Here’s some common telco provider tricks used to squeeze all the margin out of you.

1) Big telcos will have enticing offers and deals for new customers, often being rather cheap, but these deals are not all they seem.

Telcos, big ones, especially, love to hide information from you. For example, take BT’s broadband-only deal for new customers: £25.95 excl. VAT. That’s a nice deal for business broadband, but here is where things get sneaky. This is a 24-month contract. That’s a long time to be locked into a supplier for. That’s not even mentioning a mid-contract price raise.

If you look hard enough, you can find 12-month contracts, and even monthly rolling contracts, but often times, you’ll need to use a smaller provider (such as Ballscoigne) to get access to these contract lengths.

2) Call Connection Charges

A call connection charge is a fee that’s added to your call charge whenever a call successfully connects. For example, you are charged £1 for a 5 minute call + an additional 20p call connection charge. These connection charges are made for every single successfully connected outbound call regardless of its length or whether or not it went to voicemail, so they will begin to form a significant portion of your monthly bill.

With VoIP being far more prevalent in the UK now, call connection charges are far less common than before, but there’s no reason to believe big telcos won’t just carry over their landline tariffs to VoIP to swindle unsuspecting customers.

If possible, look for a provider who doesn’t charge these connection fees, and you will save a lot of money by doing so.

3) Mid-Contract Price Raises

I mentioned this one earlier, but it’s so prolific that it needs its own section.

Raising the price of your tariff mid-contract is an excellent way for telcos to make back all the money they never got by giving you such a low introductory price. Some telcos will publish a full price list of their entire product range, so you might be able to see the “true” price your tariff may rise to in your contract (probably around £60).

This is one of the few times you are allowed to break your contract and leave early without being subject to pay a large fee, but the majority of business owners do not bother, and then end up paying high prices until they get a bad experience and leave.

Switching telco providers is one of the cheapest, easiest things to do as a business owner. The gaining provider (the supplier you move to) handles the switch for you, so all you need to do is update your router settings.

4) Make Pricing Confusing

It almost seems that big telco companies are doing everything they can to simultaneously give you all the information you could ever need about their products, and also make said information as difficult to find and interpret as humanly possible.

Nearly all the time, you’ll be able to see a telco’s pricing on the product page, but they will only show you pricing for what is most commonly asked about. If you want to search for a specific call rate for a country, best of luck navigating the mountain of irrelevant information just to find this one country. To get to it, you’ll need to look through eight deals you don’t have, a paragraph of text devoted to which specific hours weekends are, and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll only have to deal with one singular piece of information, as opposed to fifteen pieces of conflicting information.

If the provider you are looking at switching to has comprehensive yet digestible pricing information, then they are certainly one to keep in mind.

5) You Won’t Get Much More Than The Service Itself

It is understandable that big telecom providers wish to be seen as specialists in providing the service itself, and they make enough profit to where they do not need to branch out into other areas of IT, however, what if you need a more fleshed-out service?

A lot of smaller telcos, ourselves included, provide a multitude of communications services in additional to Internet access and phone service products. For example, we offer web hosting, anti-malware, SMS, and fax to email services. Other providers that bill themselves more as an MSP will offer to manage your network for you and provide the Internet access as a bonus.

So you see, the small telcos can provide you with a very diverse range of products and services you will want when running your own business, and some really good ones will even have just one web portal where you manage everything.

Small telecoms companies don’t tend to have the guts to try these tactics against you. A bad review can send them crashing down, and losing a customer isn’t worth the risk. Take advantage of these facts whilst the telco is still small and you’ll be in a lovely phase of reasonable costs for superb services. We’re in that stage too, so why not take advantage, and switch to Ballscoigne today?