One of the most important benefits of switching from traditional telephone lines to SIP trunking for business is the simplicity of a predictable monthly fee for your communication costs. However, sadly, some vendors are less than straightforward about the total costs of their SIP trunking solution. (We outline our pricing structure in detail here.)
In order to avoid an unpleasant surprise, we suggest that you ask each of these questions of any SIP trunking provider you consider.
What Area is covered by Your Unlimited Plan?
SIP trunking providers often offer “unlimited” plans, that don’t include any per minute usage fees. That’s great, but most plans have some limit to the geography that is covered. SIP.US, for example includes coverage to the lower 48 states and most of Canada in our unlimited plan.
What are Your Monthly and Set up Fees for Direct Inward Dialing?
You will pay a monthly fee and a setup fee for each local, toll free and International DID that you require. SIP.US charges just $1.00 per month and a $1.00 set up fee for each local DID.
How much do you Charge to Port Phone Numbers?
If you are planning to keep your existing numbers when you transition to SIP, you should ask the vendor about the fee to move the numbers from the existing carrier.
What are Your International Rates?
If your business makes a lot of international calls or frequently dials to Alaska or Hawaii, be sure to ask about international rates. They do vary from vendor to vendor, so you’ll want to look for the best rates to the places you call.
What are the fees for e911?
“Nomadic” or e911 is an essential service that lets users select any address in the US to be the address transmitted to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the event a call is placed to 911. This is important because it ensures that emergency responders can find you fast. It is customary for SIP trunking providers to charge a fee for this service.
What about Taxes and Fees?
It’s been said that the only sure things are death and taxes. Sadly, we haven’t figured out how to get out of either one. All telecommunications providers are required to pay into the Federal Universal Services Fund, a program designed to ensure affordable telecommunications services for everyone, especially rural communities and low-income customers. These charges are passed through to customers in the form of a percentage of their monthly fee.
Are there any Other Fees that We Haven’t Discussed?
The questions above should take care of most normal fees, but we’ve had customers tell us about some odd ones, so it doesn’t hurt to make sure everything is covered.
If you understand the answers to all of these questions, you’ll be able to accurately estimate your initial and monthly costs. With the right partner, you should find them significantly lower than what you are paying yourlegacy carrier.