We’ve all heard the stories of telecom expenses being dramatically higher than expected. The billing provided by carriers doesn’t make it easy to understand.
Even with over 15 years in the telecom industry I often see bills that are hard to decipher. Many customers have no idea what they’re paying for and we frequently see discrepancies that lead to credits. It’s very frustrating but when approached from a common sense perspective it has to make you laugh…or at least go Hmmmm. Click here to sign up for our newsletter and hear more stories.
Verizon: Recently, we came across an enterprise customer who’d been paying for T1s at locations that had been closed for years along with a $99/month charge for a paper bill. New installs from Verizon come with a message to call 1-800-VERIZON… which forces you to go through Verizon Wireless before getting to your account.
Zayo: This is one of the world’s largest Tier 1 ISPs. I’m sure they process a ton of payments through their network, however, they don’t accept payments online? They don’t even take payments over the phone it’s only wire or check via snail mail. I find that odd for a company that will be powering innovation with its network. Yes, their billing sucks but their fiber is top notch! Need help with Global Wide Area Ethernet? Click here
Spectrum: Although the company has now acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the systems have yet to be merged. This shows, like Healthcare, maybe it was more complicated than people thought! Existing Bright House accounts have not been integrated into the greater billing system. Enterprise services create another set of complications for paying bills. What’s most interesting is the fact that you can pay the bill online… You just can’t find out how much you owe. Hmmmm? So they’ll take your money but if there’s an error, are they as fast to issue the credit?
Lightpath and Lightower: They both have pretty good billing systems and their bills are easy to interpret. What most Accounts Payables folks that we interact with are having a problem are telling them apart. Since their logos and names are so similar they often mix up the payments whether making the payment or logging and interpreting it.
Shoretel: Great product… no doubt about it but the billing is a mess to interpret. Yes Hosted VoIP or UCaaS services are complex when concurrent call sessions and profiles aren’t 1:1. Feature sets per profile each get their own line item and it is simply confusing. It’s almost too much detail. That said, I haven’t caught a mistake yet. Click here to learn more about our UCaaS services from other Gartner Magic Quadrant providers.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of Comcast customers trying to cancel services and the services that charge to cancel these services for home users charging $5 to call in. Though it is easy to pay your bill and see how much you owe with Comcast’s online billing platform, cancelling your service and making changes can be daunting. In one of our recent conversations with a potential client we uncovered a site that was cancelled back in September that is still billing now. Apparently it took 4 hours to cancel the service and even paid the early termination penalty. Making matters more complicated, the project is over and the consultants that ordered and subsequently cancelled the service are long gone and on another project leaving behind only their records.
Do you need help analyzing and deciphering your company’s telecommunication bills? Click here for more on our Telecom Audits and Expense Management.