Byte Me Article 215 – DOT selling points do not ring true

DOT Selling Points Don’t Ring True

Rarely do I find a reason to write on a topic that is outside of the area of IT that we service. However in this instance I find a number of our own business customers (and know of heaps of others) suffering from lost income and frustration because they adopted a ‘new’ technology. That new technology in this case is DOT (Digital Office Technology) and it refers to the latest phone systems that Telstra is trying to thrust upon unsuspecting customers.

DOT is supposed to work by utilising your Internet connection to not only carry your emails and Internet browsing data – but also to carry your phone calls in the form of Voice over IP telephony (VoIP). It requires (according to Telstra) EITHER a good ADSL 2+ connection or a fibre optic connection and as such one of the big selling points is that it is ‘NBN ready’.

The fact of the matter is – while it ‘may’ be a good phone system to have when we finally get NBN connections, it can be a dog of a system when placed over our existing ADSL 2+ connections. This is where we have seen many small businesses who have gone to DOT now losing money. Let’s look at this in more detail.

2015-03-28 Byte Me Artilce 215 - The DOT that's NOT

Around 95% of small businesses in Central Queensland have an ADSL 2+ Internet connection through their phone line. This style of connection is ‘asynchronous’ meaning that it has a much faster download speed than the upload speed (usually around 20 times the difference). ADSL 2+ is also a ‘best effort’ connection technology meaning that it has NO speed guarantees – it can slow down during congested times (such as when school kids get home).

If you have signed up on one of Telstra’s 24 month Digital Office Technology (DOT) plans then you are simply hoping that your upload speed is good enough to carry your outgoing voice sounds as packets of digital information across your ADSL 2+ connection. What happens if it is running slow? Your phone call simply suffers and your customers at the other end of the line have trouble hearing you or simply get cut off!

This may sound rather drastic – because it is! I have talked with a number of businesses that were ‘pushed’ to adopt this Telstra named ‘latest / greatest’ technology – only to annoy customers to the point of losing their business. Some of them have screamed loudly enough to be let out of contracts but still some of them are trapped, frustrated and still hurting.

Telstra are really pushing their dealers to sign businesses up to these connections on the strength of so many white lies. It will save money overall – often false. Your old phone system will shortly become redundant – absolutely false. It will make your business look more professional – hardly, if customers can’t hear you. In fact many of the businesses that sign up to this ‘new technology’ – were coerced into it by telemarketers over their previously perfectly good phone system.

How Telstra can be happy with these complex phone contracts being sold ‘over the phone’ is beyond belief. To fully enlighten a customer as to what they are signing up for the minimum should be a face-to-face consultation – complete with pictures and diagrams clearly demonstrating what systems the customer currently has in place as well as a more transparent view of what the salesperson is actually selling.

I cannot warn small businesses strongly enough to tread lightly here as currently DOT is NOT everything that Telstra is wanting us to believe – in many cases it doesn’t even come close to their promises.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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