Save Money on Telecommunication

Save money with association discounts
AT&T’s Profit By Association (PBA) plan gave it a highly effective marketing tool. A customer who was a member of one of many associations, such as AAA, received an additional 5% discount. The long list of approved associations allowed almost every business to qualify for the PBA discount. The plan was very successful in drumming up new business for AT&T, especially when sales representatives set up a new PBA through the local chamber of commerce.

If your business has no membership in a participating association, consider joining one if for no other reason than to cut your long-distance bill by 5%. One enterprising AT&T account executive in Illinois created his own Secretary’s Association. Any business that has a secretary can join the association by paying only a $10 annual membership fee. Because every company has a secretary, the sales representative was able to offer this additional discount to almost all of his prospects. Similar association plans are available with other carriers.

Save money with international discounts
Enrolling in an international discount plan can be an effective way to cut your long-distance bill. These plans give an additional discount on international calls to one or more countries of the customer’s choice. AT&T’s plan, called the Favorite Nation Option, gives the customer an additional 10% discount on calls to a single country. Other carriers offer a discount on a group of countries, such as Latin America or the Far East.

Save money with referral programs
From time to time, long-distance carriers may offer a referral discount plan. Before LCI merged with Qwest, it offered a Goose Eggs referral program. This program gave a company an additional 2% discount for every company it referred that switched its long distance to LCI. The goal was to refer 50 customers, which would result in a 100% discount. The customer would then receive his bill every month with “goose eggs” in the bill’s amount due section. Other referral programs apply discounts based on the bill volume of the company referred. So if the new customer spends $1,000 per month, the referring customer sees a $50 credit on her bill each month.

Points programs
Some carriers have created their own points programs similar to the airlines’ frequent flier mileage programs. For the past few years, Sprint’s Callers’ Plus Points program has been very successful. For each dollar spent on long distance, a customer earns one Callers’ Plus point. Every 50 points can be applied as a $1 invoice credit, or the points can be redeemed for merchandise from Sprint’s catalog. The catalog contains items such as televisions, hotel nights, and office supplies. The catalog is often an attractive option for a company controller, because merchandise can be secured without using money from a budget.

Participating in this program may be a hassle, but the additional 2% bill credit may make it worthwhile.

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