Wednesday, 16 February 2011

How much do your calls really cost - part 3

In parts 1 and 2 we looked at Bundled Tariffs and Capped Call Tariffs. In part 3 of this series the Call Centre First 90 Seconds Free Tariff is considered.

This is a very sexy offering from one of the biggest telecoms service providers but when considering it as a possibility it is crucial to be aware of the small print as you could end up in a contract that is not easy to get out of and the charges could become horrendous.

The offer appears worthy until you learn that for each line or circuit you want it on, there is an additional £10 per month charge. You won’t see this in your call charges: you will just think to yourself that "rentals are expensive”. If you have a 30-channel ISDN 30, you have to have all the channels on it, not just the ones you want to use for the call plan. This would add a whopping £300.00 per month (£3600 pa) to your costs.

For your business to benefit from such a plan, you would need to make a disproportionate number of calls of less than 90 seconds. The only way to make that volume of calls is to use a predictive dialler which just happens to be an exclusion clause in the contract.

Once you are out of the 90 seconds band, you are charged a higher rate tariff. As with the Capped

Call Tariff, you must have a very specific (and constantly specific) call usage profile to benefit from this tariff. At the same time you need to be fully aware of the constraints within the small print of the contract about using equipment designed to make your business efficient! And the default position is a Capped Call Tariff so you could go from bad to worse!

One of our clients admitted they had been enticed by the promise of the First 90 Seconds Free Tariff but fortunately used the advice outlined previously. They asked the salesman why he had failed to mention the £10 per channel charge (which for 103 Channels would have meant paying £1,030 per month or £12,360 per annum), as well as the additional charges on the calls that went over 90 seconds (which would have cost an extra £850 per month or £10,200 per annum). They realised that rather than being worthwhile, they would have ended up spending £22,560 to access £7,200 of savings!

What’s more, since they used a predictive dialler to maximise the efficiency of their call centre staff, it would have negated the call centre plan as offered and defaulted them to the Capped Call Tariff. Reverting to the Capped Call Tariff would have increased their call charges by approximately £5,000 per month or £120,000 over the two-year contract period.

Call Centre First 90 Seconds Free Tariff Tip

Avoid the Call Centre First 90 Seconds Tariff unless your call profile is consistently benefiting you
and you do not fall foul of any contract exclusions.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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