The government and consumer groups did a lot of work on bill capping to help prevent bill shock and excess charging by mobile providers. While this is great news for home users, business contracts don’t benefit as much.
In theory, setting a cap on your monthly mobile bill makes perfect sense. You have a predictable outgoing each month, you’re warned when you are getting close to the limit and are usually sent reminder texts before you actually cross it. So what is it not a good idea for business?
The Resource Pool
On a typical business contract your free minutes and data allowance is pooled between all your users. Once your usage has been evaluated and a sensible allowance agreed upon, your staff can use their work phones as necessary to get the job done. That’s great in theory but as we know, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Depending on your business mobile contract terms, one or more of the following could happen:
Your phones lose access to free minutes and calls for the rest of the billing period – Once the included data or minutes have been used, you’re paying for the rest. Depending on your contract, you could be restricted to emergency use only, charged for data and minutes at exorbitant rates or have to arrange a bolt-on to add more. Between using up your allowance and arranging more, you could be losing business!
You are charged over the odds for calls and data – This is a very popular ploy by some mobile providers. They offer very reasonable contract allowances but will charge through the nose for all extras. We have worked with many clients who have suffered this type of treatment. Until they came to Excalibur anyway!
A witch hunt begins to find the culprit – Unless your bill shows individual data or call usage, you won’t know who is using up all your data or for what. It’s now up to you to find out who is using the phone for personal use or what app is consuming too much data.
You have to ask employees to use the phone less – In a modern workplace, staff live and work on their phones. Limiting that in any way not only impacts your reputation with your employees, it could also impact how customers see you. Not something a dynamic business needs.
So what is the answer to mobile bill caps?
In certain circumstances, bill caps work. For sole traders and small businesses with very limited resources they are an essential control on spending. For all other businesses it is much better to have a mobile phone contract that includes sensible allowances coupled with very reasonable costs when you have used up your allowance.
Your employees are free to use their phones to do business and you never need miss a call or a prospect again. Alongside training and transparent fair use policies, it is much better to have an inclusive business mobile contract rather than one that risks you having to stop using your phones for days on end.
If that sounds like a better solution than capping, talk to Excalibur about our preferential contract rates…