If you’ve ever been fishing, sometimes it’s hard not to feel bad for our scaly friends; they chase after a brightly colored lure, convinced they’ve just won in the great game of “eat or get eaten”, only to find themselves hooked by something they never saw coming.
Buying telephony for your Adobe Connect Meetings and Classrooms can often end up the same way. Vendors lure you with attractive base rates that seem so appealing. Until you start getting the monthly bills and it’s then that you start to realize that those low base rates concealed a much more expensive reality. Sometimes we only see the bait and not the hook.
Here are the five biggest hidden hooks:
- The Base Rate: You think you’re paying one flat rate but look closer. It doesn’t include taxes, “special” fees and other hidden services such as MP3 recordings that inflate the quoted costs by 25 percent or more.Tip: Always look at the all-in rate. It’s what you’re going to pay and avoid getting hooked.
- Drawing The Line: Are any of your North American users located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Canada? You may be shocked to learn these locations are often treated and billed as “International” locations at a cost two to five times your base rate. Even if only 10 percent of your call volume comes from these locations, it can effectively raise your average “per minute” rate by a third. Hooked again.Tip: Make sure you define what’s included in local calling.
- Overseas, overcharged: Do you have users joining you from outside of North America? If so, it’s almost certain your monthly charges are significantly higher than they need be. Calls to or from overseas users typically incur surcharges that are 3-25 times that attractive base rate you were so focused on negotiating with your current telephony vendor. They aren’t worried about the low rate they gave you because they’ll make back their margin in spades on your international calls. We frequently find that five percent of a client’s minutes account for over 50% of their monthly cost as a result. You’ve just been hooked big-time!Tip: Check the surcharges before you bite.
- Stay in Control: Do you control whether your users have the system dial them or do they all dial in to your toll-free number? In some cases, it makes no difference, but depending upon where each user is located, that same call can cost you 10 times as much. You can’t control a cost if you don’t fully understand the contract structure, but that’s precisely how the telephony supplier maximizes their margin on a heavily negotiated contract. They just reeled you in.Tip:The Devil is in the details. Read closely or make it one of your points.
- Practice diversity: Why are all your users on the phone in the first place? It’s often the last question asked. Adobe Connect allows you to seamlessly mix and match free VoIP users with participants on a phone. However, the percentages are often heavily skewed to phone users simply because the Connect interface implies phone connections are somehow “preferred.”A user with great internet connectivity who chooses to connect by phone is costing you 100 percent more than necessary.Tip: Changing how you advise users to connect can literally save you thousands of dollars each month. You’ll call this “bait and switch.”