Sidestep Surcharges: How to Avoid Additional Fees

Businesses rely on their conferencing and phone services to connect remote groups of employees, clients and partners, yet there’s an unfortunate standard in the industry that businesses must deal with on a daily basis with telecom and conferencing solutions: additional fees beyond the quoted rate.

While extra charges are commonplace in the industry and aren’t unique to any single provider or reseller, they’re still annoying to the business that is trying to stretch every dollar. While it might be standard fare for resellers and carriers to tack on additional fees, resellers like Select Communications said “no” to surcharges and have gone a different route.

What Are Those Pesky Fees?

The various line items and hidden fees come with a variety of labels, including call initiation fees, additional minutes, surcharges, etc. To better understand why these surcharges happen, it’s helpful to understand how the telecom industry operates. The reality is, most of the telecom industry is not about adding more connectivity, it’s about reselling what’s already there. The vast majority of the wireline infrastructure currently in use has already been put in the ground and sold. Various providers then share and resell that existing connectivity. As a result, resellers can mark up the cost however they see fit. For example, if a reseller wants to charge a $2,500 implementation fee or $500 a month for support, they can. Individual customers buying services directly from carriers and resellers, unfortunately, have no leverage to negotiate out these fees.

Not So Friendly Skies When You’re Paying Bag Fees

While the majority of the telecom industry runs off the additional fee model, certain resellers like Select Communications have simply chosen to conduct business differently. A great parallel to the issue of telecom and conferencing surcharges is Southwest Airlines and their “Bags Fly Free” model. While the rest of the airline industry charges fees for checked baggage, Southwest decided to buck that trend in favor of customer satisfaction. Select Communications operates in a similar customer-centric way. While most of the telecom industry is happy to mark up and tack on surcharges, Select favors doing what is in the best interest of the customer rather than nickel-and-diming.

The bottom line is – no one likes extra fees. Companies (and individual consumers) appreciate having the price be the price. When businesses get their monthly bill, many pay it without reviewing it closely. However, when they dig into the rates and charges, they’re often frustrated at the variety of extra fees and taxes they’ve been charged. While the taxes are a given, those surcharges are, in many cases, arbitrary.

One such company that found they’d been paying extra fees for months was Matrix Absence Management. Unbeknownst to them, Matrix was paying a “call initiation fee” of three minutes per call on every conference call made. To say they were frustrated at what they had been charged beyond their quoted rate is an understatement. When they realized the unnecessary overage, they decided to go in search of reseller that did business differently.

Matrix found Select Communications, and in the very first review of Matrix’s invoice, the team at Select was able to identify the surcharges and above-market rates. Immediately Select was able to provide much more competitive rates – and end the surcharges incurred by Matrix. All in all, Matrix saw their bill cut in half after switching to Select.

 

Not only was the (old carrier) pricing higher, but they charged an additional fee for every caller dialing in…The pricing and surcharges were nearly double what [we are] paying with Select.

Richard Kluessendorf, Finance Manager at Matrix Absence Management

 

More Buying Power Means No Extra Fees

Because Select is among the largest resellers with the industry’s top telecom and conferencing providers, it allows a strong position to ensure the price customers see is the price customers get. When carriers saw the amount of business Select was generating with this transparent billing model, they were dying to know what it took to get more business. In reply, Select Communications provided some important fundamentals that the carriers had to abide by: no long-term contract commitments, no fees, no hidden charges. In Select’s customer-first model, it should always be pay as you go, no surprises.

Just like bag fees on airlines, the telecom and conferencing industry has its own fees and charges that the average customer faces every month or even every phone call. Customer-oriented resellers like Select have made a conscious business decision to go against the grain on behalf of customers, using their substantial buying power with carriers and providers to ensure the best rates with no unnecessary charges. The result is a deeper trust with Select’s clients and a happier, long-term business relationship with each and every company who buys from Select.

Worried you may be paying too much in fees or above market rates? Select Communications provides a free, no-bull assessment of telecom and conferencing invoices to confirm you’re receiving the best rates and avoiding unnecessary fees.

Interested to learn more about how Matrix Absence Management cut their conferencing bill by 50%? Listen to the full podcast here.

 


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