Phone bills are up up up…
There’s a strange sense of deja view about this week’s article. For it was only a year ago when we were commenting on BT ‘s decision to raise its prices for the third time in the space of a year resulting in an overall price increase of 47% between the three rises.
Admittedly at the time of the last hike BT promised to freeze the price until 2013 and this it has done, freezing the price until 5 January 2013 when the cost of calls is to rise by 5.9%. This means that calls which in April 2010 cost 5.4 pence per minute will now cost 8.41 pence per minute.
Whilst these figures relate to private phone lines and those on business rates or packages face a variable increase, the latest announcement has given rise to some discussion, particularly coming hot on the heels of the announcement of a second quarter rise in profits of 8%. What remains to be seen is whether the increases will drive more customers on to package deals or away from the BT stable.
In a way business telephone users have a greater opportunity to vote with their feet. The Government’s drive to improve broadband lines coupled with the increasing take up of VoIP systems means that businesses can now make great savings by switching to VoIP services for their calls. For example, calls from a Callagenix VoIP service to a UK main number can cost as little as 2ppm. Persuade your main contacts to switch to a Callagenix VoIP service as well and you can chat to each other for no charge.
For those businesses which are looking to maximise cost savings, switching to a VoIP system with a virtual switchboard can bring many other cost saving opportunities. There are tremendous hidden costs involved in dealing with calls which have been mis-directed or have to be answered by one member of the team in the absence of another. Setting up a virtual switchboard with auto-divert, call logging and messaging can save time across the organisation and help to streamline processes as well as reduce the frustration which comes from having thought processes interrupted by calls.
Similarly, using voice mail or switching calls to a virtual assistant service can mean that even the smallest business can maintain a good telephone presence without compromising client relationships or having to interrupt meetings to take calls. In a time when businesses are struggling with increased costs across the board, it is good to know that at least one charge can be reduced by switching to a VoIP package.