Thursday, 27 November 2014

Phone Scam Warning!!!

Lincolnshire Police are advising that "070" numbers have featured in more than 2,600 frauds over the last year. This was highlighted in an article by Grantham Journal this week.

If you are presented with a "070" number to dial, please to aware this could well be a scam. 

The fraudsters employ several devious methods to scam their victims:-
  • Placing an advert for a job on an online shopping or auction site.  The victim will phone for more details and invariably end up giving them all their personal details.  
  • A message is sent to the victim's phone.  The victim then calls back and is connected to a premium rate number
  • The victim is selling goods on a shopping website and fraudster sends fake Paypal emails requesting a shipping fee to be paid via Western Union before payment can be sent to the victim.  The fraudster provides a "070" number causing further charges if they try and contact the fraudster.  These personal numbers are programmed to forward calls to VoIP numbers as the offenders are often based overseas.
Please be aware that such calls can be charged at up to 65p per minute and £1.50 per minute from mobiles. 

There have been cases where victims have received bills for thousands of pounds as a result of calling these numbers. 

If you feel you have been scammed - then report it immediately to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or check out  www.actionfraud.police.uk

To read the full story in the Grantham  Journal



Wednesday, 26 November 2014

VoIP and working from home

More and more companies are listening to their customers who are saying they are sick of talking to overseas representatives in noisy call centre "sweatshops".   This backlash means a huge growth in working from home for many Brits.   The advantages of working from home are many.  For the employee; flexible hours, no travel (so more environmentally friendly), being on hand for sick children, fitting in the school runs and being home for the holidays are the main bonuses.  Also great to be able to dash out into the garden to take in the washing and be at home for deliveries and for when the gas man attends the broken boiler!

Employees are loving the fact that such flexibility offers a better lifestyle, so will work harder to maintain their jobs.  The customer experience is very much improved and with  less cost for the employer, it seems very much a  win win situation. The qualified professional employee can be based miles away from the main office, so good staff can be sourced further afield.

VoIP telephony and remote access to systems is very much a part of this flexible way of working.  By making calls via a broadband connection, it really is as simple as plugging in your VoIP enabled phone at home and off you go.  For the employer, there is often a saving in call costs when making calls this way, versus traditional land lines. Also, because the phone systems are purchased on a monthly per seat basis, extensions can be added or deleted to cater for expansion or a decrease in business.

With VoIP telephony you can set up a conference call with a whole team communicating at the same time. Great for home workers and employers alike.  Average call handing time can be monitored closely by the employer and coaching carried out following the playing back of recorded calls.

VoIP telephone system options are really invaluable for every size and type of  business.  With a phone system being the lifeblood of a company it is definately worth looking into, especially as initial set up and management of  the phone system  is incredibly easy, with excellent call quality and cost savings to be had.

What's not to love!

Monday, 10 November 2014

VoIP - Why It’s The Most Cost Effective, Flexible, Scalable Solution of All…..


From start-ups, consultants, SME’s to established multi-site, multi-user businesses, there are many options to consider when choosing the best phone solutions. Ideally, you want to choose a system with a combination of features that not only make communication really simple, but also offer efficiency, scale, flexibility and value. In referencing a recent article at Voxilla, a recent study shows that comparing all of these criteria, hosted VoIP comes out on top.

“Cloud” or “virtual” PBX-based VoIP calling is the fastest growing phone system format as it provides so many advantages. Commissioning a hosted PBX phone system has a number of benefits that make it perfect for small businesses and startups looking to expand beyond their handful of handsets. Voxilla goes into depth about a number of these benefits.

First, it says that hosted VoIP systems are cheap. For start-ups especially, that can be great because in the early days of a company there is often no spare cash.  Even small savings can go a long way.

Of course if
a business needs to grow beyond it's current capabilities, this can be easily achieved by  adding additional handsets and features. This is the second benefit and perhaps the most important for companies that are growing quickly. Hosted voice products are scalable – some almost infinitely. Businesses can make changes to their accounts as they see fit; some setups may even allow them to pay only for the features they use in a given month and will let the service automatically scale with their demand.


Those features tend to be the same as they would receive with premises based phone systems. They can include voicemail, call forwarding, greetings, presence, syncing options with desk and mobile phones, voicemail to email transfer, and even text alerts. It is through these features that businesses will begin to look professional and like their phone systems have kept pace with their growing size and their ambitions.
 


High-profile clients, for instance, do not want to receive a personal voicemail; they want to hear a professional greeting and they can receive such greetings when start-ups begin to separate their personal lives from their working lives.

A big part of that separation includes the adoption of advanced business calling systems such as hosted VoIP. In addition, the professionalism will come with the ability to stay connected and the features of VoIP systems will make it easier than ever for start-up officials to make sure they never miss a connection with important clients and can have access to their business information no matter where they are located.

info@merlin-telecom.co.uk

0800 877 8810