Reviewing the various summary tables in the front of your monthly bills will provide you with some
useful indications about your usage and spend, even total spend per connection, but in most
cases you will need the details of your fully itemised bill. The bill for a business with 50 connections
often runs to as many as 150 pages. It’s hard to see the wood for the trees: you would need
to review row upon row of data to find the reasons for incremental charges, whether from excess
UK data usage, international calls or roaming data charges.
One consequence of the ease with which businesses slip into a high tariff is that a shockingly
large number of SMEs are paying not merely over the odds, but massively so. An astonishing
49% of businesses pay not just more than they need but more than double what they need.
One likely reason for the higher prices paid by SMEs is that the network operators do not publish
all available tariffs for business customers, and what tariffs they publish are difficult to find and
even harder to compare. As an individual, you can browse phones and tariffs at the click of a
website; as a business customer, you have only a limited range of plan prices available online,
and the details get more sparse as the number of connections you require increases.
The business plans you can see on the operator’s website won’t necessarily include the cheapest
for your pattern of usage. Moreover, the plan details are often spread across many different
web pages and interleaved with information on the services offered, relevant and helpful in itself
but distracting if you are aiming to compare tariffs.
Only 7% of businesses are on the right contract
Billmonitor analysis shows that savings do not come from one simple and easy-to-learn trick, but from diverse and hard-to-predict sources.
For micro SMEs, some 69% of savings come from reducing the cost of tariff and bundles. For SMEs with 10 or more connections, some 49% of savings are from reducing tariff and bundles and 10% from increasing UK data allowances.
Reusing or terminating connections accounts for a further 19% of total savings. Businesses with international activities can save by optimising roaming bundles and through bundles for calling abroad.
In practice, savings are often interlinked. Nowadays all networks offer plans and tariffs that include
free international minutes or favourable roaming costs. These plans can provide great value for money, but should only be purchased for users who would really benefit.
The big savings come from negotiating the right contract, not switching networks
One measure of the relative importance of knowing what to ask for, against simply shopping
around, is that the majority of businesses can achieve savings of 42% by negotiating the right
contract with the current network, almost as much as the typical savings potential of 49%.
Switching networks adds no more than an extra seven percentage points.
Larger SMEs with tailored contracts still overpay substantially. Get your Alert today and start saving!