You don’t need to sign a term contract for your phone service! Simply put, traditional business telephone providers want to lock you in, and term contracts in exchange for something is how they do it. It’s all about creating a guaranteed return on their marketing and sales investment.
Examples of methods utilized to coerce you into signing term agreements are:
1. Special promotional or advertised pricing is only available with a term agreement
2. Up-front installation or other “activation” fees are not waived without a term agreement
Once you’ve signed a term agreement with your phone service provider, you pay penalties for early termination and service downgrades. Additionally, you may face auto-renewal notice requirements that, if missed, can lock you in for another year or longer. Finally, many of these contracts don’t provide you with price protection. Check the fine print to see if the rates are subject to change without notice.
If you are in a contract or are contemplating moving forward with one, be sure to ask for the terms and conditions. Many times these contracts are essentially a sales order that references terms and conditions in an obscure or difficult to find location on the phone service provider's website! This is where you'll find the auto renewal provisions, rate change provisions and other n0t-so-customer-friendly terms. If you signed a contract, you may find that you've already been subject to an auto renewal based upon the notice you are required to give if you are not planning on renewing.
There are business phone providers out there who are willing to earn your business every day without the protection of a term contract. At sipVine, we believe that our advertised or current price schedule should be uniformly applied and available to everyone who wants to use our service. We also stand on the principle that customers deserve the right to change providers if the service does not meet their expectations. It may not be a standard business practice for the telecom industry, but it is a fundamental way of doing business for sipVine.
So, as you are evaluating a change in your phone providers, suggest that you can receive advertised prices without signing a contract with other providers and see if the providers will match that understanding. If not, call us!