30 Dec Are you being over-charged for your Business Phone System?
When receiving your monthly phone bill, don’t you hate seeing taxes and fees that you don’t understand? Even when given an explanation of the fees it still doesn’t make sense why they fluctuate on your bill every month. This makes it very difficult to budget monthly expenses when your bill isn’t consistent.
Although this is very aggravating, are you sure you’re not being dinged over and over again by your business phone system provider?
This can make it difficult to understand and compare multiple business phone provider prices because in most cases you won’t know what your actual monthly cost is until you receive your first invoice, right? Wrong! Not with Carolina Digital Phone.
Our phone quotes are 100% transparent on pricing and the quote includes everything! You can count on your monthly bill being the exact same price listed on your quote every single month unless YOU make a change to your account. You will not see ANY additional charges, unexpected or hidden fees, on your bill, ever!
There is a very good chance that you’re currently paying extra fees, taxes and usage charges every month — and have been for years. In fact, this is so widespread that the FCC has given it a term: bill cramming. Here is what the FCC says:
“Deception is the hallmark of cramming. Crammers often rely on confusing telephone bills to trick consumers into paying for services they did not authorize or receive, or that cost more than the consumer was led to believe.”
The Usual Suspects
While various business phone system vendors have bills that look different — some are longer, others are shorter — vendors that secretly ding their customers typically do so through the following line items (note that the following may be called something different on your business’s monthly bill, but it’s basically the same thing):
“Regulatory Recovery Fee”
Regulated by whom? Recovering what? These are questions that your vendor hopes and expects that customers like you won’t demand a clear, honest and verifiable answer to — because there aren’t any. Vendors that charge a regulatory recovery fee (or they might call it something similar) are taking your money and putting it into their pocket.
“Regulatory, Compliance and Intellectual Property Fee”
This sure sounds important and required, but it’s neither. Why should you pay for a vendor to behave in accordance with regulations, remain compliant, and acquire/protect intellectual property?! These costs should be borne by the vendor — not by customers!
“Federal Universal Service Fund (USF)”
The FCC uses USF contributions to fund things like rural bandwidth deployment, and providing internet service to disadvantaged/under-served communities, schools, libraries and so on. That’s the good part. The bad part is that vendors are not required to pass this fee along to their customers —but most of them do. We, however, do not.
“County and State Sales Tax”
Speaking of the government, did you know that VOIP vendors do not — we repeat, do not — need to charge county or state sales tax on monthly fees? In Greensboro, NC, this is a minimum of 6.75% that you are unnecessarily paying each month. Depending on the amount of your bill, this could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year in fees that you shouldn’t be paying.
“North Carolina Telecommunications Sales Tax”
This is a real tax (if you operate your business in another state, then it will likely be called [State] Telecommunication Sales Tax on your bill). However, there is no mandate at all that says vendors must pass this tax on to their customers. We certainly don’t — but we know that most others do.
Do you have a “miscellaneous” drawer in your basement or workshop, where you put stuff that doesn’t go anywhere else? Well, some vendors have a “miscellaneous fees” line item that is a pure cash grab, plain and simple.
OK, we need to change the discussion a bit for this line item. E911 taxes ARE legitimate and should appear on an invoice and in a new service quote, because they are passed along and used to fund E911 services at the state and local level. The problem is some vendors charge much more for E911 than they should — and customers pay it, without knowing they’re being gouged. For example, at Carolina Digital Phone we charge the minimal $1.50 per month for E911. We have seen some other business phone providers that charge as much as 300-500% more! Of course, this isn’t because it costs them more to provide E911 services. It’s because they can boost their profit.
“E911 and Information Services Fee”
What does it mean if you see something like E911 and Information Service fees on your bill, in addition to the E911 tax? Yes, you guessed it: it means that your vendor is dinging you for something that you 100% are not required to pay. The money that the vendor collects does NOT go to support state or local E911 services. It goes to support the vendor’s profit.
“Regulatory Recovery Fee”
This fee is used to recover direct costs borne by vendors for complying with FCC regulations, like paying for lawyers, filling out forms, and so on. It sounds like its government-mandated, but of course it’s not. It’s 100% up to vendors whether they pay for these recovery costs themselves, or pass it along to their customers — and make a nice profit as well.
The Bottom Line
At Carolina Digital Phone, we don’t engage in “bill cramming.” Our pricing is transparent, consistent and most importantly, completely legitimate. We do NOT charge any hidden/extra fees or sales tax. For many of our customers, this alone saves them thousands of dollars a year — and that is in addition to how much they save with our hosted phone system. For example, we provide unlimited usage and 150+ enterprise-grade features and a free mobile app for as little as $20/month per user. Some other vendors charge $50/month or more, plus they tack on all kinds of unnecessary fees. Some of them even charge for features, which is like buying a car and being told that you have to pay more to use the windshield wipers or turn on the air conditioner!
Want to see how much your business will save with Carolina Digital Phone? Contact us today for your free no risk and no obligation consultation. If you wish, we will go over your existing bill line-by-line to help you clearly understand EXACTLY what you’re being charged — and whether you are paying more than you should!
Call us at (336) 544-4000 or chat with us during business hours by clicking the chat icon on the bottom of your screen. We are a local Greensboro, North Carolina-based business with over 100 5-star reviews!