Top 5 Ways to Reduce your Telecom Expenses

February 1, 2013

Over the years we have created a detailed audit process. Below are some of the best practices that are used every day by CBI Senior Consultants:

TOP FIVE AUDITING TIPS

Tip # 1: Understand Your Contracts

  • Expiration date/consequences
  • Review closely the 1-2 invoices following contract implementation
  • Document errors and call immediately to correct them
  • Do not rely on the vendor representative to provide accurate information

Tip #2: Obtain an Annual Itemization of All Charges From Your LEC/CLEC

  • Understand all the charges on your account
  • Compare to previous itemization
  • Verify and understand your restrictions
  • Restrict ability to change long distance carrier
  • Designate an authorized individual to make changes
  • Make all changes in writing and get a confirmation number

Tip #3: Maintain All Records

  • Computerized database of services
  • Copies of signed contracts in one location
  • Documentation of installed equipment including serial and version numbers
  • Up to date identification of all accounts and individual lines
  • Set a process for assigning charges to each department to review and identify discrepancies in a timely manner

Tip #4: Review Bills Monthly

  • Review should be done by the same person/people each month
  • What to look for and verify and possibly dispute on the bills:
  • Taxes
  • Casual billing
  • Collect calls
  • Third party calls
  • Cellular or paging sudden changes
  • Open billing that you know has been paid
  • Calling cards and sudden changes
  • Cramming (Unauthorized, Misleading, or Deceptive Charges Placed on Your Telephone Bill)
  • Directory assistance/call completion
  • Significant increases in toll-free billing
  • Slamming (Unauthorized changes in local, local toll, or long distance service without authorization)
  • Make sure all lines are routing correctly to your chosen long distance carrier. This is called PIC – Primary interLATA Carrier (PIC) Code
  • Understand the problem and the vendor resolution process
  • Cancel special services-send letter to block trunk numbers
  • Identify users that are no longer supported with your system
  • Make sure toll free service is not being hacked
  • Tax credits available back several years can still be paid
  • Confirm appropriate blocking in placeChange calling card numbers
  • Do not rely on the sales person to obtain results! Double check the work after the date that they stated resolution

Tip #5: VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY!! Be proactive with security on systems!

  • Keep good records and documentation of all billing disputes
  • Keep all security codes in a one location
  • Ensure that blocking and restrictions have taken place
  • PIC freeze is still in place so that your carrier cannot be changed
  • Call Detail Records (CDR) – exception reporting
  • Scams – “809” – Incurs long distance charges without the call being placed or encourages the consumer to call back to that number.

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