Beware The Broadband Evergreen Trap!

April 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

I am not talking about Christmas trees here. I am talking about strategies employed by large carriers such as XO or Telepacific to retain revenue forever.

Basically, if you are a business owner or CTO for a business in California and have signed a telecommunications contract, beware of the contract date and the conditions under which it renews.

Beware of contract renewal conditions

Fastmetrics is a systems integrator and we handle all contracts for our customers. While we have reasonable renewal clauses, some of our competitors do not.

They call them ‘evergreen clauses’, and it basically states that “after the initial contract term of 3 years, the contract will automatically renew for an additional 1 year term (& sometimes 3 year term)“.
To cancel the contract, the customer has to notify the carrier 30 days in advance of the renewal date.

Now the ‘Gotcha!’
Sometimes we have customers with internet & telephone service on an old carrier agreement.
In that case some companies play an even more confusing game.
I would like to assume it is due to incompetence, but one has suspicions that it may be a sinister plot.

Some Fastmetrics’ customers HAVE cancelled with their provider 30 days in advance of the renewal date and presto….they were told that if you cancel you will not be able to initiate the telephone number port, you will lose your existing numbers.

I was stunned to hear that, and was certain this was due to incompetence of the carrier (at least I HOPE it was incompetence, and not a malicious plot to retain customers despite the customers’ desires).

Of course you can cancel 30 days in advance, and still port your telephone numbers….all you have to do is make sure the process is complete prior to the end date of the contract.

To make this easy, plan for a little overlap.
Fastmetrics often puts in a temporary service in advance of the MetricFiber service to bridge overlap time. This way end users can start using the telephone service prior to the end of the existing contract on the new service.

Andreas Glocker
fastmetrics bundles

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