Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Well, just who do I complain too?

We are a nation of complainers.  There, a bold statement.  

So what really gets your goat when it comes to telephones?

Plenty -
  • bad customer service
  • mis-selling/slamming for fixed lines and mobile telephone services
  • early termination fees
  • abandoned and silent calls
  • unwanted marketing calls - to name a few

Well, Ofcom or Office of Communications (Government approved regulatory and competition authority for telecommunications and broadcasting) have published a report which makes interesting reading.  

We all complain about telecom providers, but do we actually do anything about it?  It appears we do, but perhaps not nearly enough.  

This report is great as it also includes links and telephone numbers to the appropriate and relevant bodies to whom you can complain.  

So, the next time you get a call asking if you’ve had a recent car accident or some one tries to convince you to make a claim for PPI,or you receive totally shoddy customer service, then just complain to the relevant body.  If you don’t complain, then appropriate action won’t be taken.

Interesting to see that the level of customer complaints to the Telephone Preference Service have dropped since June 2014.  Now, is this because we are not complaining, or have less to complain about?!!  

Friday, 18 September 2015

Moving? New Premises? Urgent, read these tips first!

The time has come to expand and you've just found the perfect premises!  

Great, so what to do first?  Speak to your Solicitor and Estate Agent? Secure finance with your bank?  Make an offer immediately?


If your business is dependant on broadband and a telephone system (and let's face it what business isn't?) then reading this article ought to be your number 1 priority.

Firstly, check to see what the speed of the broadband is in the area and establish whether Fibre to the Cabinet is available.  You can use this website- to establish speeds and potential fibre connection.
If faster broadband speeds are essential to you and obtainable, you might consider applying for up to £3,000 of vouchers towards the installation under the Government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) Scheme - for further details check this link Enter your postcode and you may be in an eligible area. In which case, Merlin (as a registered supplier) can help you with your application.

Needless to say, if the speeds aren't great and the cost of alternative solutions are too expensive, then just walk away, before wasting anymore time or money!

Moving premises is a great time to consider not only upgrading your broadband, but also thinking about your whole communications system.

Technology is moving at an incredible pace and we in the industry know that ISDN lines are going to be phased out as evidenced by the link below:-

Essential, therefore that you start to future proof your business right now and to get sound advice following an audit of your current system and future needs. 

Did you know that the UK lead Europe in embracing new technology* ?  So, to ensure your business retains an edge over your competition, it’s definitely worth making sure what is available to you and how the latest technology can boost your profitability.

If you don't know already, hosted telecom systems are brilliant for scalability and flexibility and offer great functionality, as well as saving you money too. Great as part of business continuity planning if a disaster hits. You can still keep your business moving.

Next check your existing telecoms and data connection contracts.  Often these run for a minimum of one year and anything up to five or seven years!  We have just spoken to a client who has signed contracts on new premises, but completely forgotten the year long Fibre to the Cabinet contract which he still has to pay, or pay an early termination charge for!

You also need to establish whether you can take your existing numbers with you when you move.

A complete survey of the new premises is essential.  Use a network cabling specialist to survey existing network cabling to ensure that it is up to scratch. Old or poorly installed cabling is going to impact on your business.  If you don’t then any problems are yours and could be very expensive to put right after your office move has taken place.

Your project plan for the move must take into account the longest lead time to instal the services you require.  For instance, installation of leased lines can take up to 90 days, so get dates and times for a go-live on your mission critical infrastructure and do not sign any contracts until you have a firm timetable to work to.

Putting your technology plans to the forefront of any move is very smart.  So really think where your business is heading and make sure your new premises are geared to embrace the future.

Good luck with your move!
The Merlin Team

*according to a survey carried out by Exact, an online business software firm