Compare lines with your office directory – Check to see if retired or departed staff members are on the list. If you are unsure if a line is in use, text or call lines in question.
Update directory of lines/devices to match phones with current users. You can edit the personal details and description of any line on your account.
Check special devices (machines that send regular texts)– Review Machine to Machine charges and see if they are on the correct plan. A call to Verizon to discuss these special plans may be necessary. For example, Public Works had a pump station send 8000 texts a month previously billed at 10 cents a text for $800. We put it on a $12 unlimited plan.
Look for accounts with no activity – Review messages or voice usage where there is no activity or data (no usage). Circle those lines and investigate whether they need to be cancelled or suspended. Suspending the phone account will allow you to retain the number for free for up to 6 months.
Look for higher than average usage – Look at total charges on each line. Do any charges seem high compared to the average line cost. If so, it is worth following up with the user to see how they are using their phone. Are they calling out of network often? Are they using their phone for personal use? Consider alternative plans where a user’s behavior warrants a change from the current plan.
Ensure all lines are on the right plan – Everyone should be on the base $24.99 unlimited data plan. The 2 GB plan only save a dollar or two but risks racking up a huge overage bill. All $24.99 plans come with 100 free text messages. $3 for 400 messages and $12 for unlimited. If anyone texts more than 400 times a month they should be on a unlimited plan.
Consider removing hotspot devices – Using a phone to hotspot cost 10 dollars compared to $35 for a standalone hot spot. Use mobile phone to hotspot in most cases to save money. If your department has a hotspot device consider training the user to implement this feature on their mobile phone instead of using a separate device.
Communicate and educate your colleagues – Share your successes and make your staff aware of best practices that will save the department money. Remind staff that in-network calls are free and calls outside of the network should be made on desk phones if possible.
Remind staff about in-network vs. out-of-network calls – Phone calls cost 6 cents a minute when calling a landline. Limit personal usage to landlines and when calling a known landline use a landline if possible. Just one hour of landline calls a day from the cell phone in a work month will incur $72 dollars in talk cost. There are no talking plans available unless you really talk a lot on the phone. These plans are $50+.
Staff doesn’t need the latest device – The City should not pay for new phones. Verizon offers perfectly good phones for free (S7 and iphone 6s) They change every 3 months so check to see if a phone you want is now free. Spending $200 for a iphone 7 when a 6s is free needs to be clearly justified. I would expect the iphone7 to be free at some point this year.
Monitor upgrade eligibility – Cell plans are eligible for an upgrade yearly. If a phone needs replacement check to see if it is eligible for a free upgrade and pick a “free” phone. Do note that tax is charged so for a S7 you still pay about $44 for the new phone.
Upgrades can be swapped – If someone breaks their phone prior to their free upgrade eligibility (basically in the first year) you can use someone else free upgrade to get a new phone. You can mix and match phones without a problem. You should keep old phones so that they can be reused in the event someone breaks theirs within the first year. Again, there should rarely be a reason to buy a new phone for $200.
Monthly monitoring will save time during the audit– Review your bill monthly to check for overages and to adjust plans. Checking usage prior to end of billing is important as you can back date the texting upgrade so for example if someone text 1000 times this month you can add unlimited before the end of the billing cycle and you will only be charged $12.