17 Nov 2016
Call bundles for business

Call bundles for business - are you getting what you pay for?

Posted by Ashley Payne

For Opinion Voice Communication

On the face of it, line and call bundles can look like a very appealing, cost effective option for your business. But do they really deliver savings over and above Pay As You Go (PAYG) billing models? We take a look under the microscope…

 

In our personal lives, bundled package deals for landline, broadband, TV and mobile services have become the norm. And it’s easy to see why; they offer a convenient way of purchasing these services at a fixed, single monthly charge.

These same benefits can apply to your business communications. But in a complex, technical, yet increasingly commoditised industry, does this really represent good value? Presenting the cheapest possible pricing in bundles can be an effective means of winning your business, but beware of smoke and mirrors. They’re not necessarily the best option!

To help you decide, here are some top tips to consider:

Free calls

Most bundled packages offer a huge amount of free minutes - great if you actually need them! However, these bundles do come at a cost (typically an increase in the monthly rental charge) which means businesses will be paying a premium for minutes that go unused. What’s more, we often see that a standard pence-per-minute (PPM) pricing model is around 50% lower than a bundled equivalent.

Out of bundle calls

Beware of ‘out of bundle’ calls (eg, 08xx, 09xx, 118 etc) and how often these destinations are contacted. They are typically charged at a significant premium to make up for the lost margin on the free calls. The same applies to calls that exceed monthly allowances.

Inter-site calls

Many packages include free calls between sites, which is ideal if lots of inter-site calls are made. In our experience however, the true cost of inter-site dialling is usually far lower than first thought, so it’s worth considering how much of a benefit this really is. Also, multi-site solutions often route inter-site calls over your network. In this instance, the inter-site call is actually an intra-site call which wouldn’t carry a charge anyway!

Seasonal fluctuations

Does your business fluctuate at certain peak times of year? You could be paying for minutes that you are not using during quiet periods and then paying a premium for exceeding your inclusive allowance at busy periods. Always analyse your call usage across the entire year.

Chargeable extras

Look out for extras like fraud management or extension billing which may carry a hidden charge. We have even seen one provider that charges for the ability to raise a fault!

 

So in summary, call bundles can provide a good deal, especially if you want the reassurance of a fixed monthly spend. However, it is essential to consider how much value you are really getting, compared with the savings that you could make by choosing PAYG models.

Bistech has been providing tailored call billing packages for nearly two decades and has a wealth of experience in creating packages designed specifically for each customer. To find out if you are getting the best value from your existing communications provider call us for a no-obligation discussion on 03330 11 22 55.