We recently registered with a voice over internet protocol provider at work. At first there were many doubts about the use of a technology that we thought was considerably young. Although in the age of technology it is quite old, since it was created in the mid 90’s. Still, there were many concerns about reliability and use. Previously, no one in the office was familiar with Voice Over Internet Protocol, which is often abbreviated to VoIP and is pronounced voyp.
Things were frustrating at first and we quickly learned that you shouldn’t have your VoIP tied to an unreliable internet connection. Also, we quickly discovered that using our VoIP to send faxes would be inconvenient. On top of that, we signed up with a service provider who didn’t help us much. One particularly disturbing incident was recently resolved. After a couple of months with our VoIP we noticed a discrepancy in our bill. We had signed up for automatic bill pay and when we looked at our bills we noticed that our monthly charges had increased from the original quote of $ 39.99 to almost double. When I called our provider, they explained that when we signed up, they had given us an additional “free” line. However, after a couple of months, the offer had expired and the second line was no longer free. What made the experience even more aggravating was the cancellation fee for the second line, which was something like $ 40.00. After speaking with the shy operator, who recognized my situation for what it was, a scam, he agreed to drop the cancellation fee. But we still had almost $ 100.00 in charges for that second line.
This experience left the business with a bitter taste in our corporate mouths. This was not so much due to VoIP, but to our VoIP provider. It was a shame that we didn’t do the necessary research to find a quality VoIP provider.
Throughout this experience, we made calls to other providers and quickly discovered that we had jumped the gun in selecting our voice over IP provider. These other companies seemed twice as friendly and a lot better deal overall. However, doing this research was like pouring salt into a wound that was already open.
When we select our provider, we simply take a look at the top three VoIP companies out there. After a brief comparison between companies, we made our decision. Part of the problem was that our decision was made in a hurry. This was because we were a new company and we needed a phone number quickly. Having a working phone where our customers could contact us was more important than a thorough investigation of voice over IP providers. On top of that, we had to make announcements and print business cards. A lot in business revolves around that phone number and we needed it fast. That hasty decision has cost us an additional $ 100.00 so far, plus the added stress associated with working with an inhospitable company.
I am writing all of this so that I can avoid the pitfalls that I found. During our frustrating time with our current VoIP provider, we discovered that there were many smaller businesses that sometimes offered more for less than we currently pay. If we had only done a small search, we could have made this discovery and avoided a major headache. I have written this warning to encourage you to seek out these smaller, lesser known providers.
Currently, things have improved a bit. But it still hurts to pay our supplier every month knowing that there are companies that are willing to provide the same service with a smile. We would cancel with our current VoIP provider, but they have forced us to live in fear. Fear of having to go through it all again. Canceling your service would not only incur a fee, it could also mean that we would have to go through the headache again. It’s the funky way I know, but it’s more convenient than the alternative.
Using voice over internet protocol has been great. We receive our voice messages in emails and phone calls can be routed to our cell phones if we have to go out. As for me, I wouldn’t want anything else in the office. I wish I had gone with another VoIP provider. The good news is that you still can, and even I can in a year or two. So do your research and find the right VoIP provider for you. You will not regret.