Do you believe everything you see on the Internet? That’s good, but there are plenty of “people” who wish you did ’cause they’re eager to SELL you a product, a service, or a bill of goods without doing the due diligence necessary to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Should you be concerned about the barrage of false claims and bogus offers? It depends… When the item is insignificant and doesn’t cost much, then you may feel it’s worth the risk.  However, when it plays an important role in your personal or professional life, or there’s a significant cost associated, that’s when you need to be more cautious. Do you remember the creative commercial about $6.00 haircuts? You can view it here.

For example, ads for ink & toner replacement cartridges are a dime a dozen.  If the product doesn’t work out, what did you lose? Not much. And you reinforced a valuable lesson – that you get what you pay for, like a $6.00 haircut.

On the other hand, how about your next phone system? Here’s where I have an issue.  In fact, while writing this post I received an email from a VoIP vendor claiming to have done research on my company. And as a result, they were recommending a VoIP business phone system that would save my company up to 70% (I’m not kidding) as long as I filled out a brief form and had a valid credit card. If they had really done their homework, wouldn’t they have realized that IDeACOM provides VoIP solutions? Exactly my point!

When our clients are asked if their phone system is important to their business, we always get a resounding YES. After all, we’re not talking about a box of paper clips or a haircut. This is a customized solution with a long-term relationship, which is why you need to be more careful about who you trust and partner with.  Beware of the man behind the website attempting to sell you a $19.99 per month voice over IP (VoIP) solution w/no local presence; or knowledge or concern about your network.

There’s also a growing concern for the local telecom vendor that’s trying to sell you a “hybrid” system with digital phones.  Hybrid systems with digital phones are a DEAD END! Just because the system has a few Ethernet ports on it or has been made to look like a server (see Figure 1 below), doesn’t make it a VoIP system. Looks can be very deceiving. If “digital” phones are proposed or supported by the system, that’s your cue – it’s not a VoIP system. It’s a hybrid, a facade, and you should run away!!!

 Picture of a Hybrid System

Figure 1: Hybrid “digital” system made to look like a VoIP server, but it’s not!

We have seen too many situations where traditional telecom companies have little to no experience with VoIP.  In one camp, they’re so afraid of the technology because they haven’t updated and improved their skills over the past 10 years. So what do they do? They recommend hybrid phone systems with digital phones, while casting a shadow of doubt on the relevance of voice over IP, like it’s some “future” technology. The other camp will simply sell you hosted monthly subscription-based VoIP services from afar.  And you get the undisclosed surprise of getting into the VoIP installation & troubleshooting business after you’re on the hook. Two very opposing and distinct extremes on each end of the technology spectrum. And you’re stuck in the middle trying to right a wrong.

So what can you do to empower yourself and avoid the VoIP hacks? Ask about our Phone System Evaluator, which allows you to do your own side-by-side comparison of each system, including the optional & required capabilities you’re looking for.  This levels the playing field and helps you identify in writing what’s included and what’s not. You can download this free tool and become a more informed buyer by clicking here.

And remember, you can always rely on the specialists at IDeACOM Communications Group to help you understand the pros and cons of your unique situation.  Voice over IP is great technology and is here to stay. By the way, just like the barber shop that fixes $6.00 haircuts, IDeACOM fixes bad VoIP installs. Contact us today and start benefiting from our experience.

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