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Essential Questions to Ask Before Purchasing VoIP Services

Posted August 24, 2015

There are many VoIP providers today that offer Hosted VoIP solutions. It would be handy to shop based on price per seat and available features. But if you base your decision primarily on these factors, you may be in for a surprise.

In this post, we share some questions you can ask to get a true apples-to-apples comparison.

Take pricing, for example. Did you know that most VoIP service providers require customers to sign a contract for a minimum number of seats and/or pay for 12 months up front in order to secure the lowest advertised price? The same minimum purchase is often required to secure any advertised satisfaction guarantee and even to access around-the-clock customer support.

Essential Questions to Ask Before Purchasing VoIP Services

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1. What kind of business phone service guarantees do you provide?

Did you know that most business VoIP providers deliver their phone service on a “best effort” basis? In case of an outage, you could be stuck without a VoIP phone system for an hour, a day, a week, or longer. Imagine the high cost to your business.

MegaPath offers service uptime guarantees backed by service credits when Hosted VoIP (Hosted PBX) is purchased with certain MegaPath provided access circuits. This means that if your small business phone system has an outage caused by our voice network, we’ll give you credit on next month’s bill. That’s something many VoIP service providers just can’t match.

2. How reliable is your business VoIP network?

MegaPath’s voice network reliability regularly exceeds 99.999%, among the best in the industry! The MegaPath communications network is designed so that the number of failovers does not result in an outage. If a device fails, there is always another device ready to take over. Any faulty device is recovered or replaced immediately. For comparison purposes:

  • Five nines (99.999% uptime) equates to less than 5.26 minutes of downtime per year.
  • Three nines (99.9% uptime) equals 4.38 hours of downtime per year.

If your business can’t afford to have such outages, look closely at the provider’s voice network availability before you buy.

3. Where is your customer service and technical support located?

If a voice provider promises US-based support, read the fine print because they may offer US-based support only during certain hours and/or to a certain subset of customers (e.g., those with a minimum number of users). MegaPath’s Hosted PBX Support is 100% US-based and available 24/7/365. Our voice implementation, support, and engineering teams are co-located in Virginia, Colorado and Washington to ensure synergies throughout your deployment and future support needs.

These are my top three questions to get you started on your Hosted VoIP provider evaluation. It’s advisable to consider a broad range of factors when you evaluate a service provider, which is why MegaPath put together a helpful guide to evaluating VoIP service providers.

I invite you to download our white paper 13 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Hosted VoIP Service Providers. In this white paper, you’ll find advice on how to find a service that will meet your needs and a provider that will serve your interests.


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