Friday, November 13, 2009

USA - Correcting high, inaccurate billing can slash expenses

[network world] Wireless plans are a great place to start for companies looking to cut communications costs, with one firm reporting at VoiceCon that it saved $33,000 per month by renegotiating unfavorable contracts.

The communications manager from an Ottawa construction firm told a peer discussion group on cost containment and control that the savings came as a result of pointing out how unfair its contracts were based on other more appropriate plans the wireless carriers offered.

The VoiceCon session was set up for attendees to share how they were cutting costs and to ask for advice from others in the same boat. Participants didn't identify themselves to promote candor.

"We were getting royally screwed," the Ottawa manager says. One provider involved was so contrite it gave the firm a one-year service credit, she said. The company never had to threaten to walk away from the contracts. "We didn't push that hard. We would have quit but it was unspoken. They realized we were a good customer that paid our bills."

How companies are cutting costs

The firm saved so much money it hired a full-timer to sift through the wireless bills every month looking for errors in its favor, she says.

Another participant says the County of San Bernardino, California, hired a former Verizon billing agent to comb through its Verizon wireline bills. She found $300,000 worth of overcharging. "She's paid her salary for the next five years," a workshop participant from the county said.

The county is following up by hiring a telecom billing consultant to audit its bills for the next two years in hopes of correcting even more overcharges. The auditor is working for a percentage of the errors it finds, so the contract costs the county nothing.

How not to get 'royally screwed' on wireless costs

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