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expensive telephone lease contracts

expensive telephone lease contracts

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Dear Sirs

Have any of your members had to deal with frustrated clients who have found themselves signed up to contracts ranging from 3-7 years with oddly named telephone companies some of which do not last very long before being wound up or changing their name and/or selling the finance agreement on to another finance company.

This for a very expensive telephone system wholly inappropriate to the size of the SME, the earth promised in call cost reductions which turn out to be not quite what they seem. Very pushy salesman seem to be able to get erstwhile very level headed business people to sign on the dotted line.

The other caveat emptor is in the telephone BT Business Plan contract where it is very important to understand what you are letting your business in for.with minimum annual call costs not total billing.

Other members' experiences would be very welcome...
John Huggins

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By Stewart Twynham
17th Dec 2004 22:09

Rings a bell (no pun intended!!)

Yes... in advising a few clients I have come across a number of "we are the UK's leading / fastest growing / best" type phone companies offering seemingly great deals, and I was recently asked to sit in on one such meeting.

This was a "we can reduce your call costs so much that it will fund a replacement phone system" type of deal. The trouble was:

1) It was a 7 year lease agreement!!

2) The phone system was actually less well specified than the one that was already in place (the bullet points of the presentation included unheard of features such as being able to transfer calls between extentions and Direct Dial In!). The car has doors, windows AND a steering wheel...

3) They were extremely cagey about the exact details of the call charges and savings

4) The salesman's knowledge of phone systems was non-existant (this only encourages me to discuss in depth the more subtle differences between the older DASS vs I.421 ISDN30 standards...)

The final nail in the coffin (if one was needed) came when I sat down with the client and we did the maths against an alternative telecoms supplier that I had worked with for many years. They were able to save the client so much on call charges that (a better) replacement phone system could have been funded outright in just 11 months...

I would agree with you... be careful what you sign!!

Stewart Twynham
[email protected]

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