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Has the age of single billing utilities come to pass?

Dec 18, 2018

For the last decade ever since carriers worked out that they were leaving opportunities on the table and that multiple product suites makes a client much more sticky to stay with the one provider, the advantages of single bill has been spoon fed to clients. This has been taken to such extremes that it sometimes has newer sales people at a loss how to combat that objection, out of pure habit rather than true client benefit. Sure there is some ease and convenience, but that seems to be much lower on the value scale these days.
This is why we are seeing this trend is now fast reversing, clients are a lot more communication savvy, and NBN has put smaller operators on a more level playing field with the bigger providers.
Some of the reasoning we have noted from Loanezi clientele which might be of use:
1.    Clients know what they want and what service levels they require and that is why they prefer to select expert suppliers across each aspect of the business needs
2.   Carriage and equipment is not the same budget item for most businesses
3.   Having equipment such as a phone system separated from a provider gives the client the freedom to change providers and capitalise on fast moving utility plan changes
4.   For IT teams that has budget constraints, equipment is an asset, whereas call costs is running expenses.
5.   As often seen, issues with carriers that leads to bill disputes become very problematic to resolve if equipment charges form part of the bill, and even clients prefer having these well separated to allow easier dispute resolution
6.   Government initiatives such as the new $20,000 grant for small businesses do not get utilised properly if phone systems get single billed with call costs.
To be fair it must be added that Carriers have also started realising that there are some great advantages for both the client and the carriers to not have equipment single billed. When they single billed, it can make problem solving more difficult as isolating the issue is not as easy. Often client want to place a bill or payment on hold while they resolve issues, and this is quite problematic when there are multiple products on the one bill. Having the equipment billed on the one account also means that this may tie the carrier into sharing the liability of that equipment finance over the term.
There are assuredly room for both options, but the business community is increasingly moving towards simplifying their accounting and that means separating call and data operation charges from equipment.

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