Here at D3UC, we talk to a lot of MSPs who are struggling to win customers for voice services because they think they can’t beat competitors’ bids. Yet when we review the proposals from those competing companies, we notice their exclusion of discretionary and mandatory fees. If you include those charges in the proposals, it raises their “proposal” rate by as much as 60%.
The unfortunate truth is that cable and phone companies have disguised many details about their actual rates for decades. Now, VoIP providers have adopted this less-than-transparent business practice. The majority of customers don’t discover the true cost of their service until they receive their first bill. By then, it’s too late because customers have already signed a multi-year contract. They’ve gotcha.
Our D3UC team spends a great deal of time educating MSPs about how voice services companies trap customers with these “gotcha” tactics. This information puts hard-working MSPs at an advantage for selling voice services. Here are a few details these providers don’t often disclose until their customer has signed the contract.
- Phone numbers — Nine times out of 10, the low prices in huge fonts on voice providers’ websites don’t include the cost of a phone number. So, they’re selling you a service that you can’t use unless you purchase one. This can add an additional $10 per month.
- E911 — It’s doubtful that anyone would balk at the fee that makes sure your 911 call sends the police, fire, or ambulance to the correct location. However, providers fail to mention that they charge an E911 fee for each device, not location, which can add up to a significant amount.
- Regulatory recovery fees (RRF) — RRF is the best kept revenue secret. Providers of voice services can charge customers at their own discretion, and these unfixed amounts usually aren’t disclosed anywhere obvious – until you get your first bill.
- Universal Service Fund (USF) — This mandatory fee, a telecom tax levied by the FCC, adds a significant cost of 10% or more to any voice services bill. We recommend that our MSPs disclose it upfront, even if other providers don’t.
- Early termination penalties — The lowest rates require customers to sign multi-year contracts that carry steep penalties if modified or broken within the first 24 to 36 months.
- Overstuffed bundles — Voice companies commonly lure customers in with low rates that only apply if certain services are purchased as part of a bundle, which is bound to include products you don’t want and services you’ll never use.
At D3UC, we help MSPs win competitive bids by educating them about how other companies deceive their customers. We recognize that end users don’t like surprises on their bills, and we know that honest MSPs want to provide accurate quotes. That’s why we help our partners differentiate themselves from the competition by identifying the hidden fees most other companies completely avoid disclosing – until the customer has signed a contract, which includes termination penalties, and gets a bill far higher than they were quoted in the proposal.
We encourage business relationships built on trust, and we’re fully transparent when it comes to our own fees. Plus, our MSPs have the latitude to sell affordable, unbundled services at their own price point and terms. To learn more about the D3UC difference, contact us today.