Are you being ripped off when you buy business telecoms?

When setting up a business, you often find that there is a distinction made between the ordinary consumer version of a product and a dedicated ?business? version. Many business owners suspect this is just a way for suppliers to charge higher prices for the same product.

Business telecoms is one area where real differences exist. But what possible difference could there be between the phone you use at home and the one you have in your office or shop?

The main factor is time. All the time your business doesn?t have a working phone line, you will be losing money ? business telecoms providers are set up to make sure this doesn?t happen. Installations of business phone lines are therefore completed much more quickly than residential ones, often with some being completed within one to two weeks compared with up to two to three weeks for residential lines.

The same goes for faults and technical problems. Business phone line repairs are usually begun within two days, compared with several weeks for some residential problems. Business bill queries are also sorted out faster than residential ones. XLN Business Services provides business-only phone lines and a 24/7 phone line fault helpline, and faults are quickly managed. On average, most business telecom services like XLN guarantee to respond within hours rather than days. Major faults like a cable or exchange failure cut by contractors, flooding or fire do of course take longer to repair both for business and residential lines.

Cost is another factor. The differences in speed and flexibility contribute to the differences in prices between residential and business packages. Most telecoms providers simply do not allow a business to have a residential package because of the differences in expectation with regard to servicing the line.

A third factor is flexibility. Providers like XLN make it easy to turn on and off features like call barring, waiting and call return to make your life easier. In addition, businesses have constantly-changing circumstances, such as premises or a need for multiple phone lines. Business lines can change to grow with the business, which would be more difficult for a residential line. When your business does grow, XLN also provides a seamless upgrade path to more advanced products like our Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system which allows a small business to have the same features as a large business such as call menus, music on hold and multiple extensions. This allows your business to seem just as professional and organized as larger organizations, without the cost of buying an expensive piece of PBX hardware.

Since 2002 over 130,000 UK small businesses have taken advantage of telecoms deregulation to choose XLN as a lower cost provider for their business telephone and broadband.

When you switch to XLN, your telephone number and call quality will stay the same because XLN’s lines are maintained by BT engineers. XLN connections cost less because we pay a discounted wholesale rate and pass the savings on to you.

If your business spends more than ?40 per month on your business phone and broadband bill you could save hundreds of pounds every year by switching.

Christian Nellemann is CEO of XLN Business Services, provider of business phone lines, broadband, energy and card processing to 130,000 small businesses in the UK.

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