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Saving on your phone bill is high priority for many businesses. Business Phone costs can be expensive so here’s a few tips to get your Business Phone charges down.
1. Get low flat rate mobile phone calls or make sure your capped plan is aligned to your call spend. Ensure you get a single low call rate across all your calls regardless of destination or time of the day. Avoid half price for mobile or landline or cheaper after hours calls unless you are certain they suit your call patterns.
2. Call charged in 30 second increments are costly as you only use on average 50% of the final 30 seconds of the call. On short calls this can increase your timed call charges by up to 50%. Ensure you get per second billing on your phone calls, in particular mobile phone calls and international calls so you only pay for what you use. Most capped Mobile plans have 30 second billing increments. This can be OK as long as the cap is aligned to your call patterns.
3. Flag Falls are a hidden cost. Most providers charge flag falls as a connection fee on any timed call for both mobile calls and timed calls from a landline. Many service providers don’t advertise their flag falls for very good reason – they are expensive. Make sure you have low flag fall especially if you make a lot of short calls. Telaustralia has flag falls typically 50% lower than the major Telco’s.
4. Line Rental is often the major portion of the phone bill. With ISDN 10/20/30 Primary rate and ISDN 2 Basic Rate Digital Phone Lines you can cut down the number of lines you have by using an In dial Number range. An Indial Number range will allow up to another 100 numbers over and above the number of lines you have. Alternately if you need ISDN but batches of 10 lines look at our Multi Line product which has line rental from $20 per month per line with a minimum of 10 lines.
5. Long Distance calls can be costly. The average Long Distance call is around 2 minutes. Many Service Providers entice you with Call Caps for 1 or more hours but charge a much higher initial per minute rate meaning most calls cost you more. Only go for an attractive capped plan if you make lots of long calls.
6. If you are running a business make sure you have itemised bills that allow you to analyze your spend by user, department and days of the week. This way you can determine where your Telco spend is going and allow you to manage staff that may have excessive use. Online billing can also be used to view recent accounts to establish particular call patterns. Regularly review your accounts.
7. International travel can result in very large phone bills when you get back home. International mobile phone roaming charges are expensive and can be unpredictable due to 3rd party carrier charges in the country you travel in. SMS are more expensive while roaming as well but can be much cheaper method to communicate than using your mobile phone for voice calls. It may be worth letting all calls go to voicemail and then using a landline to call back. It can also be cheaper to get a local SIM card to make mobile phone calls within the country you are traveling in.
8. Mobile Phone handsets can be incredibly expensive. Everyone loves to have a handset with all the bells and whistles. Phone cameras, Music MP3 players like Apple iPhone, web browsers, diaries all can add up to be very expensive phones. Do you need all those features and will you use them. Considering less than 70% of phones last 2 years before being damaged or lost and requiring replacement this can really add up. Most people could get by with a phone that makes phone calls and Bluetooth for connectivity and may be a basic camera. These features are available in phones that cost under $300.
9. Get a plan that suits you call patterns. Some of the major Telco’s are offering all-inclusive plans that sound like good value but will you really make all those calls? Our analysis show that going onto a standard low rate plan will be cheaper in about 90% of cases. When the major Telco’s introduced these plans, it as never with the intention of lowering their margins or profits so ask your self why would they offer it this way? Even better get your potential provider to do a bill analysis for you prior to signing up. Telaustralia has a free phone bill analysis service Fax a bill to 1300 765 182 and we will return a written analysis within 48 hrs.
10. A Business PABX Phone system can be used to access the cheapest call rates available by using Least Cost Routing (LCR) or accessing a GSM gateway for calls out to mobiles.