Caveat Emptor: Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Long-Term Service Contract
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin
Last month a well-known provider of EIM solutions (you know who you are) experienced several outages – exactly four times in less than 30 days. This brings their total outages and service disruptions to eight-plus in 2019, but who is counting?
We are… Why? Because we get their customers up and running.
When your business-critical operations are reliant on fax and secure document delivery services, put simply, any downtime is unacceptable. In this case, the EIM provider’s customers called us here at etherFAX for help and loved our service and staff. The irony here is that all of them wanted to switch and utilize etherFAX full-time but were unable to break the long-term service contracts they are tied to.
When presented with a long-term contract, it’s extremely important to take service level agreements, performance, uptime, and customer support into consideration. Unfortunately, many companies are duped into signing long-term contracts to secure rock-bottom prices, but seldom consider the fine-print, especially when things go awry with outages and unreliable technical support.
At etherFAX, we do things differently. We have built our network from the ground up, leveraging multiple data centers and layers and layers of redundancy to ensure maximum uptime.
Many organizations require a long-term contract because they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders – not their customers – and they have already paid their internal representatives commissions on the deal. Here at etherFAX, our only commitment is to our customers. We do not require any long-term contracts because we believe that providing a high-quality, reliable service will keep our customers coming back.
With etherFAX, high-resolution, full-color images can be sent and received with ultra-fast transmission speeds and guaranteed delivery. To ensure business continuity and to manage high-volume fax operations, etherFAX offers a disaster recovery platform with built-in redundancy. As an infrastructure-as-a-service platform, etherFAX Disaster Recovery (DR) can be easily configured to provide immediate failover of fax communications and ensure uptime even when existing telephony equipment fails (such as fax boards, PRI lines, servers, and applications).
We also have several support teams located throughout North America that are available 24/7 to answer any questions and to maintain full control over any unforeseen complications. In the rare case that customers do experience a technical issue, our support team will provide a reason for the outage and real-time updates on the etherFAX status page.
When customers or prospects are down, etherFAX has the agility and technical expertise to get them up and running quickly.
Caveat Emptor – Ask the Right Questions
Before signing a contract, it is imperative that you do your research, check references and customer reviews, and most importantly, read the fine print! Make sure that you have an option to get out of the contract if the provider’s service and support are not up to par with expectations.
Asking the following questions before signing a long-term contract can save you time and money:
- Is there a way to break the contract based on the service level agreement (SLA), performance, quality of service (QoS), or support?
- Can I test run the vendor’s support staff?
- What is their normal response time?
- Are they available 24/7?
- Do they have support teams based in the U.S.?
- How fast can they fix common technical issues?
- Does the vendor publicize their up-time?
- Are they transparent and provide a reason for outage?
- Can they implement new technologies in a timely manner?
- Will you be able to port your numbers back?
Overall, choosing the right service provider can make or break your business. If you’re looking for a secure and reliable document delivery system with 24/7 technical support and customer service, look no further. etherFAX supports every major fax server, application, and fax-enabled device, and has more connected endpoints providing end-to-end encryption than any other service. The etherFAX Secure Exchange Network (SEN) is the world’s largest fax network, leveraging military-grade encryption and hybrid cloud technology to provide 100 percent secure communications within healthcare, finance, legal, and enterprise organizations.
Interested in learning more? Chat with an etherFAX representative about cloud fax services here.