What is a Telephone Carrier Audit?
What is a telephone carrier audit, and why do you need one?
With the way business is done today, services like Internet, telephone, and fax lines (as well as the many other methods of rapid communication) are invaluable.
Godfrey Reggio (the American film director) once said,
“Technology has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, so we are no longer conscious of its presence.”
This is so often the case—we barely notice how much technology affects our everyday lives until something goes wrong.
Many businesses find that significant amounts of time can pass without a second thought being given to reviewing the costs of those very services.
Because all is well we tend to focus on the proverbial fires at hand, forgetting to keep appraised of the smoothly running aspects of our businesses.
The cost of not keeping up!
Many businesses are paying hundreds, and in some cases thousands of dollars per month more than they need to.
Often, companies are expected to pay premiums for the services they need, but as time goes by, due to new technology and increased competition, the price of those same—or often better— services can drop quite drastically.
It’s not unreasonable to see thousands of dollars in savings by the time a 3 to 5 year contract expires, with any carrier.
Most service providers will not let you know when your contract is expired. In fact, many of them actually have their contracts set to auto-renew. Some providers will only auto-renew your contract for a year at a time which, in itself is not a bad thing but it can end up costing you if you let too many years go by without updating your services.
There are some providers who will auto-renew to term; meaning, if you signed a 5 year contract they often “forget” to remind you when your term is up and allow it to auto-renew for another 5 years – that’s 5 more years of an already overpriced contract.
I’ve personally saved companies many hundreds of dollars per month just by helping them update their services.
Troy McIsaac, the sales manager for Total Communication Services, says that there have been several cases where clients have saved upwards of $1,000 to $2,500 per month.
One of his most memorable clients saved over $3000 per month as Troy was able to improve their Internet services and phone system while lowering their monthly bills to $400 per month from the original $3,500.
It may sound fantastical, but it’s surprising how many companies are missing out on significant savings.
So what exactly is a telephone carrier audit?
A carrier audit is the process of auditing your carrier services—finding out what services you have and how much you are paying for them and then comparing those services and costs with whats currently available across the various service providers (Shaw, TELUS, Bell etc.).
A third-party company, like Total Communication Services, will look at your phone and Internet bills (for example) and determine whether or not you are overpaying for those services by comparing what you have to current industry pricing.
Let’s say you have a small business with about 20 employees and you have a nice package from a carrier (like TELUS, Bell, or Shaw) who provides your company’s phone lines, Internet, fax, long distance calling, TV package, and maybe even some other more specialized services like audio/video conference bridges, or MPLS networks. There is a good chance that since you’ve put those services in place (especially if you’ve had them for more than 3 years) there have been changes in the market, and pricing has become more competitive.
Why get a third-party to audit your carrier services?
I remember when I was 12 years old I got my first computer. My family had a computer prior to this one, but this one was special, this one was mine. We were not a particularly well off family and in the late 90’s home computers were still not the norm for everyone— especially not for a 12 year old, so I felt very special.
I can clearly recall one day when I came home with a new game I’d borrowed from a friend (I think it was a motocross racing game), as I tried to install it, I found out that I needed to clear up some hard drive space. I guess what space I had left on my 1 GB hard drive just wasn’t quite enough.
So I looked around for useless junk flies or data that I could get rid of to clear up space for my game (you may already know where I’m going with this). I found this big folder called System files which contained a bunch of oddly named files that I never used (and were obviously taking up space). I had no use for them, so I started deleting them, sections at a time, all the while thinking of how much fun this new game was going to be.
If you know anything about your Windows system files then you know exactly what happened next. My computer crashed, and not only was I not going to be playing that game anymore; there was a good chance I was going to be in a lot of trouble.
It took several days for my dad and one of his tech savvy friends to get around to fixing my computer and get everything running properly again, and since then I’ve always been extremely careful about which useless files I delete to make space for my games.
The reason I bring up this story is because like those system files, your carrier services bills aren’t always straight forward. It’s not always easy to see what charges correlate with what services or bills; in fact, there are certain providers that almost seem to make their bills intentionally difficult to decipher.
This is why having an expert take a look ensures that the process is easy and quick, and unlike my attempted game install, its free of the extra hassles that come with trying to do something that you may not have a lot of experience in.
How often should you have a carrier audit?
It’s generally recommended that businesses do a carrier audit at least every two to three years.
However, we would suggest connecting with your provider or the company that works with your telecommunications at least once per year, so they can take a look at what you have and what changes have taken place (or will take place) in your business, and can continue to make sure you are on the best plan, with the best pricing.
Technology and it’s pricing change rapidly in the telecom and IT services world; you need to make sure that you have the best services from the best carriers at the lowest price available.
So if you haven’t had a professional carrier audit done in the last year or so, give us a call, you will likely be pleasantly surprised.
Total Communication Services Inc. has more than 100 years of combined experience with carriers across Canada from telephone lines, internet connection, TV services for the hospitality industry and in long term care facilities as well as private data connections. This wealth of experience has provided the company insights on the availability of services and when a customer should apply them to their business and the rates one should be paying.