Understanding Telecom Invoices So You Can Save Money

Your wireless costs might increase because of COVID-19 – but they won’t if you follow these 3 steps.

telecommunications billsTrying to get an understanding of your telecommunications bills can be an arduous task.  Telecom invoices are notoriously confusing and typically filled with acronyms.

If you’re in charge of your telecom invoices you need to know these acronyms in order to best understand them. This is the first step to lowering your telecom bills and not wasting money on  invoicing errors.

The following 10 acronyms are commonly used on telecom invoices. Do they look similar to what you see on your  invoice? Knowing the following acronyms will help you understand what your telecom fees, identify discrepancies, and allow you to negotiate for better telecom rates and services.

Step 1:

10 Telecom Acronyms You Need to Know:


Monthly Recurring Charge – The monthly fee that is charged for a product or service component.


Non-Recurring Charge – A one-time fee that can typically be attributed to an installation, a service set-up, or a service call.


Early Termination Fee – The fee that is administered when a contract is broken prior to the date the contract ceases.


Make Up to Minimum – You will see this charge when there is a shortage between the contractual minimum that was agreed to be spent in a month or a and what was actually spent during that month. Read our Corporate Guide to Lowering Your Telecom Expenses for information on how to leverage this arrangement.


Minimum Annual Revenue Commitment – This is the amount of money that your company has committed to spend with your telecom vendor per year.


Minimum Usage Guarantee – This term is another way of saying an annual commitment or agreement of how much will be spent by a company for services.


Annual Revenue Commitment – Yes, you guessed it! Another way to express an annual commitment or agreement. Telecom vendors are big on your company committing to spend money.


Primary Rate Interface-  This is a type of local telecom service that is becoming antiquated because of outdated technology. Believe it or not, older technology is more expensive to maintain than infusing and maintaining new technology for your company’s telecom needs.

VoIP :

Voice over Internet Protocol – This is a newer and frequently much less expensive technology for long-distance calling. VoIP has been commonly seen as the replacement for LD T1.


Multiprotocol Label Switching – This is the primary type of data network, such as for office to office connectivity, that is being implemented and used by companies today.

Our goal in sharing these acronyms is to help you gain clarity into your telecom invoice. That is the first step towards savings!

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Step 2:

The next step to reducing your company’s telecom expenditures is understanding what fees and charges are being assessed by your vendor. Telecom invoices are confusing and hidden fees are rampant.  Now that you know what some of these confusing acronyms mean, you can actually see how they affect your bill.

Below are the 5 typical components of a telecom invoice. These are prime places to begin your search for unnecessary or hidden telecom fees.

Monthly Recurring Telecom Fees

You will likely see an MRC (Monthly Recurring Charge) on your invoice, which is the base price for your telecom services. Keep in mind that your telecom vendor may be bundling several telecom services into a bulk, comprehensive MRC.

Have you noticed that in addition to MRC fees, your company is accruing costs per minute for telecom services? These charges are often for long distance services and teleconferencing, but can include inbound or outbound calls, toll free service, and international calls. Confusing, right? Telecom vendors are notorious for this.  If you feel that the costs per minute are an error, contact your telecom vendor to get a clear explanation of these charges.

Non-Recurring Telecom Fees

You will occasionally notice NRC (Non-Reoccurring Charge) on your company telecom invoice. These charges can range from installations, to set-up fees, service calls & other non-typical fees.  Take special note of this section, as you can diagnose telecom billing errors quickly, especially if you know that your company has not had any new activity surrounding installations or service requests.

Telecom Overage Charges

At this point, you’re quite aware that telecom vendors love to charge your company, and love it when your company is engaged with service contracts.  Beyond your basic MRC, you may find that you’re being charged if you exceed your maximum allowances.

If you do see telecom overage charges on your telecom invoice, contact your telecom vendor customer service center to inquire further into these overage charges, so you can avoid future  overages. Within these overage charges, telecom vendors will often add charges for services you may not be aware that your company even had.  Gaining a clear understanding of the overages and services can help you reduce your bill.

‘Other Charges’ on Telecom Invoices

There has been an alarming increase in the number of “Other Charges” that are found on telecom invoices.  These are often for taxes and regulatory fees. These charges are hard to understand and subject to change. Unfortunately, many companies do not have the time or expertise to fully examine any increase in the “Other Charges” section of their invoice. These charges often go completely unquestioned. Do not let this happen to your company.

Third Party Billing

The most frustrating section of your telecom invoice is “Third Party Billing.”  These fees occur when your telecom vendor simply acts as a billing agent. These fees are usually for services that your company does not use. Situations like this are referred to as “slamming” or “cramming” fees.

Contact your telecom vendor’s customer service center to fight back against third party fees. They will be available for support and to answer questions regarding these fees.

Sadly, many of  these components are often overlooked and are not questioned. Errors and overage charges in these telecom billing components allow companies to be taken advantage of, and these billing inconsistencies are costing your company money.

Keep a watchful eye on your telecom invoices to ensure that your company is not falling victim to unnecessary expenses.  The next time you see an acronym you’ll be able to actually understand what it is and how it affects your bill.


[author_bio username=”Ken” name=”yes”]

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