Call for savings Featured

8:00pm EDT April 29, 2002
 The phone bill seems like an innocuous document that arrives at your business every month.

But sometimes hidden in the minutes used, taxes and special fees are mistakes the phone company made that could cost your business money.

"We find that in nearly all cases, businesses can save 10 to 40 percent just on a monthly basis," says Brad Clark, president of SpyGlass Technology Advisors, a telecom and technology consulting firm. "It's money they've overpaid over the term of the contract."

SpyGlass performs audits on a contingency basis, and collects only if it finds errors.

"It allows a customer for no money at all to give us a couple of years of telephone bills for voice, data and Internet services and run an audit," says Clark. "We compare the bills with the tariff rate of the phone company. We make sure the business was billed properly and make sure they haven't been charged fees for services they don't have."

So how do mistakes happen? Most stem from the complexity of the telecom laws.

"Telephone tariffs are incredibly complex animals," says Clark. "Generally, a tariff that a customer signs up for services under is rarely what actually gets billed to the client. It's not malicious on the part of the phone companies, just human error."

Each telephone line and service has a code assigned to it. If the code is entered wrong or is never communicated to the right people within the phone company, the billing is wrong. Discounts don't get applied properly, if at all, and installation fees that were supposed to be waived are added to the bill.

"Even when you have a full staff of accounts payable people, few are trained on telephone tariffs," says Clark. "When the bill comes in, it's often given to the IT department, but those folks aren't trained to make sure the tariff is correct. So the bill gets blindly approved and paid."

An audit makes the most sense for companies spending $2,500 or more per month on telecom services, including Internet access. SpyGlass typically collects about half of any overcharges refunded by the phone company. How to reach: SpyGlass Technology Advisors, (440) 716-3403