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  • #995316
    nameunknown
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    Hi everyone,

    I have a situation where I pay for one of my staff’s phone bills. nothing strange in that,however my staff member lives in a rural area (by choice) and because of that their choice of telco is Telstra.

    My provider is Vodafone, and my bills are $30 per month on a BYO plan. However, his phone bill is $140 per month for the same data and unlimited calls.

    HIs reasoning is because he is so far away, he needs the coverage from Telstra. My issue is… I’m paying someone’s phone bill to cover for the lack of reception in their area which is by their preferred living choice.

    I don’t feel I should have to pay the full amount to simply compensate for his living arrangements.

    What is the norm in this sort of setup, as just paying his phone bill which is 4 times my own phone bill because of where he chooses to live.

    So im hoping someone on this group has experienced this and can advise what is suitable

    #1201120
    Greg_M
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    First up, having lived in regional and rural areas for the last 18 years (2 States) any provider apart from Telstra is a waste of time, the trade off is you pay through the nose for data and calls.

    Did the employee live in this area when you engaged them?

    Do they respond to work calls while at home?

    Do you pay them for their time responding to these calls? If you don’t, I’d deduct that from the cost for a start.

    Is the employee profitable to your business? If they are, what’s the beef over a hundred dollars a month of fully deductible expenses?

    If that $100 makes a significant difference to your profit, terminate them and get someone else, otherwise it all sounds a bit petty to me.

    #1201121
    Rohan@TD
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    I second [USER=38207]@Greg_M[/USER]’s point about living in rural areas and his questions. This may be the cost of accessing the talent your business needs. I know people who live remotely and their employers pay hundreds to equip them with the data they need to work. They do so because of the value they generate for the business.

    If the cost is significant to you, what alternatives have you explored? Depending on your business model and communication habits, there are plenty of alternatives in today’s market other than relying heavily on traditionally provided voice-based-communication – VIOP, using Skype, google hangout etc. just to name a few. Which could potentially be provided through their broadband? You may not be able to reduce/remove their mobile call requirement completely, but reduce the cost associated with providing them the service they actually need.

    What are your options?

    • Keep paying their contract? I assume they have a standard 12/24 month contract
    • Take it off them completely.
    • Take off part of it (e.g. drop to $30 a month).
    • Change company policy to offer a certain package for future hires (e.g. $30).

    Each will have positive and negative consequences you’ll need to identify and consider.

    #1201122
    nameunknown
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    thanks for your feedback guys. its more about establishing a precedent over the cost of it all. looking at future hire’s and we are going to look at establishing a rate the company is willing to pay and anything over that is the persons own obligation.

    The person in question is neither a superstar at their job nor is this person bad at what they do.

    but seeing the options that are around, its been raised as a necessity to be had by the person due to their needs to visit family in even more rural locations. – which isn’t something I feel a business should have to factor in.

    #1201123
    Greg_M
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    More information helps :)

    If you have more than one employee I guess you need a more standardised policy, and I agree there’s limit to what you should bear for private calls and choices.

    One company that I worked for on contract (in a major capital) actually provided the phone as part of the package and they had a bulk deal with a provider (not Telstra), so everyone engaged had the same deal…when I went home for weekends etc, the lack of coverage was my problem (which sometimes suited me-no work calls). I just ran my own second phone when needed. On completion or termination the phones went back to the office for redistribution…not perfect but everyone was treated equally and the company got a better deal on rates.

    The other option that I’ve experienced working on contract was a flat rate to cover the phone (my own phone)… anything over that flat rate was my problem.

    #1201124
    bb1
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    nameunknown, post: 238334, member: 85046 wrote:
    but seeing the options that are around, its been raised as a necessity to be had by the person due to their needs to visit family in even more rural locations. – which isn’t something I feel a business should have to factor in.

    If I read it right they only need Telstra for the times they are visiting the family in more remote areas.
    2 questions arise in my mind, are they expected to take work calls when in this further remote area, and if so is it critical that they take these calls.

    If it is only for their personal needs when visiting family, give them a Vodafone phone and let them have a second phone for their personal needs. Its not your problem if its outside of work requirements

    #1201125
    arrowwise
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    Find a Telstra cap deal which includes everything. You would be able to find for less than $100 per month if data requirements aren’t too demanding.

    Better deals on Telstra network can be achieved via one of their subsidiaries or resellers like Boost Mobile.

    Also consider running VoIP account with unlimited calls on the mobile where you can use another carrier for calls, but via the Telstra data network – so coverage should be similar but not always 4G in rural areas.

    #1201126
    Divert To Mobile
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    If your business relies on the ability to receive a phone call then I would suggest Telstra over any other mobile carrier in the country.

    You might think your saving $100 per month but what would it cost your business if you lose a single customer enquiry for poor reception.

    Steve

    #1201127
    gingerbeardhs
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    $140/month is a high price for a telstra business plan. If it’s worth that much to you, maybe research changing the plan your employee is on? AFAIK the most expensive business plan BYO phone is currently $90/month casually

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