VOIP clients held hostage by their diginet resellers
Clients find themselves forced to use the diginet resellers’ (middleman) VoIP services after requesting diginet from them, despite getting charged up to 20% more on calls charges. The middleman in this instance signs a contract with its infrastructure partner (often not for a point-to-point circuit) and then has their client sign a contract with them. Unfortunately, some VoIP providers then do not allow that line to be used for anything else, or with any other provider. It’s like buying a new car and then being told that you can only purchase petrol at one petrol station, found in some remote location and to top it off the fuel is 30c more per litre. We all know how the fuel price has been going lately. The client has paid the installation fees, continues to pay the line and equipment charges that inevitably have the profit share build into it, so why not offer the client the freedom to choose the VoIP provider that it deems to be the best? This is the very question Wanatel posed to itself.
The immediate outcome was simple; allow the client or reseller to sign up with the source directly. Put the power back into the client’s hands and the responsibility of good VoIP service back into ours. Combine that freedom with the flexibility of a month-to-month contract and you have a client-pleasing, service excellence formula. With almost a decade of experience in the South African VoIP market, Wanatel has come across too many cases where it was unable to give clients the quality VoIP service they deserved because the client was not informed by the middleman that it would not be possible to use another VoIP provider on its data connection. The middleman always had the knowledge that you would be locked (trapped) into a 24-month contract.
The common result thereafter is an unhappy client suffering poor service with no option to find a better provider or solution. Number portability gave users the ability to choose the provider that offers the best value for money and overall experience but now, through subtle methods, some users can find themselves stuck in a seemingly endless contract. With the present-day fast advances in technology nobody wants to be in a contract that could result in them falling behind. Wanatel has always believed that clients should stay with a service provider because they want to, not because they have to. Two years, and in some instances five years, is long time to live with the regret. Wanatel‘s Riaan Pietersen is always proud to add: “The freedom we offer our resellers and clients is what keeps Wanatel on its toes.”