Looking for a way to get out of your business phone contract without fees or penalties? Here are some top tips from experts in the technology industry.
Can your business get out of your phone contract without penalties or fees?
If you’ve made the decision to cancel your business phone contract, you’re probably wondering how you can do it without penalization. Fortunately, there are many instances in which you can void your contract and even avoid penalties. On the other hand, every phone contract and telecom business is different, so getting out of your contract unscathed may require several attempts and some creative troubleshooting.
The Ultimate Guide to Getting Out of Your Business Phone Contract
First, it’s important to remember that nearly all business phone contracts are indeed official legal documents. In other words, getting out of one won’t be as easy as simply saying that you no longer want to honor the contract.
The good news is, there are some steps you can take to find your way out. Several IT specialists took the time to weigh in on this matter and provided the following tips.
#1 – Always thoroughly read the terms and conditions or SLA (service level agreement)
Nicholas Hess, CEO and Chairman of SureTec in Portland, OR, says, “I like reading the terms and looking at [the] SLA. Those are both really important.”
The service level agreement is extremely important, and you’ll definitely want to do an intense read of the entire thing (don’t just skim!). In some cases, the legal jargon may be difficult to understand. Either have a lawyer take a look at it, or just dig in and take it sentence by sentence. It’ll be worth it to better understand what sort of contract you have in the first place, and who knows — you might even be able to find a loophole that works for your particular situation.
#2 – Keep an eye out for out clauses and instances wherein your telecom company is breaking their end of the contract
Jason Simons, VP of the Houston Division of ICS Business Technology Services suggests that you, “Check their SLA agreement. If you are having problems, and they are breaking their SLA, then there are generally termination terms.”
These instances in which your telecom company may be breaking their own SLA are generally guaranteed to help you get out of a contract. There are also out clauses, which will vary according to the telecom companies but can help you get out of the contract also.
#3 – Consider dropping only part of your contract
In some situations, you may be able to drop part of your telecom contact, but not all of it. That is, specific channels of your telecom contact may be able to be negotiated.
For example, if you like your Internet but don’t like the phone services you’ve been provided with, you may be able to keep your Internet service and drop your phone lines. On the other hand, if you like the overall service you’ve been receiving, but you don’t require some of the extras you’ve been paying for, you may be able to pare down your contract overall.
These are all questions worth asking your telecom company.
In the same vein, Simons of ICS Business Technology Services, suggests that you might:
“Upgrade with your existing carrier. If you are happy with them, they will generally void one contract if you renew with another.”
#4 – Consider simply asking to get out of the contract
When all else fails, question your phone company. In many cases, they aren’t interested in forcing clients to stay in contracts they don’t want to be in, nor do they want to give a bad rap to their own company by causing a client to resent them.
SureTec’s Hess says:
“One other thing is to just ask. Often people don’t think to do it, but sometimes it works, especially with the mid-sized vendors. They’ll also typically be able to waive some of the exits fees if there are any.”
#5 – Talk to a managed service provider for assistance
Lastly, think about speaking to an MSP (managed service provider) for help with this matter. A professional MSP will be able to assess what services you are paying for that you don’t really need. They’ll also be able to provide you with useful replacement services and/or suggestions for even better telecom services. In some cases, they can negotiate on your behalf to get you out of a contract.
If you don’t yet work with an MSP, search for a reputable provider in your area. Managed service providers can assist you with numerous aspects of your company’s information technology.