Your business needs to operate seamlessly by taking advantage of the latest communication systems. Every business today needs some type of phone system, but not all phone providers were created equally. At WheeHouse Solutions, we pride ourselves on our ethics and making sure that we take care of our customers’ needs. To better care for our clients, we offer a free quote to give you an idea of what it will take to upgrade your voice system. However, you need to protect yourself when you are comparing phone system quotes from unreliable quotes. Some people intentionally structure their quotes at a disadvantage to their clients to increase their profits. To ensure that you don’t fall victim to an unreliable quote, keep the following in mind.
Keep Installation Fees in Mind
If you don’t have a trained technical department in your business, you will undoubtedly need the help of a qualified technician to help you install your phone system. Too many people forget this important fact when they are trying to price new equipment, and it can strain your budget if you aren’t careful. Make sure that you work with your provider to discuss this important fact when you are trying to accurately gauge the cost of your new system.
This is a huge ‘gotcha’ that surprises a lot of business owners because some unreliable quotes don’t make any mention of installation service fees. Not including an installation service fee in a quote isn’t a bad thing on its own, but failing to explain to a potential customer that they will need this service is an entirely different matter. Any ethical and reliable telecommunications quote will be sure to address the necessity of installation services if you lack technical employees.
Consider Upgrade Restraints
You will also want to make sure that you have your bases covered regarding any caveats or stipulations regarding system upgrades or exchanges. A failure to do so means that your businesses lose flexibility. For example, if a new technology comes out that would benefit your business, you may not be able to upgrade your system because you signed an unfavorable contract. In some cases, you may feel comfortable signing this type of agreement, but it is unethical and dubious for a phone system provider to slip this into a quote or contract without informing their customers. Make sure you know upgrade and exchange caveats before you enter into an agreement and look out for these types of constraints in any quotes you receive.
Watch Out for Mandatory Contracts
Yet another trick of the trade is to slip in mandatory service contracts that don’t make sense to the customer in an unreliable quote. Some companies reserve the right to work on, maintain, and service your hardware in an effort to secure future business. Some tools they use to secure business in the future is by structuring service caveats and clauses in the contracts. You need to keep an eye out for these types of agreements when you are looking for an honest quote.
Only letting the manufacturer or distributor of a phone system work on your hardware could be a huge disadvantage for your business. This is especially true of companies that already have in-house technical professionals. Furthermore, some people see value in working with consultants. If your business already has an existing relationship with a consulting firm, a mandatory service contract would bar consultants from maintaining your company’s phone system.
Again, a mandatory service contract is not necessarily a bad thing unless you were unaware of it when you sign on the dotted line. A service contract could be mutually beneficial – especially if you don’t already have someone to turn to for support. Just make sure you understand this caveat from day one so you don’t run into surprises down the road. The worst case scenario is paying for a service contract that doesn’t add value to your phone system or a service contract that you don’t even use.
Be Mindful of Service Lock-In’s
It is pretty common for modern telephony hardware vendors to tie their system to one software application or service provider to unify their services. You need to be careful, though, because this is something that needs to be determined ahead of time. Discovering that your hardware is tied to a specific service provider can come as nasty shock weeks, months, or even years down the road. If you get locked into a product that was made by a business that isn’t as mature as their competitors and isn’t supported on a large scale, you could have a phone system investment that doesn’t solve your problems.
If the voice provider changes the focus of their company or simply fails and goes out of business, you may not have any updates on the software for your phone system. Most phone systems’ software interfaces are proprietary, but the underlying technologies they use are industry standards. Make sure that your phone system provider is a reliable provider and a reputable brand.
Remember to buy smart and understand that your decisions have big implications for the future of your business. To summarize, keep the following in mind when you get a quote and consider each point before you sign a contract:
- Watch out for hidden installation fees
- Consider upgrade and exchange constraints
- Avoid mandatory service contracts unless you feel comfortable
- Consider the software and service provider behind your hardware and consider how mature they are as a company
A phone system is a necessary investment for almost every business, and you need to make sure that protect yourself by avoiding these unreliable quotes and contract ‘gotchas.’ A smart investment from a reliable quote will pay you back for years to come, but a wrong turn or a trick can severely limit your options. For a free quote that you can trust, contact WheelHouse Solutions or call us at 855-801-6700 to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff so we can work with you on finding the best phone system for your business at the most affordable rates. Our goal is to ensure high levels of customer service plus building and maintaining a system that enables your business to run well.