Phone Systems Pricing Smoke and Mirrors

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Have you ever tried to get a quotation for changing your phones systems? It is like a game of cat and mouse. For mysterious reasons, sales people from telecommunications companies tend to sidestep questions. They launch into spiel about functionality or benefits until one is losing the will to live.

My boss wants to know how much it would be, no nonsense just the figures. But they don’t listen and ramble on about telecoms developments. They’re impervious to the fact that we only use phone systems for hold and transfer and don’t need every last detail.

Sure we’d love voicemail but otherwise it’s a case of how many lines and extensions. We have no ambition to learn about ACD, IVR, PMT or other silly acronyms. So why can’t they be upfront with the finances?

I have seen 7 reps from organisations specialising in phone systems and none of them was forthcoming. It has been a waste of my time and I still cannot explain why they do this. I theorise that it is all associated to an instruction to up-sell. If they can inform of a gizmo and we move that onto the requirement it is similar to a shoe shop selling polish.

It bore similarities to speaking to lawyers. They were consummate professionals at skirting the issues whilst continuously blowing smoke up your posterior. “You have a great business and it would be a shame to spoil it by not devoting sufficient focus on how your phone systems work,” said one. I have never heard such poppycock.

One potential supplier flat blank refused to reveal the capital value by proposing a lease and then referring to it as being X groats a week. His suggested term was seven years. Are they mad? I mean who in their right minds would commit to that long for Phone Systems which clearly date in a shorter period. I later learned that this was driven by their desire to stitch us up to a similarly lengthy maintenance contract.

With a little nudge from my superior I got around to thinking about how we acquire IT kit. We go to the internet of course! Here there is no gilding of the lily; the facts and the price are stated in a garish fashion. So it was Google to the rescue again. A quick search for Phone Systems unearthed a plethora of sites but again most of them were cagey about price-point.

I then searched for, "Phone Systems with 15 ports all supplied with individual voice mail boxes" which I accept was somewhat obscure but they were our requirements. That was it, BINGO, I had uncovered a plain English vendor who offered to supply and fit for 1700 complete with 15 handsets.

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