SMBs paying over the limit for phone charges

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SMEs in the UK overpay for their mobile services by a large margin, according to a new report by Billmonitor. 

The report states that one in ten SMEs is getting a fair deal from its mobile services, with one provider is “surprisingly more expensive than the competition”.

Billmonitor had asked Ofcom to verify its data, and the watchdog said it revealed a 15-20 per cent cost difference between the cheapest and most expensive mobile provider for business services.

Ofcom also noted that this does not necessarily have to mean much, as some companies use mobile services more than others. Billmonitor wasn’t convinced, asking “why would high usage SMEs flock to one particular provider when no such provider offers better deals for higher users?”

Billmonitor says that with 89.9 per cent confidence, it can reveal that EE is the most expensive major mobile provider.

“It is staggering that in a market so critical for businesses, there isn’t oversight to prevent SMEs falling victim to what is becoming its own ‘Wild West’,” said Dr Stelios Koundouros, Billmonitor’s founder and director. “We call on the CMA to investigate the business telecoms market, to take over the job Ofcom seems to show little interest in despite Billmonitor’s three year-long pleas, and ensure SMEs of all sizes get a fair deal when procuring a mobile provider.”

EE hit back at the claims, with a spokesperson for the company telling ITProPortal that, “The findings of this research are unreliable due to the very limited sample size and the fact that the analysis is based on probability rather than actual customer bills.

“Our own benchmarking shows that EE’s range of mobile plans for SMEs deliver great value to our customers. We are committed to delivering high-value, accurate and transparent pricing plans for SMEs with our highly skilled sales advisors working with customers to find the best value mobile package to meet their needs.

“EE serves hundreds of thousands of SME customers across the UK and was this year named Best Business Network by the Mobile Industry Awards. EE operates the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network, keeping our customers connected in more places than any other operator, with 100 per cent of all customer service calls answered in the UK & Ireland.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Chinnapong