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Cost Effective Cell Phone Plans for a Small Company?

Terry M. Cooney's Profile

I would appreciate some feedback/ suggestions concerning cost-effective ways to provide mobile communications for drivers in a small company.  Does any carrier or other provider cater to limited-use plans that coordinate well with restricting texting, Internet and other non-business use?

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I haven't heard of any phone carrier limiting non-business use, but you can eliminate Internet (get "dumb" phones), have a policy of no texts so anything over the plan is charged back to the employee (better yet, have the employee submit an expense chit).

As for non-business use, you have the ability to look at phone numbers dialed, as well as the time dialed. Stipulate you won't pay for calls after hours unless they are from or too specified phone numbers (office, managers, etc).

There are easier ways... Just say we will pay x dollars per month period, end of story. Anything additional comes from the employee and use their phones...

Robert Honeyman
Title: CFO
Company: Advanced Predictive Analytics
(CFO, Advanced Predictive Analytics) |

Wayne's last suggestion is right on in terms of controlling cost. It only works, though, if each driver is paying his own phone bill and is either submitting for reimbursement or receiving a lump sum amount each month. If, instead, the company is paying, you'd have to ask your local cell phone providers what sort of plans they may have to help small businesses control costs. There aren't more than a handful of carriers in any metropolitan area. They'd be happy to discuss options to see if there's a way to win your business.

Topic Expert
Brenda Goudey
Title: CFO/VP of Finance
Company: KDR Designer Showrooms
(CFO/VP of Finance, KDR Designer Showrooms) |

We set up a payroll deduction arrangement with our employees who wanted to use their phones for non-business purposes. We already had a feature rich plan so there was no incremental cost to allowing personal use, so the company reduced costs and employees got a good deal as well. The employees just pay a fixed amount each month so it isn't an on-going hassle for payroll either.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Brenda,

My impression (this may be a NYS only issue) is that you are not permitted to deduct this type of expense from payroll (non-statutory).

Does anyone really know the answer on this?

Terry M. Cooney
Title: CFO
Company: New West Oil Company LLC
(CFO, New West Oil Company LLC) |

Thank you for the feedback. My concern with employees using their personal phones is that it seems to muddy the 'control' issue, and perhaps even the liability issue. I think I would prefer company-owned phones with a plan that is 'self-limiting', requiring fewer reseources from an ongoing audit perspective. I was hoping to hear from anyone who has been able to find such plans.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Terry -

What liability issue?

Topic Expert
Brenda Goudey
Title: CFO/VP of Finance
Company: KDR Designer Showrooms
(CFO/VP of Finance, KDR Designer Showrooms) |

Wayne,
Our program is strictly voluntary. There is no problem with setting up voluntary payroll deductions in MO.

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