Marketing & Sales Office Administration Uncategorized

What Australia’s biggest telcos won’t tell small businesses

Written by Conor Donovan

The big players in Australia’s telecommunications industry are often small business owners’ default choice to provide their phone system. As a result, they often pay much more than they need to because they have been oversold a system that serves the telcos’ profitability models.

There is a great deal that the biggest telcos won’t tell you. But there’s nothing stopping you from switching – and it’s actually easier than ever with today’s Cloud phone technology.


They want to sell you last century’s technology

A Cloud phone system works through your broadband connection, rather than the phone lines. It not only works over the NBN, but future-proofs your business as new technologies are rolled out.

If your business expands or moves to a different location, changes to your phone service on the Cloud can be made instantly, avoiding the time and cost of a technician’s visit to move or install physical phone lines. The Cloud also allows your small business to have the same phone features as larger organisations, such as phone greetings or announcements and an auto-attendant.

Big telcos often prefer to sell you an expensive system using a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’.

Often this is last century’s technology – an ‘on-premises’ phone system that not only costs more initially, but also has higher ongoing costs. These systems require a significant hardware investment for equipment that handles your calls. For a small business, this also often means the latest features are out of reach, or are exorbitantly expensive to use.

On-premise PBX systems are often wrapped up in finance deals to seem attractive for the small business owner. However, these packages will cost you thousands more than you need to pay, and often not best-suited to your business needs.


Their recommendations aren’t always aligned to what best suits your business

Unless your business has a large space such as a manufacturing facility with many phone handsets and staff, but infrequent use of the phone, an on-premise PBX system isn’t likely to best meet your needs.

For smaller businesses, such as a legal practice where a lot of time is spent on the phone, a Cloud PBX is much better-suited. As the NBN rollout nears completion and business phone lines are cut off and shifted to the internet, Cloud technology can also protect your business from the unreliability of the NBN, by providing a simple 5G fallback service so your phones never go down even if your internet does.

But the big telcos won’t tell you this, because a Cloud phone system will often save your business thousands a year on phone costs.

With an on-premise system, you’re charged not only a higher initial hardware cost and ongoing line rental but many changes to your system’s configuration require a costly visit from a technician.

Cloud phone systems provide a nimble, cost-effective approach. Compared to an on-premise system, which can cost upwards of $10k, a Cloud phone system with five phones through a dedicated small business telco will only cost around $1,000 for the hardware, and approximately $100 a month in service fees with a dedicated small business provider.


Their poor after-sales support costs your business in productivity

Big telcos’ overseas call centres, long hold times, and problems that no one seems invested in resolving are among the most common complaints heard by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

Being unable to get through to a provider to report a fault, refusal to escalate a problem, lengthy delays to resolve issues, or providers simply not doing what they say they will, all cost your business. Loss of productivity and sales due to your phones not working will all add up as well.

Unfortunately though, many Australian small business owners have simply accepted this is just the way it is with telecommunications providers – but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Working with a specialist telco that only provides services to small businesses is a much easier and more cost-efficient idea. Just as your business forms a relationship with your accountant and lawyer, a telco that provides a personalised service, where you speak to the same people each time you call makes any issues much easier to resolve.


Just because you’re a shareholder in a large telco doesn’t mean going elsewhere affects your investment

Regardless of which telecommunications provider your business partners with, most of the infrastructure in Australia is still owned by Telstra.

You can actually have it both ways – a personalised, reliable service for your business phone system, while knowing that your shares are still buoyed by your use of the network.


You have a choice

The big telcos definitely do not want you to know this. Switching to a Cloud phone system that matches your business needs, saves you money, and keeps your existing numbers doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

All it takes is to partner with a specialist small business telco that provides a safe pair of hands to navigate the complexities, and is dedicated to providing what your business needs rather than selling you what will make them the most money.

Is it time you made the switch?


“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author


Conor Donovan

Conor Donovan is the Founder and Director of Comsource. He has grown Comsource to assist thousands of Australian businesses move from copper phone lines to VOIP and the NBN. Conor is committed to developing tailored solutions for SMEs into the future as technology evolves.