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How does your organization manage cell phones?

By geekchic ·
I am required to carry a cell phone and it is currently paid for by the department. We are looking at different ways to control costs as some of our users tend to "go way over" their allowed minutes and it has become a problem. If it were for "work purposes" that would be ok but it is usually caused by "personl calls".

We are looking at possibly allowing a certain amount of money in each person's paycheck to pay for a phone of their own and if they exceed their minutes it is their problem. Of course we all have those months where something breaks and everything turns into techno **** for about 6 hours and that would still be covered by the department.

Are you required to carry a cell phone? Does your organization pay for it or do you? If you pay for it, do you get reimbused or otherwise compensated for the expense? If the organization pays, how is its use controlled? Do you have policies or is it just "word of mouth"?

There are definate advantages to having everyone use the same provider. What do you think? I wouldn't mind paying for my own cell but I don't tend to go over my minutes until techno **** days happen.

Any opinions will be appreciated.

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Old plan, new plan

by JamesRL In reply to How does your organizatio ...

Old plan = users buy their own phone, find their own best deal, company agrees to pay $xx per month towards the cost, XX to be negotiated based on usage, job type etc. People used their fav provider. XX dollars were expensed every month, and our expense process requires receipts so if the total bill didn't exceed XX, it was the the total bill, regardless of the ratio of personal to business calls.

New plan - negotiate corporate wide discount where everyone uses same phones, bill goes to AP. Rate per minute is so low, personal usage isn't important enough to worry.

One thing to consider is how much it costs to police this. Don't spend hundreds of hours a year of clerical and management time to save a couple of thousand a year. KISS!(and no I am not being affectionate)

James

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What he said

by Roger99a In reply to Old plan, new plan

Basically we have the above "new" plan. They're all free phone to phone and setup with one huge lump of minutes so the ones that go over are usually compensated for by the ones that stay under.

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My former company did it that way

by sjohnson175 In reply to What he said

but I hated the provider in question so I wound up carrying two phones (theirs & mine).

Plus the former company was so bi polar I'd probably be the one they decided to go ape on because I had 60 minutes of phone calls to my wife. I was so happy to leave that place I shook the dust from my feet as I entered my car the last day :)

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My Co. is still on James' "Old Plan"

by DMambo In reply to Old plan, new plan

Since the plans are paid for by work, users are responsible for any "overage" minutes. If users find they consistantly go over plan minutes (and they can document it) they can change plans to increase time and pass the increased cost to the Co.

It works pretty well, but since the accounts are in the employees' names, they can continue or cancel after their employment ends. I'm sure that we could come up with a corporate plan that would be cheaper for the Co, but since employees are happy with full reimbursement, there's not too much call for change.

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High minute plans with rollover

by M_a_r_k In reply to How does your organizatio ...

I used to work in consulting. We all had our own personal phones. We expensed some "reasonable" amount of the monthly phone charges. I usually expensed around 50% of my mobile phone bill. We didn't have any way of monitoring it. It was left up the employees to not abuse it. Employees of manager level and above had company-sponsored phones. But if we peons DIDN'T use our own mobile phone, we'd have been awfully hard to contact. Never knew what client any coworker would be at on a given day.

Most of the major mobile phone service providers have plans with an extremely high amount of minuntes. Like 5000 or 6000 daytime minutes per month. And unlimited night/weekends. If I haven't forgotten my long division, 6000 minutes translates to 100 hours, or about 4 hours per work day (25 work days per month). And one of the major mobile phone service providers has rollover minutes. If you don't use your maximum amount, the remainder gets rolled over to the following month. Those high minute plans cost over $150/mo for an individual. I am sure you can get a corporate discount if you have enough employees.

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Bucket-o-minutes

by djameson In reply to High minute plans with ro ...

Our company has something like 40 Cell phones. what we do is everyone is issued a cell phone that is attached to the same bucket of minutes. something like 10,000/month we all use out of the pool, but everyone is allocated a certain amount(by management)the only time there is an issue is if there are excessive personal calls. the best part is that cell-cell calls are free.

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exceptions

by highlander718 In reply to How does your organizatio ...

I never heard of 5000 or 6000 minutes free/month, but who knows ...
Anyway, what we did is we issued the company cell-phones, basic plan, users signed a generic policy to take care and not abuse the phone for personal calls. That being said I think it's fair enough to expect that the users will call their spouses or homes once in a while, that shouldn't be a big hit to the bill.
Than, after a few months, reviewd the bills, exceptions were immediately spotted and than investigated the reasons. (Out of 100 phones, 12 had outrageous amounts), found out 10 of them were regularily calling long distance and using roaming for business reasons, 2 were just advised to cut the personal calls. Changed the subscription for the 10 to include roaming and long distance and never had problems ever since.

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Divide and conquer

by G In reply to How does your organizatio ...

I think the key to which strategy you take is based on understanding the caller profile the organisation has (in and out). Once you can see who is calling who, when and for how long, you can develop strategies for limiting your financial exposure. One small example, in a technical support company the field service engineers may be calling 2nd or 3rd line support a lot. If your carrier allows freecall 1-800- numbers then you may want to look at the cost of calling your support number vs the cost of calling 1-800- from cellphones. There are usually good opportunities for reducing fixed line outbound to cell/mobile calls when you understand you call dynamics.

There are a whole lot of other things you can look at. AND 6,000 and 10,000 minute inclusive tarrifs do exist.

What is staff turnover like?
What is the data vs voice split with the cell?
How many handsets do you have?
Where is the carrier taking their technology?
Do you have or need a cell gateway?
Does your carrier have on net discounts?
Do you have dual numbered/account SIMs?

Each answer can provide a slightly different solution to reducing your cell phone costs.

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simple solution

by jck In reply to How does your organizatio ...

Get Nextels and you get that free mobile-to-mobile nationally. And tell them the phones are not for personal use and that any non-business minutes will be their responsibility.

It's like if they use their computer looking up porn or an Ebay action they can get in trouble...using a cell phone to talk dirty to your girlfriend or calling a collector shop to get the cost of an original GI Joe action figure with a kung-fu grip is disallowable as well.

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thanks for the info...

by geekchic In reply to How does your organizatio ...

hasn't been a real popular topic but thanks for giving me some ideas on what might work and what might not! Once we decide, I'll let you all know what we do and if it works! Geez, I hope it works this time....

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