Finding the Right Phone Service for Business and Family

Purchasing Your Teen’s First Cell Phone? What Should You Consider?

If you’ve spent years waffling over the decision to provide your teen with a cell phone, you may have finally reached the point at which the convenience of being able to communicate with your teen at any time of day or night outweighs your concerns about texting while driving, sending inappropriate photos, or the other dangers to which teens can be susceptible. However, paying hundreds of dollars for an expensive — and often fragile — piece of electronic equipment for a sometimes careless teen can still be a financial gamble. What can you do to save money on your teen’s first cell phone while keeping a watchful eye on his or her usage? Read on to learn more about the paths you may want to take when providing your teen with this benefit (and associated responsibility).  Purchase an “unlocked” phone outside a provider plan Even if you already have a family plan with your cellular service provider that offers regular phone upgrades, you may benefit from purchasing a used or refurbished phone outside the auspices of a cell provider. These “unlocked” phones are not tied to any specific carrier, which means your teen will be able to switch cell plans at a later point without purchasing a new phone, and are often available at a much lower cost than a brand new phone. Choosing an unlock iphone by unlockphone.com can also allow you to purchase a pay-as-you-go cell plan, which is often a good idea for teens whose usage may need to be monitored or curtailed; these plans can ensure that you won’t find yourself paying overage charges, as your teen’s ability to text or make calls will cease once his or her pre-paid plan has been drained of funds.  Check into insurance Having your teen’s phone added to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy can be a wise decision, as this additional coverage is usually available for just a few dollars per month but will replace even an expensive phone that is lost or damaged. Although this type of insurance is also available directly through your cellular service provider, it will often cover only the purchase of phones from this provider (sometimes at a higher cost than available elsewhere). Purchasing extra coverage through your homeowner’s insurance policy instead will allow you to purchase a replacement phone from just about anywhere, from an electronics store to an online auction site or even […]

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How To Avoid Common Structured Cabling Pitfalls As An Engineer

It’s common for those who are new to handling structured cabling to have similar problems. Here are a few common mistakes that engineers working on structured cabling often make, including what you can do to avoid them and have your network come out looking fine.  Forgetting About Cable Length With all of those cables that you’ll be looking at, it’s easy to forget that there actually is a max length of cables and that you will have to do a bit of strategic planning to make sure the physical cables all connect up properly. For example, you won’t usually have more than 100 meters or so for maximum cable length since this is the recommendation for maximum length between devices. This means that you can measure how much is going to be left every time you come out from the wall since you can subtract from 100. If you’re patching at 15 meters, then there’s 85 left on the wall, for example. It may be physically possible to go longer, but it’s going to be risky since you could have failures. Crushing Cables It’s easy to think of cables as invincible wires that will carry data no matter where you put them, but this just isn’t the case. If you put too much on a cable tray, for example, the pressure could crush the cables and damage them. If you try squeezing cables around corners, under furniture and so on, you’re only inviting inevitable disaster.    Using Cables That Are Too Cheap If you’re trying to save money on your project, you would be cautious to not go overboard. For example, cutting back on the amount of copper core in a cable will be more inexpensive, but it will also make for more of a lost signal. Additionally, you could end up with interference problems due to impedance. If you try to use cheap patch cords, this could also have a similar problem. People will often try to use cores that don’t use copper as a core at all, or that have poor sheathing around the core, or that are cheaply made in some other way.   Overall, it’s important to make sure you take extra care to avoid the pitfalls that others trying the same project have fallen into through ill-fated attempts at shortcuts. If you focus on keeping the quality of the project high you should be able […]

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Call Center Tips: Dos And Don’Ts For Good Phone Etiquette

Every single call that comes into a business is critical, as it could be a current customer that needs assistance and wants to be reassured that things are being handled for them, or it could be a potential customer who is interested in obtaining information about a particular service or product. Whatever the case may be, each call and each customer is valuable. Therefore, it is crucial that the call center that is handling your phone calls practice good phone etiquette. Here are a few dos and don’ts that you may want to stress as important: Do Put a Smile on Your Face Before Answering. Even if you don’t have a real reason to smile, a fake smile works just as well. In fact, a full-fledged smile can change activity in the brain that directly corresponds with a better mood. Since putting a fake smile on your face can actually help change your emotional state, you can experience an improved mood and even alleviate some of your stress, all while expressing to customers that you are happy and ready to help them in their time of need. Don’t Eat or Drink While Talking. It is fine to take a small sip of water if your mouth feels dry, but you do not need to take a giant swig of your favorite beverage while on the phone. If you need to take a drink, even if it is a small one because you have been on the phone for an extended period of time, mute your headset so that the customer doesn’t hear. As for eating, you may be enjoying that hamburger or bite of salad, but it’s a guarantee that your customer is not enjoying listening to you do so. Do Practice Your Enunciation. Enunciation is just a fancy word for speaking clearly. When you are going to be on the phone with customers, they need to be able to clearly understand what you’re saying to them. To help with this, you will need to make sure to stress the syllables. along with the vowel and consonant sounds when speaking. You would be amazed at the difference that this makes, especially when the connection may not be ideal. Don’t Multi-Task with Other Job Duties. While it may be true that you have been assigned several tasks to complete for the day in addition to answering phones, it is crucial that […]

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Avoiding The Biggest Mistakes When Replacing A Cracked Cell Phone Screen

If you have any tech-savvy blood running through your veins and a little electronic knowledge, you may assume that replacing a cracked cell phone screen should be a fairly easy feat. Even though screens for everything from phones to tablets can be ordered online and you can find basic instructions for just about any model about replacement, this is one task that may end up being a lot harder than what you think. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes phone owners tend to make when they try to replace a cracked screen on their own. Mistake: Using the wrong kind of tools to remove the old screen. When you are working to remove the damaged screen from your phone, you will be struggling against sticky adhesives that are used during the manufacturing process that can be very difficult to remove. However, the tools that you use for the task must be small, and you will have to be agile working with small items to gently pry the screen off. Otherwise, you can cause damage to the LCD screen inside and even cause more problems. Mistake: Not doing the work in a sterile, dust-free area. When you pull the old screen off of your phone, you will be opening up the main LCD screen beneath that is extremely sensitive to the slightest contaminants. Something as tiny as a piece of dust can cause damage to the frail LCD screen as it is brushed away. Therefore, it is crucial to only try to attempt screen repair in a clean space that is free of even floating dust particles, which is something that can be incredibly hard to achieve unless you just happen to have a sterile home laboratory. Mistake: Not wearing cotton gloves during the new screen installation. The digitizer screen that you install on a touchscreen phone may look like a simple and solid piece of flexible glass, but it is really weaved with a complex system of sensitive wires that are designed to detect your touch. Even the slightest smudge on the backside of the screen can make the phone not function properly once it is installed. This means that one tiny fingerprint spot can completely inhibit the digitizer screen from working as it should. It may make the task of replacing the screen a bit harder, but slip on a pair of soft cotton gloves to prevent […]

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3 Tips to Save Money on Voice Services for Your Business

To operate your business successfully, you have to have a good business phone system in place. However, you could be concerned about how much these services will cost. However, there are ways that you can cut costs. Follow these tips, and you won’t have to worry about your voice services costing you as much money. Then, you’ll have more money to put into other aspects of your business, but you’ll still have the phone services that you need to operate your new business conveniently and successfully. 1. Bundle Your Services If you don’t already have your phone services through the same company that provides your Internet and other services, such as your cable or satellite television, then you should consider looking into a bundled package. Many phone and cable companies offer bundles with multiple services for cheaper rates than you would pay if you had separate services through separate companies. Plus, paying your bill will be easier and more streamlined if you have all of your services through one company, which will give you one less thing to worry about. 2. Consider Renting Your Phone Equipment Some companies will allow you to rent your necessary phone equipment instead of paying for it out of pocket. Instead of having to shell out hundreds of dollars at once to buy the equipment that you need, you can simply pay a small fee on your phone bill. This is a great way to hold onto some of your capital or start your business while on a tighter budget. 3. Use a Voice Over IP Option One excellent option is to look into a voice over IP option. Basically, this type of phone service uses your Internet connection to allow you to place calls rather than using a traditional landline. You will still be able to enjoy all of the benefits of a traditional connection, such as having three-way calling, and caller ID. However, these services can be much cheaper than using a landline; plus, if you already have a existing Internet connection but don’t have all of the phone lines that you need, you can save money on equipment and installation as well. As you can see, there are a few ways that you can cut costs on voice services for your business. Follow these tips, and you can save yourself some money while still having the phone services that you need. For […]

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Customer Service Basics: Is It Time You Outsource Your Answering Service?

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, customer service trends are always changing.  Your customers want to be able to contact a representative any time of the day or night, whenever a problem arises. A 24/7 answering services are becoming the norm rather than the exception and this can be a challenge for many business. The question arises as to whether to keep your answering service in-house or to outsource all or part of your answering service to help carry the burden. There are many factors to consider when considering this issue. Cost Versus Value There is no question that outsourcing can save you money in business. When you hire personnel in-house, you will incur costs in the hiring process, training, and of course paying your new employees. When you outsource, you hire a third-party company, pay them a set fee for services, and the third-party company incurs any hiring or training costs.Thus, when considering outsourcing your 24/7 answering service, the cost benefit falls squarely in favor of outsourcing. However, you must consider if the value is equally as beneficial.  Many outsourced 24/7 answering services are so cost-effective for one of two reasons. First, employees are minimally trained and given only the basic knowledge of the products necessary to sufficiently provide customer service. Second, they often employ call center representatives outside of the continental United States.  This is not to say that call center representatives outside of the United States are not as valuable as those from within the United States, but you must consider your clientele. Do you serve an international clientele or are your customers solely in the United States? What demographic in the United States do you serve? Will customers be put off by customer service representatives who may have heavy accents? These are all factors you must consider. Also consider the type of customer service needs your clients have. If they require in-depth knowledge of products, procedures, or local rules or regulations, outsourcing may not be as beneficial to your clients as hiring new staff of your own.  Control Versus Freedom When you hire new staff, you are largely in control. Members of management in your company select candidates, perform interviews, and select new hires. You control the way they are trained, and you control the work they do while at the company. The locus of control falls within your company. When you outsource help, you gain freedom by relinquishing […]

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