Peter Gradwell, MD of the internet telephony service provider Gradwell dot com, welcomed the recent announcement from BT that the percentage of UK small businesses using VoIP was going to almost double during the next 12 months, from 25% to 48%.
Commenting on the UK-wide take-up of VoIP, Peter Gradwell said: “Internet telephony is definitely now a mainstream technology helping businesses to link together, reducing costs and making communications more effective.”
Customers such as Netcraft in Bath and Pulsic in Bristol’s Aztec West have successfully transformed their businesses by changing to VoIP. Gone are the landlines – and in have come conventional-looking handsets that are equally as easy to use but which achieve great savings and provide more call options and services,” added Peter.
“We now have more than 10,000 lines active on our service, rating us as a Top 3 VoIP provider to UK small businesses/SMEs. We have seen our turnover grow by more than £1m annually in the last 12 months.”
But while BT claims that the internet is helping to cut costs for customers with an extensive marketing campaign, Peter warned that businesses should be wary of BT’s eye-catching special offers and confusing price packages.
“For example”, he commented, “we looked at one BT customer’s bill: he paid more £700 for the quarter. This gentleman had BT Business plan, with a headline prices suggesting calls capped at 60p per hour and a 25p call cap for UK mobile calls. However, this requires the customer to spend £500 a year with BT, so they were charging in advance and then rebating the customer once they had made the calls. Over £500 of the charges on the BT bill were costs that just don’t exist with our service.”
In addition, Gradwell’s call charges compared to BT are competitive: “This customer spent 248.95 with BT in a quarter; the equivalent calls using Gradwell would have been £148.09.”