Communications Service Network
CSN

Monthly Review of Departmental Telecommunications Bill

Directors, managers, supervisors and employees are strongly encouraged to review their telecommunications bills on a regular basis. Monitoring the telecommunications bill will deter misuse and identify services that are no longer effective or no longer required. This memo includes some information which should prove helpful in reviewing your monthly telecommunications statements.

Some departments keep telephone logs and/or spreadsheets which enable them to monitor cost effectiveness or quickly identify problems. Identify all telephone numbers and services for which you are billed and ensure any toll charges are reviewed by the person(s) responsible for use of the telephone or calling card. We suggest that individuals review, sign off and return their individual bills to his/her supervisor to maintain the records for future audit reviews. Be sure someone checks to confirm there is no toll detail for numbers that would not normally initiate long distance charges (i.e., conference rooms, labs, photocopying rooms).

Voice, Data, PID and Video Options: Review regular monthly charges. For new installations or moves, the demographic data should also be reviewed.

Direct Dialed Tolls (Toll Calls Section of Bill)

Review for the following:

  1. Total amount of long distance.
  2. Total number of calls.
  3. Total number of minutes.
  4. Review places called to determine if they are locations where your department could reasonably be doing business.
  5. Review the day of the week and time of day that calls are placed to determine if they are periods when departmental personnel would normally be at work.

We encourage you to limit calls to directory assistance whenever possible. Some ways to reduce charges for this service include:

  1. Check directories, WEB resources, printed material previously received from a company, etc. for
    telephone numbers.
  2. If a directory assistance call is required, write down the number obtained for future reference.
  3. Call 411 for ANY number within the 540 area code. Ask for two numbers at a time when possible.
  4. Try to obtain an 800 number by calling (800) 555-1212.
  5. Where appropriate, ask vendors/colleagues to call you.
  6. If a person called is not available, leave a message to have your call returned.
  7. Use an 800 number, if available, to place the call.

Non-Direct Dialed Tolls (Toll Calls Section of Bill)

Review for the following:

  1. Total amount of long distance.
  2. Total number of calls and minutes.
  3. Places called and originating numbers to insure that departmental personnel were in originating locations
    on the days calls were made.
  4. Type of call (i.e., calling card, collect, etc.).

Calling card fraud is a major problem in this country. Long distance charges for calling card fraud can add up to thousands of dollars in a short period of time. If a department has limited resources for reviewing monthly telecommunications charges, non-direct dialed calls should be the first priority for review.

Other Important Information

Insure all University personnel are aware of the general structure for toll rates. Direct dialed calls are least expensive while calling card calls and operator assisted calls are usually more costly, due to the surcharges placed on non-direct dialed calls.

Insure that travel related calls for university business (calling card or collect calls) Conform with travel regulations. Personnel should check telephone bills for each calling card or collect call they may have made while traveling. Personal calls made during travel should NEVER appear on the University telephone bill.

If you have any questions concerning billing or suspected telephone abuse, please call Communications Network Services Accounts Receivable at 231-6460.

REMINDER: THE UNIVERSITY TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS ARE FOR OFFICIAL USE. PERSONAL USE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND IS CONSIDERED TO BE MISUSE OF STATE RESOURCES.



Contact
Communications Network Services
1770 Forecast Drive (0506)
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
(540) 231-6460
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