Know your rates, your term, what will happen at the end—will the agreement auto renew? Most Contracts require 90 day written notification or they will auto renew.
What is your service Level Agreement (SLA); How is the early termination clause written What are the charges to terminate early? What grounds can you use to exit the agreement early?
What’s My Charges: What am I really paying and why?
Does the Carrier invent charges—Regulatory Fee’s and other charges so their rates appear good?
Most carriers have the right to raise rates if their underlying costs increase (i.e. AT&T raises the wholesale cost of a phone line and the carrier can pass this along to you)
Will the carrier raise your rate over time? It is important to spot check your bill every 6 months. One carrier slightly raises their customer’s rates every few months—very few ever catch it and those that do must prove what the carrier owes them.
Beware of the Sales Associate who claims to be the Customer Care Representative
Sometimes Customer Care is indeed the sales department. These reps are actually forced to “up-sell” those customers who call in—worse yet, they often make mistakes on the orders.
The Average Telcom Sales Associates has less than 6 months experience in the business. Most never make it past 90 days and few last over 6 months.
Ask the Rep how they are compensated? Most receive a one-time up-front commission. Once you make your purchase they must go onto the next account. One company 40% of their compensation is based on up-selling their accounts 2% more services each year.
What is VoIP? Is it Real? (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
Don’t think public internet—think high-quality private VoIP Networks
It is the next generation transport & the future…DOS became Windows which becomes Vista.
First came Analog (POTS), then Digital Circuits (ISDN-PRI), Now IP (Hosted, SIP, Trunk Replacements)
It can be a completely redundant & a robust network which includes a disaster recovery plan— No Katrina!
FACT—Over the past 10 years, 100% of the long distance and international calls have been IP!
To VoIP or Not to VoIP
It depends on your requirements—Bless her soul my late Grandmother used a rotary dial phone up until she passed on in late 2007 and my parents just got caller ID and a DSL line in 2008!
What are your applications? Do you have a plan to have several locations? Do you know your anticipated growth rate? Do you have to be the first to own the iPhone?
It is not a matter of “IF” but “WHEN” and more importantly the question you must ask is “HOW” will I implement a VoIP solution and most importantly “WITH WHOM” will I implement a VoIP Solution?
In the end VoIP is the Future and where the market is moving. You will need to develop a VoIP strategy either NOW or in the NEAR FUTURE.