You have worked for months to complete your telecom project. Sure, there were some bumps, but you were prepared. Before you put this project to bed and move onto your other piles of work, make sure to review these final questions. It requires a few more hours of work, but it can save you so much more time in the future if you don’t.
1. Are all your previous services disconnected? If you remained with the same carrier during the transition, don’t assume these disconnects are complete. Obtain written confirmation including dates when final billing should stop. If you switched providers, you MUST provide written notification to the previous carrier. NOTE: Many agreements require written notification at least 30 days in advance to stop the billing. It has been our experience customers often have paid for services months if not years after the expectation they were disconnected. It is very difficult to receive backdated credits in these circumstances, especially if you switched providers.
2. Have you reviewed the first set of billing? It is vital the first round of billing is compared closely to the final proposals and contracts. There are often prorated and installation charges that can skew the initial billing, but it is common for the first set of bills to have errors.
- Inaccurate service start dates
- Misapplied rates and contractual discounts
- Taxes for tax-exempt organizations
If the discrepancies are not too significant, it is recommended the bill is paid in full. Carriers track initial payments very closely with unpaid balances triggering service disruptions. Identifying these variances quickly eases the process for correction. It is also important to note many carriers have time frames in which no identification of errors results in customer acceptance of the charges.
3. Is your documentation updated? Modifying your internal resources while the project is still fresh in your mind is much easier than searching through your notes later when you are having issues. This documentation will also help to manage future change. Some critical areas include:
- Circuit ID’s and other vital information
- Carrier account numbers
- Expected monthly costs
- Critical telephone numbers and contacts
- Contract end date reminders
- Business Continuity plans
It is also highly recommended this information be shared with others. Although keeping it to yourself can help to maintain job security, there may be a day in which you wish to take an undisturbed vacation.
We understand there are other areas needing your attention, but a few hours successfully closing out a project can save you months of future time trying to resolve billing and service issues. Orion has worked with numerous customers calling us in to resolve issues pending for months if not years. This often results in an unneeded compromise to close out the issues.
So you are aware, these are all steps Orion includes in our project management solutions.