This article discusses how many major VoIP companies disguise a lot of the details about their rates in an effort to trap customers into multi-year contracts.
The True Costs of VoIP Services.
Here at D3UC, we talk to many MSPs who find it difficult to win customers for voice services because they think they can’t beat the bids of their competitors. However, when we review those competitors’ proposals, we notice something. They failed to include a number of discretionary and mandatory fees. When you include those charges in the proposals, it raises their “proposal” rate by as much as 60%!
Many cable and phone companies disguise the details about their actual rates, and they have done so for decades. Sadly, many VoIP providers have adopted this less-than-transparent business practice. Customers rarely discover the true cost of their service until they receive their first bill. By then, it’s too late; they’ve already signed a multi-year contract.
Our D3UC team spends a lot of time teaching MSPs how voice services companies trap customers with these less-than-ethical tactics. This information gives hard-working MSPs an advantage in selling voice services. Here are some key details these providers choose not to disclose until their customer has signed the contract.
The low prices in large print on voice providers’ websites almost never include the cost of a phone number. This means they’re effectively selling you a service that you can’t actually use unless you purchase one. This can add an additional $10 per month.
Most people are willing to pay a modest fee to ensure their 911 call sends emergency services to the correct location. However, what providers often fail to mention is that they charge an E911 fee for each device, not the location. If you have multiple devices at the same location, these fees can add up to a significant amount.
Regulatory Recovery Fees (RRF).
RRF is perhaps the best-kept revenue secret. Providers of voice services can charge customers at their own discretion, and they don’t disclose these unfixed amounts anywhere with high visibility. Once again, customers often don’t notice these fees until they get their first bill.
Universal Service Fund (USF).
The USF is a mandatory fee. It’s a telecom tax that the FCC levies. The USF can add a cost of 10% or more to any voice services bill. We recommend MSPs disclose this fee upfront, even if other providers don’t.
Early Termination Penalties.
The lowest rates are typically only available to customers who sign multi-year contracts. These contracts often carry steep penalties if the customer changes or breaks the contract within the first 24 to 36 months.
Voice companies frequently try to lure customers in with low rates that only apply if they purchase certain services as part of a bundle. These bundles include products many customers don’t want and services they’ll never use.
At D3UC, we help MSPs win competitive bids by educating them about their competitors’ often sneaky practices. There are few things end users like less than surprises on their bills, and we know honest MSPs want to provide accurate quotes. That’s why we’re committed to helping our partners differentiate themselves from the competition.
By identifying the hidden fees most other companies purposely avoid disclosing until the customer is trapped in a contract, you can demonstrate your trustworthiness and reliability. We encourage business relationships built on trust, which is why we’re fully transparent about our own fees. Furthermore, our MSPs have the latitude to sell affordable, unbundled services at price points and terms they decide. To learn more about the D3UC difference, contact us today.