Vertical Features Audit

Increase Revenue

Reduce Customer Service Calls

Improve Customer Experience

SimCall Lite – Vertical Features Audit

Telephone companies receive and process countless service requests on a daily basis to add or remove vertical features from a customer’s telephone service such as voice mail, call waiting, 3 way calling, etc. These requests are handled by adding/removing a USOC to the subscriber’s billing profile and provisioning the feature on their respective switch. Unfortunately, many times the situation arises where the customer receives the additional vertical features but is never billed for them. These errors often go by unnoticed and cause the telephone company to lose upwards of millions of dollars per year. On the other hand, a customer may ask for a feature to be removed but continue to be billed for it. This leads to increased cost, dissatisfied customers, and ultimately a higher churn rate.

In order to resolve these issues, ATS completes a line-by-line vertical feature comparison of switch translation data to corresponding billing files. First, ATS uses a module built into our SimCall tool that extracts the line level data from the switch. ATS then secures billing files from the carrier that defined which features their customers were being billed for. Upon completing the comparison, ATS is able to identify which customers were being under-billed/over-billed for vertical features.

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Revenue Recovery (Under-Billing)

An under-billing error is identified when a customer is found to have a feature provisioned on the switch that they are not currently billed for. ATS consistently finds tens of thousands of errors for many of the features we test for.  Typically a carrier will elect to contact the customer with a letter or phone call indicating what has been found and what the customer’s options are.  Carriers have found take rates up to 70% as well as a tremendous up-selling opportunity where by many customers selected a larger feature bundle worth additional dollars.  ATS is also able to assist in the process of automating the correction on errors found.

Preventative RA (Over-Billing)

ATS has completed extensive research to analyze the impact that overbilling has on call center cost as well as customer churn. The costs associated with fixing a feature related error can become rather high when you include the time of each employee that needs to be involved to fix the error. This often includes a customer service representative, a translator, and potentially a customer service manager. By proactively looking for overbilling errors and automating the fixing process, the costs associated with these errors decreases dramatically. Additionally, ATS research has found that overbilled customers are at a higher risk of churn.

Additional Features

Identification of Unbilled Lines
During the SimCall Lite vertical features process, ATS can also use the data to identify customers that are completely unbilled for their phone service.  These customers have an active provisioned line in the switch but have no billing record at all.  ATS has identified tens of thousands of unbilled lines in the switches tested.

Switch to Bill PIC Validation
While comparing vertical features from switch to bill, ATS can also compare the Primary Interexchange Carrier (PIC) information.  Just as the case is with vertical features, customers have the option of choosing different PICs.  This inevitably leads to some level of disconnect between the switch and bill causing the potential for lost revenue as well as legal ramifications from competing carriers.

Line Card Equipment Audit
As carriers are continuously connecting and disconnecting customers daily, the database records of line cards in use must be updated as well.  Unfortunately, the situation often occurs where a line is physically removed from a switch but the line card database is never updated to indicate the release of the equipment.  Eventually the time comes when all line card equipment appears to be in use and the carrier is forced to purchase additional equipment at a large and unnecessary cost.  The line card equipment audit identifies the equipment that can be released from the database and saves the carrier the expense of buying superfluous equipment.  ATS has saved our customers millions of dollars in capital expenditures (CAPEX) with this tool.