I had many years working for BT in various roles, which has given me the knowledge of the industry working with the main UK provider. Since then I have been MD of Comms Consulting Ltd, an independent telecoms management company. We manage companies telecoms on their behalf, using our buying power to negotiate better tariffs for them.
We are all aware telecoms are a minefield, with thousands and thousands of suppliers, each proclaiming to have the best solution. One of the reasons I choose my first topic of ‘How do you know who to trust’ is because of some of the stories I hear. You would have seen the recent news in the local press (Norfolk) about a telecoms company based in Gt. Yarmouth, where the director was found guilty of fraud.
Most companies constantly receive calls from telecoms suppliers; we even receive them in our office! I am sure that one we received recently would have caught a lot of companies out. The call started along the lines of, ‘We are calling on behalf of BT, we understand you are on the BT One Plan…” (we are not but over half of BT customers are) “…there is now a further reduction of 30% for you, we just need to send you an email, click agree and we will set up the savings for you.” If I was not in the industry and was on the BT One Plan, I may have fallen for scams like this.
I would suggest to any business, not to sign any contracts without the supplier visiting your premises, if they are honest and really want your business, they will come to you.
I thought I would detail below a couple of most common mistakes we see companies making when choosing the company they trust with their telecoms.
Staying with the same supplier because you’ve never had a problem.
Generally in the telecoms industry staying with the same provider for many years does not gain you any loyalty; in fact it does the complete opposite. An example of this is of a customer Comms Consulting saw recently, they had been with the same supplier for 4 years. When they moved they made a saving, however we contacted the supplier and told them we were completing an audit and the supplier reduced their charges by 48%. This goes to show the amount of profit made by telecoms companies; yes I obviously believe you should use a service that is independent, however if you choose not to, make sure you get 6 or 7 quotes.
Not understanding the tariffs –
Tariffs are a nightmare to understand. Whether this is a ploy from the suppliers or they just generally need to be so complex, is not up to me to decide, however I do know this makes it very difficult for customers to choose the right supplier.
There are unlimited calls tariffs, minimum call charges, bundled minutes and so on. Without understanding the industry it is very difficult for companies to make informed decisions. My advice would be to take the time making the right decision, don’t just trust the sales person who has a target to hit.
There are hundreds of other mistakes that companies make through no fault of their own. Do take your time, get advice and don’t be too trustworthy of sales people needing to hit targets.