Five Reasons to Get Third Party Cellular Customer Service

How many times have you waited on hold with customer support? How many times have you recited an account number, re-explained your plan and information and generally wasted your time? How many times have you asked yourself if there’s a better way?

Well, there is a better way. That’s us, specifically the cellular customer service that comes with our cellular expense management services. We don’t just do the math to save you money. We want you to feel better about your cell phone plans, regardless of carrier. That’s why we feature dedicated customer support. Let’s look at five reasons why using us as a third party beats using standard carrier support.

We Fix Billing Errors: That’s part of our cellular expense management service, but it’s also a customer support issue. Have you ever tried to contest a suspicious bill with your provider? If so, you know how annoying it can be. We not only fix errors, but we find them for you in the first place.

We Know You: Tired of answering the same questions over and over again? Once you hire use to manage your cellular service you won’t have to. Our representatives get a chance to know you and don’t have to run you through a one-size-fits-all set of technical questions.

Multi-Carrier Support: You never have to call more than one number. We’ll deal with every carrier and service you use on your behalf. And since you’ll have a telecom expert dealing with carriers on your behalf, you don’t have to worry about calls being diverted or stalled.  We don’t allow it. If there’s a solution, we find it.

We Work for You – Not Them: Carrier-based support focuses on minimizing their cost. Our service focuses on getting you the best support. The difference is a simple and powerful one. We’ll pursue options like replacement handsets and service credits that carriers are reluctant to provide.

You Save Staff Time and Hassle: When your staff spends time on hold with a carrier that’s time they aren’t spending moving your business forward. Sign up with us and replace 20 minutes on hold (and then answering useless questions) with a five minute chat with someone who knows you, wants to help you and fights to get you the best deal. Which do you think is better for your business?

Did you know that you can get this at NO extra cost compared to what you’re paying now? As part of our telecom expense management services all of these benefits are part of a self-funded service. That means you only pay a portion of what you save – if you don’t save, you don’t pay. Get a free cost audit to start, and see how much better your savings and service can get.

Premium Message Charges

Premium Message Charges

Charges for Premium message can really add up on your Cell phone bill

These charges are often for text messages received that are a joke of the day, horoscope, or trivia questions.-Most people have signed up for these messages unknowingly when using their cell phone number as a contact number -Cell phone carriers charge upwards to $2.00 per message and your Cell phone carrier cannot stop them.

The only way to stop them from being received and charged is to reply to one of the messages with “STOP ALL”

The Palm Pre at Bell: Can It Take a Bite Out of the iPhone in Canada?

After debuting June 6th, 2009 in the US, anticipation for the Palm Pre in Canada has slowly built, but it’s still a modest level interest – nothing like the frenzy that accompanied the iPhone’s arrival. Palm has a lot riding on the Pre; the company lost ground when PDAs effectively went extinct in favor of smartphones, so the Pre is a last ditch grasp at relevancy. Early indications are that it’s a good phone – maybe even a great one – but in many ways it’s adding its own spin to features that are now so heavily identified with the iPhone that looking at a Pre’s touchscreen is almost an ad for the competition.

Nevertheless, business users who focus on function over form have been slower to adopt the iPhone, particularly in Canada, where Rogers’ punishing contract terms make it hard to justify within a company’s telecom expense management regime. Still, there’s a widespread desire for a “next level” phone that’s a cost-effective business tool and after the spotty performance of the Blackberry Storm (which some attribute to suboptimal touchscreen features) there’s still room for a phone to fill that gap.

Basically, it’s all in Bell Mobility’s hands. Canadians want an iPhone/Rogers competitor with a comparable product, but better plans. On the other hand, there are plenty of Canadian iPhone users despite the Rogers contract, and this may tempt Bell to provide less attractive, expensive cell phone plans. If the Pre comes with flexible, competitive pricing it could become a third pillar between the staid functionality of RIM Blackberries and the trendy but extravagant iPhone. If Bell just exploits contracts and SIM locking to the hilt, then it’ll be another also-ran in a smartphone race dominated by two giants.

The iPhone 3G S: Worth the Contract?

On June 8th 2009 Apple announced the latest version of their iPhone. This looks like another incremental change – more minor features and solved problems. Apple is obviously aiming to maintain the iPhone as one of the core smartphone configurations, so its design is basically the same. The improvements are good, but are they enough for a company to adopt iPhones despite their cellular expense management challenges?

The new iPhone supports tethering and MMS, comes with a better camera, battery and headphone included, and is a tougher unit. It’s faster; it features automatic field filling for web browsing. All in all, there isn’t much to make you go “wow.” Even the voice command feature isn’t unexpected, since it’s an emerging technology for other phones.

It’s easy to be dismissive, but combined, these improvements make the iPhone a tempting choice for anyone thinking of a smartphone, but for businesses, there’s a barrier: the contract. AT&T and Rogers in Canada have maintained their stranglehold over the iPhone. In Canada, Rogers has exploited its iPhone monopoly with particular gusto, charging far more than AT&T for cell phone plans with lower data caps. While there are ways to “jailbreak” the phone’s SIM lock and other restrictions this isn’t an appropriate solution for businesses. Inflexible contracts mean that even though the new iPhone could be a fantastic business smartphone it won’t be a cost-effective choice outside of fields where the phone’s trendy nature takes precedence over practical function.

There is one attractive aspect from a telecom expense management perspective: the 8GB 3G model has dropped to just $99 in the US. Rogers hasn’t followed suit, but may do so after Canadian release details come out.

Three Upcoming Cell Phone Technologies

CES 2009 is long gone but the technologies on display there still have a ways to go before they end up in your pocket. Many companies opt for upgrades and new procurement in the summer, so while tech reporters look into the future in January, office managers are more likely to have new technology in mind now. What’s coming up? How will it influence your telecom expense management? Let’s look at three upcoming technologies from that point of view.

Built in Projectors: Cell phone projectors have actually been on the market for a while. Until recently they’ve belonged to phones that were either a little on the chunky side or were primarily destined for Asian markets. LG demonstrated the technology this year, and it’s expected to roll out for broad consumer use by next year. Would this type of phone work in a corporate cell phone plan? Maybe. It may look like a toy for long car trips, but it has definite applications as a go-anywhere tool for presentations. The only drawback is that it will be a definite battery hog.

Netbook/Phone Convergence: Smartphones have eclipsed PDAs as the go-to mobile data tool and as time passes, they’re starting to embrace their role as computers, rather than just phones with extras. The iPhone and BlackBerry drove this paradigm shift, but mobile computing is also being served by netbooks. It seems inevitable that a hybrid device will soon become your standard companion for email, Web access and business data. Sony’s rolling out a new line of VAIO netbooks (netbooks are mini-notebook computers designed primarily for web surfing and basic office functions) with GSM capability. Will consumers opt for netbooks with phone features, or phones with netbook features? With movement in both directions it seems clear that a device with full featured cell phone and netbook capabilities will be offered by major carriers in a year or so.

If your company has mobile computing and cellular needs, this is going to be a major game changer when it comes to cellular expense management planning – and of course, every carrier will need robust wireless networks that can handle the bandwidth. Given the issues that have already come up with the iPhone’s heavy bandwidth use, this may be the one sticking point.

Wireless Charging: While the other technologies we’ve talked about will mature by next year, wireless charging looks like it will hit the mainstream now with the Palm Pre. One of this smartphone’s core accessories is a wireless power dock called the Touchstone. Just place the Pre on it and it will automatically begin charging. CES also featured demonstrations of the Powermat, which charges any device with a special adapter whenever you place it on the surface. Close range wireless power has actually been around for a century, but 100 years ago the average person wasn’t carrying a power hungry phone and media player around and the charging equipment wouldn’t have fit on a typical office desk.

Unlike the other two technologies in this article, wireless charging probably won’t have a direct impact on business, though it will probably provide some hidden savings by removing the nuisance of wires. In an office environment, this one is probably an executive perk – but given its elegance, it would be a welcome one.

Ontario Drivers Now Require Headsets for Car Phone Use – Mobile Fleets Need Headset Procurement

On April 22nd, 2009 Ontario’s Bill 118 passed into law. The bill requires drivers to use cell phones using hands free methods such as Bluetooth headsets. If you try to use your phone in one hand while driving you can face a $500 fine. If you cause an accident in the process, using your phone will be considered to be evidence against you in careless driving prosecutions.

The law doesn’t just apply to cell phones, but using any handheld device with a display screen in any context but hands free use. This includes iPods and many GPS devices. You can still use these if they’re in hands free mode, but even holding them without actively using them can get you in trouble.

Bill 118 follows a trend in several jurisdictions to crack down on distracting mobile device use. This may improve road safety but for many businesses, the whole point of a cellular phone fleet is to enable use on the road. As a result, companies that need this capability must upgrade to hands free tools like headsets, and cell phone plans that permit easy hands free use.

This is a definite cellular expense management issue. Your price per headset and modified plans could add a substantial amount to your costs unless you use a telecom expense management provider with expertise in both cell phone plans and cellular hardware procurement. Fortunately for us at GILL Technologies, we have always maintained a strong emphasis on both plans and hardware, so we’re able to outfit our clients’ employees with a complete hands free solution at reduced costs. Telecom cost audits aren’t just about plans – they’re about the total cost to use your handsets.

Even if you don’t live in Ontario you should consider upgrading your mobile fleet to hands free use. More and more jurisdictions in the US, Canada and beyond are passing similar laws, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that in the near future, laws like this will be the rule almost everywhere. Besides, these laws get passed for a reason: Hands free use on the road really is safer, and we encourage everyone to consider the option.

GILL Technologies Ready to Help Businesses Conform to New Ontario Cellular Laws

Telecom Consultants Ready after Bill 118 Makes Hands-Free Cell Phone Use Mandatory in Automobiles

Peterborough, ON, Canada: GILL Technologies (http://www.gill-technologies.com) announced that it has prepared the hardware and telecom expense management expertise to help businesses with mobile phone fleets conform to the Ontario Government’s Bill 118. The law makes it punishable by fine to hand operate cell phones and other electronic devices with screens while operating a motor vehicle. Hands free use is permitted however, which puts many businesses in the position of having to acquire headsets and voice activated functionality for employees who routinely communicate by cell phone while driving.

The Peterborough, Ontario and Tampa, Florida based telecommunications consulting company was prepared for the bill’s passage on April 22, 2009 before then, had already performed a preliminary analysis of how companies that needed to conform to the law would be affected. GILL Technologies predicts an upsurge in demand for Bluetooth headsets and rich voice activated features delivered through a combination of hardware and cellular services. Canada’s transition to 3G smartphones requires that voice activated features not only encompass traditional telephony, but the ability to browse email. The company has also made arrangements with select suppliers to provide Bluetooth headsets at a considerable cost savings.

“Corporate cellular customers outside of Ontario should understand that the growing trend to ban handheld use while driving is likely to affect them as well,” said GILL Technologies president George Gill. “We not only urge people with mobile fleets in Ontario to upgrade to hands free use, but advise that companies everywhere that expect communications on the road do the same. It’s not only forward looking, but safer – that’s why the law came into effect in the first place.”

Interested parties can request a free initial cost analysis from GILL Technologies by visiting http://www.gill-technologies.com, emailing info@gill-technologies.com or calling 877-507-6988 toll-free. GILL Technologies accepts clients from across Canada and the United States.

About GILL Technologies

Established in 2000, GILL Technologies provides a “Total Communication Solution” for businesses of all sizes. Clients range from small businesses simply looking to save on their communications costs to large enterprises that want comprehensive solutions. Over 3000 clients across North America bear witness to the effectiveness of GILL Technologies’ products and services.Find out more about GILL Technologies’ communications services through its no-risk, money saving Cost Auditing service at http://www.gill-technologies.com/CostAudit.php

Blackberry Takes Competition up a Notch with the App World

Blackberry opened its App World on April 1st, 2009, taking a leap into the kinds of personalized smartphone applications made popular by Apple’s iPhone. Now that competitors are rolling out touchscreen phones and people aren’t as dazzled by the style and technology, Apps are easily the most popular aspect of the iPhone. On the other hand, iPhone Apps tend to be more recreational than practical, in keeping with the phone’s popular image as a high tech toy. Blackberries have always been more business oriented. Will the App World reflect this?

Looking at App World’s featured Apps it looks like the initial rollout is designed to make new Blackberries full-featured internet devices. There are Apps for Facebook, AIM, Windows Live Messenger – all core internet applications. There are also news and entertainment media applications and even a few games, though these have a more serious focus than Apple counterparts. They’re the kinds of things that an executive wouldn’t mind being seen using during a break. They include business news, stress management games and tools to simplify travel.

The Blackberry’s serious image helps make it the first choice for enterprise-level smartphone procurement, and Research in Motion certainly little motive to change this, but there’s always the temptation of the wider consumer market, which models like the Curve have been steadily courting. Success will probably be found somewhere in between consumer fun and business utility because of the way people use company smartphones. The barriers between personal and business use are steadily eroding, as managers want employees to be constantly available, and employees want to use the phones they’re supposed to carry at all times for personal use.

For businesses though, the Blackberry still has one advantage: carrier flexibility. iPhones are wedded to exclusive plans in both Canada and the US, but every major carrier offers the Blackberry. This makes cellular expense management far more effective for the Blackberry. We can compare plans from multiple carriers using several metrics and find the best option for you – and with the App World, your on-call employees can get a few morale building applications, while you maintain total knowledge of their usage through our Tele-Watch Communications management software. They’re happier and you save money.

Rogers’ New CEO Symbolizes the Power of Wireless

Ending persistent speculation about whether it would be him or the late Ted Rogers’ son, Edward, Nadir Mohamed officially took over as CEO of Rogers Communications on March 31st, 2009. Mr. Mohamed isn’t a well-known figure to the public at large, but people in the telecommunications industry know him well. From 2000 to 2005, he led Rogers Wireless, taking it from an annual loss of $36 million to a steady increase in profit, to the point where Rogers Wireless now reports net earnings of over $1 billion a year.

You can debate how much of this was the result of Rogers’ (and Mohamed’s) ingenuity versus how much was pure market penetration but either way you look at it, the results are clear: Wireless has evolved from a troubled acquisition into perhaps the single most influential division of the entire corporation. This trend is mirrored in other companies. BCE CEO George Cope took the helm in 2008 after coming into the industry via Clearnet and Telus. Wireless experience is obviously one of the central prerequisites to seizing the helm of any communications company.

What does this mean for the average Canadian wireless consumer? The man in charge of Rogers is one of the architects of the Canadian cellular industry – both the good and bad parts. Under Nadir Mohamed, Rogers committed to the 3G technology that positioned it to be Canada’s exclusive iPhone carrier, but it’s also a fact that under his watch, Rogers Wireless developed a strategy based on expensive cell phone plans known for particularly conservative caps on data usage. Indeed, analysts have predicted a “stay the course” strategy, where Rogers continues to command premium prices for its exclusive products and services while expanding its capabilities to keep a distinct niche.

Will this policy stand up to future stresses? The recession and the results of the Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) auction will test Mr. Mohammed’s and Rogers’ position. If the former is the “short, sharp shock” that Canada’s government projects, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. On the other hand, new players powered by AWS acquisitions will have to compete with Rogers’ niche brands like Fido, but Rogers will have to deal with a customer base that it has alienated in several high profile incidents, such as its infamous iPhone rollout. New players in the industry will at least offer more choice, and that provides more opportunities for savings. So even if Rogers won’t change the policies that make it one of Canada’s pricier carriers, the future looks good for telecom expense management outcomes.

GILL Technologies on Twitter

We’ve finally made the leap to Twitter! Join GILL Technologies at http://twitter.com/GILL_Tech for daily updates on the telecommunications industry, telecom expense management, cell phone plans and services and other issues as we see them – along with anything else our official Twitterer thinks is relevant or interesting.

We’ve actually been aware of Twitter for some time. Our sister company GILL Media is a strategic internet marketing company that’s been researching and using Twitter for quite some time. In cost auditing and analysis, however, Twitter is not a tool, but a service we want interested clients to be able to use as inexpensively as possible. That’s why, for example, we covered the recent issues with Bell and Twitter.

Interested in telecom? Cell phones? Emerging communications technology? Add us – we’re always happy to meet someone new. If you have any questions about our company and its products or services, feel free to send them via Twitter and we’ll forward them to the appropriate department for reply. If your questions and comments are more than 140 characters, however, we recommend that you Contact us by our web form.