options and represent your business needs in a fast-changing market. Doing it yourself could be an alternative way forward too, but remember that the time you need to dedicate to the task may end up outweighing the savings you identify.

In our research of the last two years of lines and minutes assessments, the Comtec communications team has identified the following top five greatest sources of savings.

1) Migrating from ISDN to SIP. Ditching ISDN for SIP could mean line rental costs of up to 50-60% cheaper, with calls costs of up to 30% cheaper than ISDN (and many providers even offer inclusive minutes as part of their regular monthly fee). BT announced a year ago that it will be switching off its ISDN services , so act soon. Comtec can provide free 14-day SIP trials and manage the whole SIP migration process for you.
2) Changing to competitive tariffs that suit your needs. It’s really important to keep track of what you’re buying against what you need, especially at a larger organisation with lots of sites and staff. Once you strike a deal that makes sense based on your business requirements, it’s only a matter of time until it is no longer fit for purpose. We always find significant savings here, especially around mobile contracts, and can manage this on an ongoing basis.
3) Unlocking special bundled services discounts. Comtec’s relationships with top service providers, in additional to our own on-net capabilities, means that you can beat the normal headline deals when bundling fixed and mobile, and lines/minutes/data.
4) Better rates for exceptional items. Organisations that carry out, for example, a lot of outbound international dialing, or who operate freephone or premium rate numbers can achieve significant savings by switching to better deals.
5) Cancelling contracts you don’t use. Amazingly, we still regularly come across organisations that are still being charged for sites that no longer exist or individuals who are no longer employed. In some cases, bills have been paid unnecessarily for months or even years because the change in circumstances was never communicated to the service provider. In other cases, these are service provider errors that just haven’t been picked up.

With 20 years’ experience helping UK business customers with their lines and minutes needs, Comtec offers a no-obligation assessment service based on reviewing your last three months billing. Contact me to find out more .