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Puzzled by business phone bills? Fight back!

Puzzled by business phone bills? Fight back!

Why are business phone bills so hard to understand? They contain either too much detail or not enough, which usually leads business owners and accountants to give up and just pay the bill, as long as it’s within 10 to 20% of last quarter’s bill. The bills are so hard to figure out, it’s almost as if the phone companies have something to hide.

In fact, they often do. Millions of dollars a year are lost by businesses through incorrect charging by telcos. But who has the time to identify these errors, then file a dispute and follow it up, when such communications are conducted via call centers with labyrinthine phone trees that put you on hold, drop your call, say they’ll look into it then don’t, and basically push you away with a sharp stick? Most business owners and even accounting departments will just pay up rather than risk their sanity chasing down an inflated phone bill.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. One company has specialised in fighting back against telcos on behalf of businesses. Ooglan are a telecoms consultancy who do in-depth audits of businesses’ telecoms structures and identify and apply significant cost savings.

In addition to their direct work with enterprises, they now help businesses to help themselves via an online training course that teaches staff to read bills armed with valuable knowledge about the telco sector, spot costly errors, efficiently get refunds, get the best deals from telcos, and safeguard the business against future errors and wasted money.

Tutor Heidi Herman says, ‘I developed this training after years of working with TEM companies, who tend to target the demographic of Fortune-1000 companies and international corporations. I feel like it is even more crucial for the mid-size and large companies, who also have significant telecom expense, to leverage these tools and strategies to manage costs, the dollars just impact their bottom line more. The biggest challenge sometimes is the stigma that finding significant savings means someone didn't do the job right - when in reality the complexity is beyond any normal job scope.

‘It deals with the issues as complicated as taxes, regulatory red tape, contract management, and constantly changing pricing. In all other areas, you would need an accountant, attorney, market analyst, and contract specialist to keep up. Unfortunately, most companies expect the IT/Telecom Manager or Accounts Payable department to keep up and there just isn't the time or training to really audit and inventory. I have put 30 years' worth of knowledge and strategy into this training to help provide the understanding for a truly effective audit, then back it up with live support for a year. It's the first in a series of specialized courses, but based on the principles I've used to save Fortune-1000 client literally millions of dollars each year.’

Ooglan’s training course gives staff an introduction to the telco industry including types of vendors and services. Then it covers tariffs and price lists, basics of billing including casual, long distance and third party billing, taxes, fees and surcharges. The next stage is how to conduct an audit. Finally it deals with communicating with vendors, dispute management, contracts & term agreements and continued management.

With this course staff will be armed with the knowledge and skills they need to fight in your corner against mis-billing by phone companies, and ensure those cost savings are preserved going forward.