Patient communication is a multimillion-dollar industry, with expensive contracts even for smaller offices. It’s also a highly competitive field, with some players promising high-quality service at prices that seem too good to be true. Always remember that things which seem too good to be true, almost always are. That is why it is critical to assess every aspect before entering a contract.
Usually, those low prices come with hidden fees, poor quality services, or both. Many of the more predatory operators in this field rely on a disconnect between the person who signs the contract and the person who pays the bill. Before you sign on any deal that seems unusually good (or really any deal at all), review your contract. Look for these red flags that can indicate a patient communication company more interested in fleecing you than creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
What red flags should you be looking for before entering a contract?
Red Flag 1 – Additional fees for calls over one minute.
Calls over a minute are not rare. They happen 40-50 percent of the time. This contract element could raise your average cost per call by more than 5 to 8 cents.
Do not let a sales rep convince you this will never come up, or that it won’t make impact your bottom line.
Red Flag 2 – Unlimited calls.
It sounds great, since prices per call seem like something that can outstrip your needs quickly. But your definition of “unlimited” is probably not what the contract company is using as their definition. Usually, a contract offering unlimited calls have very limited minimum client contact from the communication service. This means the company calls your patients less often than is the best practice, to limit the cost of the “unlimited” service. Better to opt for a limited plan with a cap that matches what you’re likely to need.
Red Flag 3 – Free or $1 trial periods
This is good marketing, but deceptive. Since you don’t see an invoice before the trial period ends, the actual price you’re going to be charged is hidden unt
il you’re locked into a 36 month contract. These contracts are typically set up so that by the time you really find out your monthly cost, you are on the wrong end of a long term contract.
Red Flag 4 – Long-Term Contracts.
A company that provides quality service at a good price can afford to let you stop doing business with a reasonable required termination notice. Long-term contracts are designed so a company doesn’t have to keep you happy once you’ve signed. Short-term contracts (a year or less) are the sign of a company that is confident enough in their services that they are not afraid of giving their customers real freedom of choice.
Red Flag 5 – 90-day notice.
This isn’t a red flag in and of itself so much as a point to look at carefully for potential red flags. If a company gives you a 90-day cancellation policy at any point, that’s good. What you need to be aware of are contracts with an initial 90-day cancellation period, which is the only time you are permitted to cancel. After the 90-day period, you will be locked into a multi-year contract. This is another brand of long-term contracts for which you should be vigilant.
If you like reliability, straightforward business dealings, and integrity then Callpointe would like to speak with you about your needs. Our services use leading edge technology, but our ethics are old fashioned. We treat you the way we would want to be treated. Callpointe – Industry leading technology with a level of attention to personal service that is uncommon today.