We see you have decided to switch from your regular landline to an IP phone solution! Well, that is a significant first step towards cost savings. While the average VOIP telephone isn’t that much different from a regular landline, some key differences distinguish them from other desk phones, especially in terms of cost-effectiveness.
For starters, the reduction in cost can come from a variety of factors, including the absence of expensive hardware requirements, hidden charges, service fees, monthly contracts, and high call charges.
With a VOIP phone service, call charges can be quite low for domestic calls and low priced per minute for long-distance calls. Whether you are a parent with a young family or are working in the IT industry, you would surely be looking for ways to cut costs on landlines. If that’s the case, a VOIP telephone can come in quite handy.
With that said, in this post, to help you understand further, we have provided a detailed explanation of everything you need to know about IP phones, including their billing procedure.
So, let’s get started.
How VOIP Calls are Charged
VOIP phones, also known as broadband phone, or IP telephone, provide you with a way of making phone calls without the use of a physical phone line. In simple terms, a VOIP call is made through the internet, rather than a mobile network or a regular landline.
The service portfolio for business phone service providers and home phone services can differ significantly. Households and individuals don’t need the attractive additional features required by businesses, so household VOIP call charges form the bulk of the monthly bill. On the other hand, business phone service providers utilize numerous approaches when it comes to call billing.
Below is a detailed comparison of the different billing process flow:
- For Consumers: The most popular billing model for consumers is quite similar to how service providers charge for landlines. For instance, the bill may consist of the monthly service charge, the limited number of minutes allotted, and the costs for any additional minutes consumed.
On the other hand, many VOIP plans include unlimited calls for domestic regions as well as long-distance places (for a few selected countries). So, if you have families who live abroad, you don’t have to worry about the number of minutes you consume for a call with them.
The international call rates and charges for such plans are quite cheap, compared to those of the landlines. Furthermore, VOIP vendors sell hardware to consumers for making phone calls. They don’t charge for actual calls made. You will pay a set amount for the VOIP box/adapter at the beginning of getting a connection, and all subsequent calls from that phone number are already paid for and included in that fixed rate. This is a type of unlimited call plan best suited for those who make a lot of calls daily.
- For Businesses: The business VOIP phone service and billing plans are different for enterprises. For starters, vendors apply two types of call charges— unlimited plan and pay-as-you-go. These plans are quite similar to the consumer billing plans but only on a larger scale as they are meant for business organizations.
The best plan to choose will depend entirely on the enterprise. For example, if your organization is small in size, pay-as-you-go plan(s) is preferable. For larger enterprises such as call centers, you may opt for unlimited plans instead.
Aside from this, a business VOIP phone service may also charge you on a per-seat basis; that is, the more number of users, the more you will have to pay. In this VOIP billing model, the total charges incurred will are based on the number of employees using the phone. Regardless of whether you use all its features or not; the bill will be generated based on the number of users.
Generally, the most basic yet lowest VOIP billing model is that which offers features in multiple tiers and doesn’t put a limit on the number of users.
#2 Call-Per-Minute Based
Some vendors charge based on call per minute. In simple terms, the charge is based on the average number of calls made during a specific time from the node to the destination.
#3 Actual Call Minutes Used
In this type of call billing, the charges are based on the exact number of minutes you used the service. For example, if you consumed 7 minutes and 45 seconds on a call, you will be billed for the cost of that duration and charged for every second you used the service.
Now that you understand how VOIP calls are charged let’s discuss the differences in the call rates.
Plan Subscription Analysis
When we talk about VOIP plans, there are usually a variety of options because different vendors have designed these plans to cater to the specific needs of different types of users.
The table below gives a quick plan subscription analysis of some of the top VOIP providers in the UK.
|VOIP Provider||Cheapest Plan |
|Most Expensive Plan |
NOTE: prices as stated on their website
How do VoIPTech Bill Customers?
With VoIPTech, call packages, services, phone systems, and plans are quite transparent. For instance, its subscription plans are 18p/minute cheaper than BT for standard peak rate UK geo calls. Whether it is your home or office, VoIPTech offers streamlined subscription plans.
VoIPTech’s most popular call packages include;
|Wave||£9.99 per month||Voice Mail, HD Voice, Full PBX Replacement, Hunt Groups|
|Communicator||£23.99 per month||Virtual Room, Desktop Sharing, Video Conferencing, Presence & Status, Instant Messaging, Office Features Plus|
|Call Centre Solutions||£75.00 per month||500 Landline Minutes, Blended Call Centre, 24-Month Contract, Hunt Groups & Queues|
What are the Different Payments Methods Available at VoIPTech?
VoIPTech offers four different types of payment methods. Depending on your plan and usage, you can choose from the following.
- Monthly. If you want a VOIP connection for home use and only need to make a few calls a day, you can choose to have a monthly subscription plan that charges you a fixed monthly rate based on your VOIP usage. You can either opt for a monthly fixed plan where you get a fixed set of features such as limited calls, minutes, etc., or an unlimited plan that generates your monthly bill based on your VOIP usage.
- Yearly. A yearly plan is best suited for businesses with enough employees. If you choose this plan, you will enjoy its benefits for a year.
- Call Volume Based. This type of payment method charges based on the number of calls made, both domestic and international.
- User-Based. As discussed, this type of payment method will depend on whether you are a consumer or an enterprise, and therefore, the payment will vary based on the usage.
Things to Look for When it Comes to Billing
If you are considering setting up a VOIP system at home or in your office, there are certain factors to consider when it comes to billing.
- Transparency in Rates. You would want the VOIP provider to send you bills with no hidden charges; that is, if a particular amount is included in the bill, you would want to know how it is calculated and for what services and features.
- Customer Service. Customer service is a crucial aspect of a VOIP billing system. When you have complaints or specific concerns regarding charges or additional fees, the customer service department is responsible for receiving your queries. In return, customer service should respond to your questions and solve your problem to maintain the transparency of billing.
- Call Quality. Last but not least, you need to consider whether you are getting your money’s worth. Assess if you are indeed getting the quality of service you are paying for. If not, you might want to consider a different service provider.
It is vital to choose a trusted service provider in the UK like VoIPTech for your VOIP phone systems. This not only ensures transparency in the billing system but the quality of the service as well. VoIPTech has been helping businesses in the UK to transition from traditional phone systems to unified communications solutions.
What are you waiting for? Get your VOIP system set up now and enjoy seamless domestic and international calls with no hidden charges and additional fees, only excellent service!