How to Avoid Paying Too Much for Unified Communications

Vendor promises are a great thing. The highly-skilled salesperson knows all the right language, understands your challenges, and hits just the right price point for you to sign on the dotted line. You feel all warm and fuzzy about the fact that you've streamlined devices and applications to create a unified communications environment. Your team now has flexibility, anytime and anywhere access, and scalability previously reserved for large enterprises. You've also shifted costs from significant capital investments to manageable operating expenses. It feels like a giant win for your organization, until the first bill arrives. The dreamy haze drops away, and you realize you just invested in something that is not what it seems.

Whether intended or not, the salesperson told you what you needed to hear. Unified communications can deliver tremendous benefits and functionality your business likely didn't have with its traditional phone system. Unfortunately, there are important variables that often lead to complicated and higher-than-expected bills. 

You could end up paying per user charges for usage and communication tools. Billing is often a mishmash of complex codes and even line items you don't understand. The result of these bills is a headache and you overpaying.

You aren't the only one struggling with billing. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receives tens of thousands of consumer complaints about confusing bills every year. Wireless companies are held to truth in billing rules so that customers receive bills that include plain and factual language descriptions for services rendered. Unified communications vendors are not subject to the same standards. Therefore, you have to exercise due diligence before you ever enter an agreement and hold your vendor to their promises.

Here's a little insight into what you should expect the bill from your unified communications vendor to include:

  • Vendor contact information: You need to know how to send payment, but also who to contact when you have questions. 
  • Customer statement information: Your account number, contact information, the total amount due, and the date they want to receive payment.
  • Summary of the account: There should be a detailed explanation of the activity during the period, and this is where things can be confusing. Don't be shy about asking for clarification or extra details. These fees can add up quickly. 
  • Messages for the customer: Don't overlook this area. The message section provides information on updates to the service or planned network outages. 

Flexible pricing models can make things even more confusing. Usage pooling or outcome-based billing can result in lower prices at specified volume levels, but it isn't guaranteed and can make things more cumbersome. 

When you are ready to consider your communications options, the first step is finding a partner you can trust. Today's digital economy has created new and exciting possibilities for SMBs. You are no longer relegated to basic services with inflexible hardware solutions. Educate yourself on the options and ask the tough questions. If you aren't receiving transparent information, it is time to explore other options. 

 BlackPoint IT Services can help you in this process. We've been delivering voice services to businesses since before VoIP or UCaaS were options. Our team of experienced professionals can help you understand the options and pick the right service for your business. Crazy good service is our commitment and what we've been delivering for over 40 years. 

Contact BlackPoint IT