Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the telecom companies are purposely trying to confuse you — what with all those discounts, added charges, and ambiguous nomenclature found in your invoices?
At the very least, they clearly don’t mind that their invoices are confusing because the reality is that few companies have done anything about cleaning up invoices and making them easy to read.
If you’re nodding your head right now, know that you’re not alone.
In fact, we had a customer just the other day who mentioned to us how much they appreciated our invoice. It was the VP of IT who has to do a basic checks and balances of the invoices before he approves them. His comment was: “They are just so easy to read, which I really appreciate.”
The fact is, most of the telecom providers have invoicing systems that are at least 20 years old.
Why don’t they get with times already?
Because it’s a massive undertaking for them to move customers from one invoicing system to another. When you add that to all the consolidation that happens in this industry, it’s no wonder that invoices are going to get screwed up in the process.
So what can you do to stop the confusion and simply your invoice?
Well, for starters, there are plenty of providers that can assist by creating a portal and pulling out the critical data needed to simplify and approve your invoices.
Beware though: these companies aren’t inexpensive and often charge in the 2-8% range in order to make heads or tails of your monthly telecom expenses.
(Here at EnableIP, we’ve worked with a few of these companies in the past and would be happy to provide references. Simply contact us and ask.)
Another option is going it alone.
You can build spreadsheets and go line item by line item every month for every bill. If you have 50 or more invoices, this is likely a full-time job. And with the software options available, it’s probably not the most efficient option.
Don’t worry, there’s good news (we know you’ve been waiting for it)!
In none of the options so far seems right, maybe it’s time to consider finding a provider that simplifies your invoice and uses your site naming conventions. Of course, we’re talking about a customized invoice.
EnableIP is among a small group of boutique carriers out there today that is happy to give you the invoice “your way.” When reaching out to one of these boutique carriers, consider questions like:
- How would you like your sites named?
- Do you need cost centers or site names, or both?
- Do you want a portal for downloading, online bill payment, etc?
If you’ve ever had to work through getting invoice credits with any of the majors, you know what a nightmare invoicing and billing can be. With a little preparation and discussion, a good bit of this confusion can be avoided.