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My phone lines are about to expire-what should I ask my carrier?

Posted by Eric Moore on Oct 11, 2011 9:07:00 AM

 A couple of years back you signed on with a carrier to provide, say, dial tone for your business. Its expiration time and you’re wondering how to proceed. Do you renew at the same rate? Are you concerned about locking into a contract for more than one year when new services/ technologies are being introduced daily? What if you have a downturn in business- can you afford to keep the same budget for telecom when your business is losing revenue?


If you’re comfortable with your provider and negotiated a pretty savvy contract last time, and revenues are stable for the foreseeable future, there may not be whole lot of room for improvement. But it wouldn’t hurt to always ask the following:


  1. Are there any promotions for renewing the contract? Carriers will often offer credits for service if you sign for a lengthier contract.
  2. If you are moving within the next six months, what is the rate for going month to month? That is, if you’re moving to an area where your current provider cannot provide service.
  3. What if I have a down turn in business and want to reduce my services- what are my early termination charges? Make sure you have some wiggle room to remove lines without penalty - inquire if you can remove up to 50% of your lines without getting termed; that would be the amount billed per line, per month times the months remaining on the contract. If your carrier doesn’t offer a down turn in business clause, seek out alternative service providers- they’re out there.
  4. Are there new, less expensive products that can supplant my current services and, does it require hardware upgrades to my business telephone system?
  5. Can I bundle services for a better rate on my lines and internet?


Due to technological changes and fluctuating prices on services, if you haven’t reviewed your telecom budget in awhile, you may find there’s some fat that can be trimmed off your bill. Check with a Telecom Consultant or your hardware vendor- because they’re usually carrier agnostic, they have access to product and pricing information on a variety of service providers- not just one.

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