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Top 13 Questions You Should Ask a Hosted Phone System Provider [List]

by Kevin Bartley

Here are some key comparison questions you should ask when you're shopping for hosted phone system providers.

Published: July 8, 2024

When you're shopping around for a hosted VoIP provider, it's best to go into the matter with a few key questions you can ask before you seriously consider the service at hand.

Here's a list of some must-ask comparison questions while you're embarking on a VoIP search for your organization.

13 Questions to Ask Hosted Phone System Sellers

1. Is there a contract?

Contracts lock you into service you might not be happy with and limit your options for flexibility. Try to avoid them if you can.

2. What are the taxes and fees?

The VoIP pricing advertised on a provider's website often fails to capture the amount you'll be paying in mandatory taxes and fees. Find out how expensive these costs are before jumping into a plan.

3. Do I have to use specific phones with your service?

Service providers that lock you into certain models of phones minimize your ability to customize the cost and the logistics of your hosted phone system. Search for offerings that work with a variety of different phone models or have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. To see which models work best with OnSIP, check out our Top Business VoIP Phones Guide.

Adding a phone to your hosted phone system account

4. Would the phones work with another provider?

Worse still is if the service provider sells you phones that are not compatible with other platforms. This makes it even harder to leave the provider if you are unhappy with your phone system.

5. Can a single user have 2 phones?

Being able to 'split' a single user between multiple phones comes back to the concept of not having to pay for each individual phone on your network. Splitting a user between phones gives you more leeway in how your team operates and ensures that you are only paying for the features you use.

6. Are your services geographically distributed?

Geographically distributed service means that there are data centers in more than one geographical location. This lessens service disruptions, because if there is an issue at one data center, the other can pick up the burden without any downtime for the user.

7. Do you have a mobile VoIP solution?

Mobile VoIP solutions are key for remote workers and other employees who need to access the phone system on-the-go. Find a provider that offers a free desktop app and mobile app for your staff to use while working from home or on business travel.

8. Do you provide free training and onboarding services?

Most providers have Knowledgebases or Help sections, but ask if they also offer training webinars and other onboarding assistance for new customers. Personalized help sessions provide a forum for you to get answers to specific setup questions you may have.

Man on mobile accessing business VoIP

9. Can I see a history of your network alerts?

Transparency is key when it comes to VoIP service. Choose a provider that has a clear list of all of the times their service has experienced disruptions. Then rate the company's marketing claims of reliability against this list.

10. How do you notify customers of a service disruption and where can I find information?

Having a surefire method for spreading information about service disruptions saves you unneeded confusion. Choose a provider that has a clear way of getting in touch when service disruptions occur.

11. Where is your support department located, and what is the average tenure?

An overseas support department is typically a signal that the provider is trying to cut costs when it comes to customer support. Average tenure gives you a general idea of how experienced the support staff is. Weigh these options when you decide to pursue a service provider you're interested in.

12. Do I need dedicated bandwidth?

Dedicated bandwidth is a set amount that users must adhere to strictly. It's often wiser to go with a plan where bandwidth can be shared among the other Internet services in your office.

13. Do I need any other on-site devices (QoS) for your service?

The whole idea of a cloud VoIP service is that you are avoiding the unnecessary costs of employing an on-premise solution. A need for on-site devices basically defeats the purpose of hosted telephone service.

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