What to consider when chosing an ITSP

Firstly what is an ITSP? As described in our glossary, “ITSP:  Acronym for Internet Telephony Service Provider. This is a company that allows calls to and from ‘normal’ telephone numbers (PSTN)”.  Here’s a few things to think about.

Call plans – Plans maybe a cost for each call, bundled minutes, or plans for domestic / international usage. Providers offer the ability to phone free between customers in their community, is this something you’ll need?

Technical support – some providers offer technical support.  This additional customer care is often factored into the price, you get what you pay for.  Be aware of the availability of the support service, if you are buying internationally office hours in one country could be when you are sleeping. When thinking about where the support staff are located, think about what language they speak are they multi lingual?

Contract time: Looking at what is available some providers ask for a set up fee some don’t.  Some state there are cancellation fees others don’t. Some contracts request a long term commitment, others say you can cancel at any time with no charge. Check if you cancel, whether you’ll get any unused credit back.

Reporting – ask for sample reports or invoice before you buy and make sure you understand what you are looking at, a good way to perhaps test out the customer care.

Reliability: Consider how the provider has been in business, this gives you a good gauge of whether you can trust them. Consider their financial probity, be aware that if the provider goes out of business you may lose the number(s).  How long has the the provider been in continuous business and the same ownership?

References: for larger purchases ask for a reference and have a chat with other customers.