Telecommunication Billing – What the Phone Company Doesn’t Want You to Know
Communication is the lifeblood of business, and telecommunications are at the heart of all business communication. Companies know that they need reliable, quality service of sufficient capacity to handle their needs and they are often intrigued by the latest service or technology; but the billing structure remains a mystery to most. Telephone service is taken for granted at the same time that it is grossly misunderstood. And, while businesses have historically been at the mercy of a monopoly regardin MEPCO Consumer Bill Multan g phone service, the phone company has done a pretty good job of connecting businesses to their customers. The problem with former monopolies is that they continue to think and act like monopolies.
With quality and reliability issues fairly well resolved, businesses are focusing their attention on the cost of service. However, many companies rely on the phone company to advise them on the most cost effective services available and to insure that they are being billed properly. Others rely on their internal telecommunications personnel who were trained to think like the phone company. It is important to understand that in the course of trying to improve its bottom line, the phone company may not be looking for ways to help you reduce your phone service costs. Is it coincidence that 80% of billing errors favor the phone company?
In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created to regulate the interstate aspects of telecommunications. However, local phone service and in-state long distance issues were left to the states to regulate.
In 1975, in response to public outrage about soaring utility bills and a telephone company scandal, the State of Texas established the Public Utilities Commission to represent and protect the public interest in regard to public utility rates, operations, and services. The Public Utilities Commission regulates the phone company (and other utilities) through tariffs that define the operations of the utility, the services it can provide and the rates it is allowed to charge.
Until 1984, telecommunications was the exclusive domain of monopolies, though it was regulated in the State of Texas by the PUC. The monopoly was so tightly held that companies had a phone room in their own buildings that was off limits to everyone but the phone company. Many businesses did not even own their own phones.
After the breakup of AT&T in 1984, businesses had to take on some of the responsibility of managing their telecommunications internally. Businesses now had to acquire their own phone systems and integrate them with the available service from the regional Bell operating companies, who still maintained a monopoly on service. With no internal expertise available, the obvious answer was to hire former phone company employees to manage internal telecommunications issues.
As complicated as the technology was, billing for phone service was even more complicated. Though these former phone company employees were, in fact, technicians, businesses increasingly (and unfairly) relied upon these technicians to manage not only their telecommunications technology issues, but phone service billing issues as well. Ironically, it is often a company’s internal telecommunications experts that prevent a company from getting the best possible rates for the services they use.