Mobile bill much bigger than expected? It’s time to take control…

Hey! You got a great deal on your company phone plan — smart new handsets, huge amounts of data and the connectivity to close deals on a yacht. Congratulations!

One month later, though, you’re opening your bill and staring in horror at the extra charges you’ve racked up. Somehow, you’re leaking money and judging by the look on your CFO’s face, someone’s head is going to roll.

If you’re familiar with this scenario, take comfort knowing it’s a common one. As much as 14% of business mobile costs are down to “bill shock,” an unexpected spike in a monthly bill that’s not related to a change in contract or service.

A high bill is never welcome, but there are some things you can do to lessen the burden.

What’s the reason for the billing shock?

For many businesses, the biggest cause of bill shock is simply that they have no idea how their bill is calculated, and what they’re being charged for calls, texts, voicemail and data.

If you’ve been with the same provider for years, it can be hard to keep track of what’s included in the plan and how this relates to your current business needs. You may be paying for services you weren’t aware you’d signed up for — or paying too much for “nice-to-haves” that really should be an everyday service for you.

More specifically, a higher-than-usual bill is usually down to unpleasant surprises like:

  • Roaming charges
  • Excess data
  • International calling
  • Premium usage
  • Digital content purchases

In theory, these are easy problems to resolve. If you’re being stung for excess data usage, for example, then all you need to do is identify the culprit and see what’s going on. Making a few simple changes like pre-installing information (maps, guides, hotel bookings) for offline viewing may be enough to avoid excess costs while travelling for business.

In practice, trying to decipher a phone bill is about as much fun as having sand in your underwear. Most bills are so confusing, it’s insane. Even with a personal phone bill, you’re given line after line of call records, text messages, picture messages, international minutes, surcharges, fees and more. And that’s just one phone.

With 50 users, it’s 50 times the handsets, 50 times the bill length — and 50 times the headache to read.

Ain’t no one got time for that.

Lifting the lid on mystery mobile phone charges

Exceeding your data allowance while roaming could be costing your business tens of thousands of pounds, unless you take steps to proactively flag the problem and put a monetary cap on usage.

Here at TFM, proactivity is exactly what we do. Every month, we take all your confusing bills, itemise the charges, and condense everything into an easy-to-read, two-page summary of all your mobile data such as:

  • Who’s using the most text
  • Who’s using the most data
  • Who’s making international and roaming calls, and how much this is costing
  • Which numbers your people are calling most frequently
  • Which users are costing the most money.

Our aim is to give you unprecedented insight into how your mobile plan is working. From there, you can take steps to optimise usage and get a game-changing control over your costs. For example, you might:

  • Turn off roaming for some users, or put a monetary cap on your usage
  • Rethink the staff policy on personal calls
  • Use apps such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams to call overseas rather than make expensive international calls on your plan
  • Encourage staff to us free Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi hotspots whenever possible
  • Educate users on what is, and what is not, proper usage – for example, saving anything that requires downloading or uploading a large amount of data for when they are using Wi-Fi
  • Block premium services such as 09 numbers where they are not covered by your plan, as these can be very expensive.

The options are as broad as they are long. But having all the right information at your fingertips makes it less likely you’ll miss a charge, and more likely you’ll formulate the right mobile policy for your needs.

Cleaning up the contract

One surprise bill may be an anomaly. But if there’s a pattern, it’s probably a sign that you need to move to a more appropriate tariff. The mobile market changes so rapidly and new packages and technologies are being brought in all the time. For instance, did you know that many business plans let you ‘pool’ allowances so you can share roaming data across devices?

Here at TFM, we understand that the plan that gave you value for money yesterday may not be keeping your bills in check today. That’s why we keep track of our client’s usage and review it every quarter, to make sure you’re always on a plan that works for you. We watch out for the deals that’ll save you money, which means you can plough those savings back into your business — making your finance department very happy!

Reduce the nasty bill shock

We’ve suggested that you really look at your bill to spot areas of use and overuse, and apply those insights to verify whether the mobile plan you’re currently on is the best plan for you. The benefit here is that you will be able to correct situations before they get out of control and make sure that you don’t have to worry about a massive bill each month.

If this seems like a giant headache, fret not: we can get you set up for success. Contact us today to speak to a mobile specialist and let us help you get rid of bill shock for good!