Have you ever agreed a price for a service that ended up costing more than you were first quoted? Is your telecoms bill is higher than you thought it would be? Or perhaps you have bought a telecoms package thinking it included everything you needed, only to find that you needed to purchase the handsets separately?
As a NASBM approved telecoms supplier, we understand how important it is for schools to stay within budget. We have been serving schools for over 28 years, and in that time we've heard all the horror stories!
Here we share some of the most common (and ludicrous!) hidden costs our customers have told us about over the years. We hope that this helps you to avoid the same fate!
We helped each of these customers to overcome these surprises and we'd be delighted to help you too.
Hiding installation and maintenance costs
Before you sign on the dotted line, check that your supplier's quote includes maintenance costs.
Some providers charge extra for maintenance or only include it for the first year. We guarantee to maintain your phone system for 10 years. Will your supplier match this commitment?
You should also check for any hidden installation costs. Is there a separate fee for installation? If your new provider finds a fault on the line during installation, will they charge you to fix it?
If your lines need upgrading, will there be an extra charge which isn't on the original quote?
Not sharing the cost of equipment
Check that your quote includes all the equipment you'll need. Including handsets...
We couldn't believe it when our customers told us about this one, but sadly it's true! Some telecoms providers will quote a price and then add on the cost of new handsets later.
With Dataphone, our quotes are crystal clear about what is and isn't included. And, just to be clear, the handsets are absolutely part of your quote!
Limited calls and minutes bundles
Have you been quoted a fixed price for calls? Check that it is unlimited - some providers say that all calls are included but are only talking about landlines.
How many of the parents in your school give you their landline number? If your calls bundle doesn't include calls to mobiles, then that's a significant extra cost that you'll be facing.
Others suppliers often give a limited number of minutes to mobiles rather than unlimited calls to UK local, national and mobile numbers. With Dataphone, all calls are included in your unlimited package.
Some of the worst cases of over charging we've heard about from our customers were exactly that - over charging. Sadly some providers will simply chance their arm and quote their highest price.
Shop around to make sure you're getting a fair price for the service you are buying, and ask each supplier if there is anything they can do to lower the cost further.
One school business manager who questioned the quote she had been given found that it was instantly 50% lower than the first one! At Dataphone, we have your best interests at heart and we give you the best price we possibly can - from the start!
Undercharging and adding costs later
If you've been quoted a price that feels like it's too good to be true, the chances are that there's a hidden cost. If the quote isn't detailed, this is even more likely.
See if your provider will give a detailed on-site quote to give you the peace of mind that there won't be any surprises later down the line.
At Dataphone, what we quote is what you get. We will always quote the most fair and inclusive price we can to ensure that each project is completed within your budget. We recently surveyed 100 schools and they all confirmed that their Dataphone installations were completed within the agreed cost. Can your school's telecoms supplier say the same?