Tech and telecom service providers love to low-ball new customers to make the sale. That’s nothing new. But one thing many of those customers, all aglow with a great shiny new monthly rate, forget is that they may have signed paperwork that allows the service provider to keep them hooked for a very long time. They do that through auto-renew or evergreen tech and telecom contractual agreements. These agreements automatically renew at the end of their initial term or contract period. It is a commonplace practice. Here are some things you should know if you are in one or are about to sign one.
One way a service provider can offset the promotional rate is to keep you locked in for a long time. That’s what these contracts do. They automatically renew unless one party provides notice to terminate the agreement within a specified timeframe. If no action is taken, the contract extends for another term. You can bet the service provider will not remind you that your agreement is auto-renewing. You likely won’t realize it until AFTER the fact.
When was the last time you looked at your contract? Your provider would prefer you not do that because it may include some provisions for price increases or other modifications you might not be happy about, giving them opportunities to collect more or even deliver less.
First, look at the contract and find the part that tells you how much notice you must give them if you want to terminate. If you’re thinking of switching service providers, this is critical. Timing is everything. Don’t end up being locked in for another multi-year agreement because you didn’t take action in time.
And seeing your costs go up AFTER the contract is automatically renewed is a really unpleasant surprise. Sorry but you’re stuck, or maybe you’re not. Some contracts allow you to pay penalties to get out, but they are often so steep that customers choose to just stick it out.
Our tech expense management team can help. It’s part of their job. Some of our clients have multiple contracts and agreements, so many it would be difficult for them to monitor and manage. That’s just one of the things we do for them to ensure that, as each contract is approaching expiration, we only allow auto-renewal when it is to the client’s benefit. Otherwise, we’re busy reviewing options for our clients to ensure they aren’t “stuck” with an overpriced service. It’s just one more way we help clients save money and improve productivity.
Let’s talk about how we can save you even more money with a tech/telecom audit (including a review of your auto-renew contracts) and see other areas where we can reduce your costs. It starts with a phone call – 800-854-2444 or a visit to www.inversetech.com for more information.