Horror stories are all too common when dealing with telcos. It all starts out the same—you google the cheapest 1800 number service and it comes with all the bells and whistles. It seems good enough, so you call, and the salesperson persuades you to give in.

But everything unravels the moment you sign up—your service doesn’t work as promised, your bill comes with lots of bloated charges, and it takes forever to get a real person when you call customer support. Next thing you know, you can’t take your number with you or switch carriers for another two years.

Avoiding the trap

Doing business is all about knowing how to work with what you have and getting the most out of it. That also means working with whatever budget you have and getting the best tools for your needs. Yes, price is important. But instead of looking for cheap 1800 numbers, look at it from a different point of view and search for an inbound number service that offers the best value instead. Here are a few tips you can use to avoid falling for the same tricks.

Focus your search by identifying what you need

Freebies and add-ons are good to have, but don’t let them distract you from what you were looking for in the first place. Have a clear understanding of what you want your business number to do, and focus your search on that.

Where do most of your calls come from? What type of phone do your customers use to call you? Are you a light, moderate, or heavy phone user? Ask yourself these questions to find out what type of service will work best with your needs.

Look at both value and price

The cost of an 1800 number hosting service can be categorised into three—the cost of the number itself, a flat monthly service fee, and individual call charges. By focusing on all three, instead of just the monthly fee, you can get a better idea of how much you will be paying per month.

Most carriers offer free random numbers with their service if memorability is not a priority. If you prefer a number with high recall, a Smartnumber is a better option. Unlike cheap 1800 numbers, these are high in demand. The price will depend on how memorable or popular the number is.

Buying vs. leasing a number

Beware of carriers and phoneword companies that will offer to lease you a number. Between buying and renting a number, you have more to lose if you choose the latter. Since you won’t own the rights of use to the number, your provider can hike up your rates anytime.

When this happens, you’d have to get a new number and your competitor can end up leasing your old number. Buying your 1800 number ensures that your number stays yours for the entire life of your business as long as you keep it active.

Know what goes into your monthly bill

How does a cheap 1800 number hosting service make up the difference? They do it through tricky fees added on top of your basic monthly and usage fees. Watch out for any call connection or flagfall charges that go up as the volume of your calls increase.

Another thing you should watch out for are minimum monthly spend requirements. If you’re a light user, you’ll be forced to pay more for something you barely use. Give a lot of thought on how usage fees will affect your monthly bill. It may be better to upgrade to a higher plan with lower call rates if you’re a heavy user.

What else comes with your service?

Once you’ve got the basic service figured out, explore what else you can do with your 1800 number. Basic routing features like Australia-wide, state-based, and standard time & day based routing should be included at no cost. You should also have the option to use complex routing configurations at affordable costs.

Customer support is an important feature that you shouldn’t overlook. Make it a point to ask other entrepreneurs what their experience is with the carrier and how well they handle service issues. It’s good to have a web management tool where you can track your usage, view bills, request changes, and get free call data reports.

Getting it right the first time

The best way to avoid telco traps is to work with a trusted inbound number specialist like 1800 Numbers Australia. Instead of offering you the cheapest 1800 number service, we’ll give you the best value 1800 number service.

Our business consultants can help you find the right number and a plan that fits all your needs. If you’ve already fallen into the trap, it’s not too late to turn things around. You can still transfer your number to us. Just give us a call at 1800 900 991 or visit our official website at www.1800numbersaustralia.com.au.