Fair Use Policy: Why a Business Phone System with Unlimited Calling Isn't Really Unlimited?
There are two types of models when it comes to VoIP pricing, the first pay per user and the second pay usage. These two pricing structures can result in dramatically different price points. In this blog post, we will look at why unlimited minutes doesn’t really mean unlimited and why paying for a pool of minutes is a more cost-effective solution for your business.
4 min read
Aug 20, 2021
With so many VoIP providers on the market, choosing the best value can be confusing. The total cost depends on a number of factors such as setup costs, number of users, features, subscription package, and cost of hardware. When looking into a business phone plan, it is important that the provider is transparent and upfront with all costs, while some providers make their overall fees upfront and easy to understand, there are a number of companies that attempt to hide charges or terms and conditions in the fine print. Before signing a contract and onboarding with a provider, it is important to compare VoIP providers, familiarize yourself with their policy and taxes on phones service to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your business and are not caught out later on with additional fees and charges.
One of the most common tricks used by VoIP providers and the one we are going to explore today is that all you can use, unlimited phone plans will often have a limit. While the idea of unlimited may sound enticing, the fine print will often say that the unlimited phone plan has, in fact, got a cap. This cap will be outlined in a clause called a “Fair Use Policy”. A Fair Use Policy is designed to put a limit on unlimited plans to stop businesses from going over an allowance, set out by the VoIP provider. While the VoIP provider will advertise the plan as unlimited what it actually means, is that the customer will have to pay an additional fee if they go over the “limit”.
While typically, the unlimited usage cap can be quite accommodating, there is always a chance you will go over, and depending on the terms, it can end up costing your business significantly. In some cases, if the VoIP provider finds that the activity of the business is using over and beyond what they deem a typical customer to use, they can choose to suspend the account without notice, leaving your business without a phone line. In other cases, the Fair Usage terms and conditions will stipulate that the mobile application or web application can only be used on a certain number of devices, with the customer penalized for any additional logins.
The other catch with unlimited plans is that not all employees will need unlimited minutes, so the company will often pay for significantly more minutes than they need. Every organization is made up of multiple teams and various roles, with each sector having different phone needs. It is safe to say that typically a sales team will spend significantly more time on the phone than an accountant. A sales team may need up to 1,000 minutes per month, whereas the accountant or operations might not even reach 100, meaning that for a large portion of the company, those unlimited minutes are going to waste.
While to appear professional and cater to the needs of their customer, every business needs a reliable phone line, however, with the introduction of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WhatsApp Audio the need for large quantities of minutes is a thing of the past. Unlimited minutes also do not cater to seasonal businesses or those who fluctuate year on year. For many businesses, their month-to-month call usage can change significantly, and it can be incredible costly for them to continue to pay for unlimited minutes in an off-season.
Paying per user is an old business model that does not look after the consumer’s needs; why do you think it is often hard to find the total amount of minutes used on your bill? If we think about it logically, in order to be profitable and to cover the VoIP providers’ overhead, the per-user fee needs to be over what the average person would consume. As a result, the consumer will typically end up paying for more than what they need per user.
The alternative to unlimited pricing is usage-based pricing, this is where the cost is based upon consumption, only charging customers on what they use. Inperium is entering the market, passionate about challenging the current industry pricing standard and offering a more cost-effective solution for small to mid-sized businesses.
At Inperium Talk, we offer a model where each call comes out of the company’s pool of minutes, this model is designed to be more cost-effective for companies as, essentially, you only pay for what you use. We understand that your call volume may fluctuate seasonally, or annually which is why we offer the option to change our minutes month to month, giving you the flexibility to create a package that caters to your business’s unique needs. Pay as you go models allow you to both scales up and scale down without wasting resources.
VoIP solutions are cutting-edge technology that provides incredible business solutions for modern business; however, that doesn’t mean that they need to break the bank. Usage-based pricing offers a more cost-effective and flexible solution for businesses, offering customizable plans that allow them to only pay for the minutes that they need. Usage-based pricing makes it easier for businesses to upscale and downscale as they need, they are designed to cater to each business’s unique needs, making it easier and more affordable for businesses to operate.