Anyone that has worked in telecommunications, or indeed anyone that has looked at a telephone bill, will know how confusing they can be. ISDN? Analogue? What is an ISP? Why do I pay so much more for a call to a mobile than another landline? Why am I being charged 20p when I hung up as soon as I got through to someone’s voicemail? And why oh why does it take 10 pages!?!
From hardened experience, there is a very simple reason why telephone bills, in the past especially although they are undoubtedly better now, have been so confusing… THE PROVIDERS SIMPLY DON’T WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THEM!
Understanding a bill means that you would know what you are paying outside of “headline rates”, which may include such attractive offers as…
FREE at evenings and weekends!
FREE line rental!
2p per minute to call any UK landline!
But did you know that free evening and weekend calls never includes calls to a mobile? And that FREE line rental, even though the “line” in questions all it does is carry your broadband signal, you will of course still be charged a fee from your ISP for the broadband service, even though your telephone provider (and they could well be the same company) is promising you free line rental. And 2p a minute to make a call is an OK rate, but what if you are being charged 10p as soon as you pick up the phone and get connected, even if you decide to put the phone down as soon as you hear a voicemail!
And if you ever complain all that will happen is that you will be pointed at the 10 page T&C’s you “agreed” to at the beginning of your contract, which of course made all of this abundantly clear… NOT!!
My point is whatever happened to transparency? Whatever happened to making it absolutely clear as to what people are signing up to at the point at which you sign up…
The same is also true for financial services, particularly as far as charges for taking payments from a PDQ machine are concerned. Lots of acronyms like PCI DSS, varying rates dependent on whether you are taking a payment from MasterCard Debit or Visa Premium service, and even charges for “transfer charges”!?! What is that I hear you ask? Well with good reason, because if you or anyone you know has ever seen that appear on a merchant services statement or bill, then that is simply the banks charging you for the privilege of moving money around in overseas money markets.
I think all of us know that there is a cost to doing business, and we are all prepared to pay for services if they add value to what we do, but please just make everything clear and transparent, and make sure that we are aware of everything the moment we sign up.
The Revolution reporting suite from NetPay shown in the image above will do exactly that. You can see what has been processed, on what card, and what it has cost you, on a daily basis. No hidden charges, just clarity and transparency.