As one of the UK’s six million SMEs, you know you must adapt to your customers’ needs for your business to survive. But are your IT and telecoms providers doing the same for you?
At easyNetworks, we’ve seen many organisations getting caught out by some common contract pitfalls and paying over the odds for services they no longer need.
Which of these traps have you come across or even fallen into in the past? And how can easyNetworks set you free?
Trap 1: long and costly lock-in periods for phone contracts
It’s common for telecoms companies to tie in clients to three, five or even seven-year contracts for their telecoms. There will usually be a 12-week notice period if you want to move, and there can be an automatic renewal clause buried in the small print, and if you miss it, your contract could automatically be extended by 12 months or more.
The first issue here is that your needs are likely to change in 5 years and this gives you absolutely no room for manoeuvre or flexibility.
Worse still, the tech you’re buying into can quickly become outdated and you will be stuck with it for several years to come. Analogue lines and ISDN services are now a little outdated and very expensive, so 95% of the phone systems we install are modern cloud-based platforms.
We have a customer who is thrilled with their new feature rich, agile cloud-based system who had been locked into a legacy ISDN contract for five years by their previous provider. Sadly, they missed their notice period by a few days and they were then committed to another 12 months and had to delay their upgrade!
Far from locking you in for years, we offer 30-day rolling contracts so you’re in control of whether you renew or leave… but when you experience how easyNetworks puts its customers first, we’re sure you’ll want to stay. We have a simple ethos, we want our customers to stay because we offer great value and outstanding service, not because of contractual “lock ins”.
Trap 2: leasing cloud phone systems
It gets worse! You may be asked to pay upfront for the entire contract (in other words, pay for 5 years usage in one go) or sign a lease agreement for the term. This is great for the supplier as they get all their payment upfront, and terrible for you as you end up with a loan to the leasing company, at a much greater expense than the true monthly cost of the system. Why would you pay excessive leasing costs for a service which is already payable monthly?
But there could be an even worse outcome to leasing – if your supplier goes bust and ceases trading, you would still have to keep paying off the lease each month even if the service gets cut off. Taking a long term lease for a monthly service is almost never appropriate or beneficial to you – you are simply being taken advantage of if you are pressured to lease a phone system.
This is how some suppliers afford the high commissions they pay out to their salespeople. At easyNetworks we do not employ salespeople or pay commission. We prefer to invest in training our technical staff, so everyone you deal with has the knowledge and expertise to offer best advice, with no motivation (or desire) to “upsell” you any features or services you won’t need.
Our cloud phone systems are charged on a per user per month basis – we would only recommend another arrangement if it makes good business sense for you.
Trap 3: inflexible IT support contracts
SME’s also tell us they’ve been tied into lengthy contracts for IT support. That won’t happen with easyNetworks.
We offer both hardware and software support. We keep our pricing competitive, but even more importantly, we keep our service flexible, offering 30-day, user-by-user contracts that allow your business to pay as you grow.
When we set up your contract, we’ll begin with a discovery phase to check your systems are fit for purpose. Then we’ll offer you an IT support package which is right for you and your business.
Trap 4: lengthy mobile handset contracts
Many mobile phone contracts will lock you into 24 or 36–month commitments which include airtime, data and regular upgrades of your handsets. But if the devices are working just fine, new handsets don’t make sense from a financial or environmental point of view and taking them may lock you in for another couple of years.
At easyNetworks, we offer mainly SIM-only deals for calls and data on 30-day rolling contracts. By separating airtime and hardware, you gain flexibility. You choose your own handsets, perhaps opting for refurbished models to fit your corporate sustainability goals. And, of course, if you want to leave at any point, you can do so with no penalties (after a short initial term).
Plus, easyNetworks will make sure you’re on the right plan – something that few IT Managers or Finance Directors have the time to do. We brought one customer’s monthly bills down from around £1,600 to £1,200 overnight by switching the company to a more suitable deal with appropriate bolt-ons.
Trap 5: paying for mobile data you don’t need
It’s hard to know in advance how much mobile data your company will need. Overestimate, and you’ll pay too much. Underestimate, and you’ll be paying extortionate out-of-bundle costs.
Our Elastic data offer is the perfect deal for businesses with average/normal data use. Elastic data automatically moves users between tariffs based on their actual usage. It allows the user to consume the data they need over the course of a month before “snapping back” to the cheapest rate so the client is only paying for the data they actually use and it virtually eliminates expensive out of bundle charges. This was especially valuable over the last 12 months when mobile data use plummeted due to home working and users connecting via their Wi-Fi.
easyNetworks: a partner you can trust
We offer 30-day rolling contracts on many of our services, allowing our customers to grow (or shrink in hard times) at their own pace – we call it #PayAsYouGrow.
We will look after you! – at the beginning of lockdown, easyNetworks contacted customers to suggest reducing, rationalising or even hibernating their services, ready to restart once lockdown was lifted.
That’s because we’re not salespeople – we’re tech experts who are committed to providing your company with a great, flexible service at the best possible price.
Plus, we’ve been in the telecoms business for 25 years and we’re part of the easyGroup family of great value brands, which makes us a reliable partner for the long term (or short term, if you prefer).