I was recently told by a Retention Agent with Comcast that if you are a business under contract with Comcast and you are moving your office that you should not talk with your Sales Agent but instead talk with a Retention Agent at their direct number 866.925.9605. The Retention Agent will not up-sell you but will instead transfer only your obligations under your current contract to a new contract at your new location.
Imagine a PBX costing less than $300 handling the calls in your office that supports over a hundred phones, up to 60 concurrent calls, and up to 32 conference attendees. All of this with IP based phones costing less than $100 each and phone service where each telephone number costs $1.50 or less per month and each call is billed at one cent per minute. Savings on top of savings!
A customer of mine signed a “Business Service Order Agreement” with Comcast and in the process of trying to get him out of a three year contract and into a two year contract I learned a lot about Comcast and their processes.
When a business salesman from Comcast speaks with a prospect he will examine his current offers and come up with a suggestion. The document that has the current regional list of Comcast Business Packages is marked that it is “not to be distributed to the general public or shared with customers”. The reason for this is simple. The Comcast salesman has an advantage if the customer is kept in the dark about available discounts or terms of service. I asked several Retention Agents how my customer was to know that Comcast offers 12, 24 and 36 month terms. I also asked how the customer was to know about the available offers. I was told that it is the responsibility of the customer to read the contract, to read multiple documents that are referenced by URL links in the contract and to go to Comcast’s website and surf for current offers. Both the Retention Agents and the Billing Agents told me they could not explain the Comcast Business Packages and how they worked. I was told in several instances that it is the customer’s responsibility to figure out the obligations of the contract and that once you sign it you are stuck with no way out. There is a 30 day satisfaction clause but that only applies to new contracts. I find this unreasonable because even if you read all of the information in the contract, referenced documents and the Comcast website the list of available packages is not available and there is no documentation available as to how the process would work if you move or chose to add another product. I believe that Comcast has enabled their salesmen to maximize terms and prices because that is how they maximize Comcast revenue. It is in the salesman’s interest because longer terms and higher prices increase his commission.
Since my customer was moving to another office the Comcast move process was critical. There is no documentation for this process. There is documentation for what happens if a customer terminates a contract. Whatever services a customer has when they terminate will result in them paying 75% of the remaining revenue of the contract. I think even Comcast thought it was harsh to make customers pay the 75% if they moved to a new location and contracted for Comcast services. In this instance they work on a revenue replacement model. If you sign a three year deal and move your office after a year then you must sign a comparable deal for a minimum of two years. My customer was offered a three year deal even though his Comcast Business Package allowed a two year contract. If you have one year and a month remaining you will have to sign a two year contract. It turns out that you are able to turn down the services on your contract as long as they have no effect on the Comcast Business Package you have received. For instance if you are contracted for three phone lines you could turn that down to one phone line if your package allowed. It is clear you should turn down your services as far as you can if you are going to terminate your contract. The critical item on the contract is the block of text below the “Comcast Business Services” header on the first page of the Business Service Order Agreement. The voice, internet and TV services are listed and an “X” is next to the items that you are under contract for. I was told another amazing thing. If you are under a two year contract and decide six months in that you want to add TV to your phone and internet package, Comcast will have you sign a new two year agreement listing the selection of TV along with phone and internet. In this way they can hold you liable for 75% of the remaining TV revenue if you terminate the contract.
I now realize that signing Comcast Business Order Agreements is very dangerous. If you would like my help feel free to contact me.
Land line and wireless business service fees are dropping. Comcast and AT&T charge termination fees to exit their contracts. Why not go with a VOIP provider for your landlines that costs less, has more features and has no contract termination fees? We can help.
The most common vendor is AT&T. AT&T charges $34.00 for Business Local Calling Unlimited A. They add another $5.57 in fees. Local calling is defined as within a mile of your business. Any outbound call 5 miles or more away will be billed as long distance and cost 14 cents a minute. You can get a long distance plan for $20.00 more a month.
The other vendor is Comcast. Comcast charges $29.95 per line which includes long distance. They will charge another $3.87 in fees not including the $7.00 a month for equipment.
Honestly think about how much time you spend on the phone. I pass through from my sip wholesale provider the following charges. $1.50 per telephone number, a half a cent per inbound caller ID, $0.99 per 800 number, $1.50 for E911 and in 6 second increments, one cent per minute billed for outbound and one and a half cents per minute for inbound calls.
This compares as follows:
AT&T (making no calls outside a mile)
$34.00 + $5.57 = $39.57
SIP Wholesale vs AT&T
$1.50 + $1.50 = $3.00 Figuring all calls are 3 minutes and inbound with Caller ID. $39.57 – $3.00 = $36.57 $36.57/.017 = 2151.2 minutes or 35.8 hours on each phone per month and my charges would be the same.
Comcast (without the equipment charge)
$29.95 + $3.87 = $33.82
SIP Wholesale vs Comcast
Figuring all calls are inbound with Caller ID. $33.82 – $3.00 = $30.82 $30.82/.017 = 1813 minutes or 30.2 hours on the each phone per month and my charges would be the same.
If you work a 5 day week there are less than 22 work days a month. That means with a 30 hour equivalency you would have to spend over an hour and a half talking on each phone in your establishment each day to pay as much for my wholesale sip service as you are paying Comcast and that is assuming all of your calls are inbound. For every outbound call the time you need to spend talking on each of your phones goes up. A Pizza parlor that talks on the phone for 24 hours a month and has three lines, had their phone bill cut to a quarter of what it was with AT&T. A painting contractor’s phone bill was cut to 5% of what it was with AT&T.
Here is a way to increase your corporate profits through expense reduction. Go get your business phone bill. Look for the fixed monthly cost of each of your lines. It should be something around $26. In the competitive world of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) the fixed monthly cost for a telephone number is running between $1.00 and $1.50. You might pay another $1.50 per month for 911 services and 0.2₵ per inbound call for Caller ID. Now look more toward the back of your bill and find the charges for calls. These can run from 8₵ to 14₵ per minute. If you have a long distance contract your per minute charges might be zero, but there is a monthly charge for this service. The VOIP per minute charges are between 0.8₵ and 1.6₵. These VOIP services are different from traditional service. The VOIP per minute call charges are for both outbound and inbound. Traditional service charges only for outbound. The difference in cost is so large I have found that VOIP results in dramatic savings even if most of your calls are inbound.
How would a move to VOIP affect your bill? I have two examples. One is a pizza parlor that has a large volume of inbound calls and the other is a painter’s office. The pizza parlor has three phones that sequentially take inbound calls (hunt). They average 25 hours a month and switching to VOIP has reduced their phone bill by 77%. The painters had phone numbers that were stranded in other cities. Switching to VOIP solved these problems with the old phone numbers and eliminated their charges for forwarding their 800 calls. I reduced their phone bill by 95%, setup extensions in their office and setup the receptionist so she can answer phone calls on her cell phone when she is out of the office. Each of these solutions required around $150 of hardware that I configured for free. I make my living by splitting the savings over time with my customers. After splitting the savings the pizza parlor saved 39% and the painters saved 47%. How would it be to save over a third on your phone bill every month?
Go to Averabet.com and contact me if you are interested in increasing the utility of your phone service and saving money.
Starting today, Facebook is testing a “faster and more reliable” Messenger app for Android users. For starters, the mobile software is getting a new look which boasts easier navigation of the chatting landscape.
Mozilla has released Lightbeam, a Firefox plugin that visualizes which sites are tracking your browsing history and how those sites are connected.
For Apple, offering its new OS X Mavericks operating system to Mac users for free isn’t a new idea, but a return to an old one.
It’s pretty clear that wearables, whether they be made for the face or the wrist, are going to be the next big thing in hardware. According to The Wall Street Journal’s sources “familiar with the matter,” Microsoft doesn’t want to be late to the party, and is currently playing with prototypes of “web-connected eyewear similar to Google Glass.”