Remove charges for mobile users

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It seems that clients are now being charged to add mobile users. That is to add additional extensions that can receive phone calls. This is after we were repeatedly told that there was no additional charges to add these. Feels like bait and switch, since true pricing is withheld until after the purchase. Why?? Simultaneously, new users are getting FREE phones offered to them. Why??  Really bad for customer relations, customer retention, and public relations
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Department

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Posted 2 years ago

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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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DISCLAIMER - I am NOT a RingCentral employee! I've been a RingCentral customer for a long while and have received and understood the information I am providing below.

Customers are not being charged to simply add extensions that can receive calls. There is more to it than that. In a nutshell, many were using the mobile app or desktop app with that "added extension" to bypass purchasing a user license. With it they could log on the mobile app using the account's main number + their extension number to make and receive calls. It certainly is not bait and switch. RingCentral's prices are plainly listed on their web site and/or if you are paying on a contract, it was spelled out in the terms there.

If you are a business with 100 employees and all the employees use a phone in their job to make and/or receive call, either via a desk phone, or computer app (mobile or desktop) you would need to purchase an account with a incoming/outgoing line for those 100 users...namely 100 digital, direct dial lines (DDL's) capable of making/receiving those calls. You cannot purchase a single user license and then create 99 free extensions and then use the main number with those extension numbers and a computer app (mobile or desktop) to bypass the system.

Just like your home phone, if you want two people in the household the ability to be able to make two separate phone calls at the same time, your POTS phone company will charge you monthly for two lines. Straight forward...no bait and switch. Why should RingCentral be any different as a phone service provider?

The way the technology works in the mobile and desktop apps seems to suggest there is no way to prohibit the activity I mentioned in the previous paragraphs (using a free extension to bypass purchasing a user line).

The FREE phones offered to new accounts is a sales perk. Not all users get them (there are always restrictions to something....like the length of the contract, the number of lines, the product edition purchased, etc.).

This has been widely discussed in the forums but much misinformation and supposition abound. Did you inquire about this with your account manager or RingCentral sales before posting?
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Luke, Training Specialist

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You can also check which users are in danger of being charged "mobile users" by visiting the billing section on your account. Our article for Getting the Usage Details of Mobile Users shows the best way to check that out.
We have answered some Frequently Asked Questions about Mobile Users as well. If you have further questions, there is a number for sales on the FAQ page you can call so we can look at your account and users in more detail.
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OnCallAnswer

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What if that area is non existent 
(Edited)
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Saadet, Employee

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It may not show up until February - please speak with your Account Manager for more details.
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Evelyn Santiago

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I just got my July billing and had another $49.99 charge for "mobil user".  Mind you I forward my calls to my cell phone so if I am out of the office I can get the call on my mobil phone.  I am beyond furious about this.  I am cancelling my Ring Central account which I have had for almost 10 years!  Because I have been procrastinating my desk phone no longer rings - I basically have a high end answering machine where I can get faxes on ocassion from people that still do that.   Called customer service to find out what this was and tried to escalate to my "account manager" or supervisor and everyone was "at lunch".  What a crock of BS!  I might as well have a regular Comcast Business line.  
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Saadet, Employee

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Hi Evelyn,

Really sorry for this frustration. I've followed up with your Account Manager and asked that they contact you as soon as they are available. 
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Evelyn Santiago

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Have already done that.  Will be waiting for them to come back from "lunch".   I already had one issue with Ring Central where some agent upgraded my account without me noticing and I was being charged for another line.  Did they reimburse me for the months they did that?  No!  I am through!  I am just trying to find their cancellation policy and can't find it.  How much notice do I have to give....I recall 30 days but can't find anything on my searches on the support page.  What the.....I am beyond livid...thieves come in all sorts of disguises....
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Saadet, Employee

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Hi Evelyn, you can call our Customer Loyalty Team at 888-898-4591, Option 5 - they can go over your account details and options with you. Again, I'm really sorry about this.
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Eryn Phipps

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Jan Ferguson, 
You are listed as a "channel partner." Does this mean you are a channel partner with Ring Central? Either, you are: 1) A channel partner ("A company that partners with a manufacturer or producer to market and sell the manufacturer's products, services, or technologies") or 2) You're unfamiliar with the term "bait and switch." Let me provide you with an example from Merriam-Webster: "A sales tactic in which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced one." We are a small start-up and researched potential VOIPs extensively before choosing one. We chose Ring Central over 8x8 (at that time) because we were informed by our rep that there would only need to pay for 1 line, and that there would be "no charge" for staff using their mobile phones. We were then told, as was everyone else (AFTER we purchased and started using the system); that, in order to use the same basic call features, we would HAVE to pay $54.99 per month if staff were going to "use" their extensions to make or place calls.  I have some staff who literally work 5 hours/week. I'd be "losing money" by paying $54.99/month per part-time staff member. We provide in-home services are not a high phone use company. Why in the world would I pay that, when I can literally buy cell phones for everyone for less? Ring Central said they raised the price because soft phone users can now access all of the features (i.e., new, "fancy" features) of a regular line. That's nice, but I didn't "ask" for the new features. We just need a BASIC phone system. I find it ironic that Ring Central is now charging me extra for features THEY decided to spend R&D $ on, that I didn't ask for, and don't need; however, I'm now being required to pay for those added features and not being given the option to "opt out" of the "added features" we don't need. So, we were told and sold one thing, and later told we'd have to pay 100% more per extension to use it. That IS the epitome of bait and switch. If anyone else has found a reasonably priced HIPAA-compliant VOIP to replace Ring Central, please share this information with us - because we're currently looking for one. Thank you!       
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Steven Suslick

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I am also a channel partner and had similar belief to the opening issue but my understanding was that the mobile app would use the cellular users phone and just mask the number. This way for example my Pizza customers could use an extension to reach their drivers without incurring a user fee. But the key was that the call was using the cellular carrier not RC voip.
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Eryn Phipps

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We were told there would be no charge for mobile users going through the app when we signed up. Considering RC changed their service terms, this was how the application was sold to us (and I assume, to countless other very small businesses that don't want their employees to have to give out their phone numbers to call and /or receive calls from clients). RC is now VERY expensive (due to their change in our original service agreement) in comparison to other phone apps. We're still very small, but will be switching phone apps soon. Phone.com charges per minute which may be a more economic choice for us since our part-time staff (who provide in-home services) so seldom need to chat with clients when off-site.
(Edited)
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Steven Suslick

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I like your comments if you are really considering leaving RC for the above company I may have another company for you to look at but they to are minute based. I am still a dedicated RC customer and reseller and I hope they will revisit this issue and find a more suitable cost but at the moment it only effects my future clients.
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Customer Support

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Your comment only addresses new accounts. I have 2 companies. We have several RC lines. I have been with RC for over a decade with no additional charge for their mobile forwarding service in the past. If I or an on-call employee was out of the office and needed to take a call or make a call we could use the mobile phone app or log in from cell phone, no problem. 

The new charges started happening and I inquired. They changed the policy in the middle of my contracted term to start charging for forwarding to mobile if there were over 10 calls per month.  That's why others are upset. When they advertised mobile users and forwarding at no additional charges and I've had an account for years without those fees, they changed their pricing structure without regard for previously loyal clients. It's just bad business. They weighed the option of how many customers will they lose and how much more revenue will they make. It's a dollars and cents decision without regard for customers. That's the kind of company they are.
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SMEChong

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So, why is RC charging when there no concurrent users? RC charges every mobile user regardless whether the call was made concurrently.
The model that RC is now charging us is not the model that got us signed up.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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SMEChong...I've been following this thread and I'm a bit confused. Each direct/digital line is supposed to be able to use one instance of a mobile app and one instance of a softphone without any additional cost.

As I understand the "mobile users" charge, it is supposed to be for a business that has hypothetically, 10 employee but they only have, let's say, 7 paid, direct/digital lines, but the other 3 employees are using the main number with their extension to be able to make/receive calls. When they make/receive in excess of 9 calls (IOW, starting on the 10th call) they would be charged the equivalent of a direct/digital line based on the contract/account a business would have with RC.

Are you saying that ANY of your employees who are using the mobile app are being charged extra or is it, like in my example above, only those employees who do not have a direct/digital line assigned to them? [Notwithstanding any special contract and understanding you may have with RingCentral]
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David Balian

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The difference is if the call is utilizing cellular / land line service or the internet. So to avoid the "mobile user" charges turn off forwarding to cell phone or land line numbers. So you will only receive or make calls through your phones data service (wifi or 4g) using the RC app. Or use the desktop/online to make/receive calls. You only get charged if its forwarded to a cell phone or landline 10 times in a month.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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But that doesn't answer my question, especially as I described it in the second paragraph. It wouldn't make ANY sense for RC to have a mobile app for their customers so that a PAYING customer can use it outside the office.

I'm a certified RingCentral partner, and unless they have changed the entire program without advising anyone, a PAID, DIRECT/DIGITAL LINE user has FULL calling and receiving call functionality on the mobile app without any restrictions as you describe and without any additional cost on ANY RC Office edition.
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David Balian

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Your 2nd paragraph seems correct with my understanding. But the issue everyone has is that this was never the case until sometime in 2018 as explained to me by our account manager. They even said I was lucky that we havent paid those fees for about a year until this past December... Forwarding calls to cell/land lines was included in our plan for all users and extensions for no additional cost. In 2018 they changed pricing models in which ALL lines must pay the mobile user above 10 calls. Furthermore, even though our account had 1 user that was paying for the mobile user fee we still got charged because when the pricing model change took place that feature wasn't added to our account simply because we had not paid the taxes for that feature. So I just had to pay another $10 in taxes to get that feature activated on our account that had 1 user that was paying for the mobile user fee... But again I think if you turn off the forwarding feature you can still use the RC phone/desktop/browser apps to make and receive unlimited calls so long you are using data.
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SMEChong

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JB Ferguson, for the last 5 years we used RC, we were never charged mobile users. We have a digital line and the extension associated with it was never used. We were not even aware that was the only ext that we could use without being charge. We have less than 10 people working for us and most of them don't bother to use RC. Nonethless we created ext for them so that they could use RC to call out if they didn't want to use their own phone. So, in a month, we get maybe one or two users charged as mobile users. And all the while, the digital line extension was not even used. So much of RC helping us out.
The "mobile users"do NOT receive calls. Only one extension receives call and we do not forward calls to other extension. Our usage of RC is that simple. No fancy PABX requirements. Just a line for people to call out. Only one extension to take all calls. And for that, we are asked to pay 10 times more. I am ready to move on.
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David Balian

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Sad truth though: RC knows their competition and their pricing. That is why they are screwing everyone including old loyal users like us. This is the rub. We did a lot of research on other providers, most of them are comparable in price if you allow all extensions to have unlimited forwarding. I believe Nextiva and Grasshopper are less costly than RC. Also 8x8 has one "basic" plan if you talk to a person they can offer that is cheaper also. I just got a quote from them. Just know that other providers costs aren't significantly less unless you turn off forwarding. But as much as I feel burned by RC if you turn off forwarding the overall cost isnt bad but we are still considering switching on principle.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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I'm a telecommunications advisor and partner. I partner with a good number of VoIP/UCaaS providers and as far as I know RIngCentral is the only one who charges mobile users in the way both David and SMEChong have described. While most, if not all, will allow a mobile user, if they have a paid digital/direct line, the use of that line is without restrictions. I have clients with other providers who forward to answering services, to their home phones, and many other alternatives without additional charges.

In the RC "original mobile user plan" as we were instructed on it and in the notice I got as a client as well, it also said that I could forward any call to anywhere as long as it originated on a paid direct/digital line. Based on what you are saying, this has indeed changed.
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SMEChong

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I can definitely find a better deal for my simple requirement. Even if I have to pay the same amount that RC would charge, I will switch out of principle. I don't like buying from a company that reneged.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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I agree with you.
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Heather Matera

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We had ring central about 10 years ago for a period of about 4 years for a business we owned at the time and had it set up this way.  A couple of years ago we got 2 accounts for 2 businesses we currently own and were assured by the "chat" on the home page that setting it up this way was fine. And on several occasions our account manager helped us set these up.  Its hard to see it as anything other than a money grab by the company.

"Why should ring central be any different?"  We got ring central because we thought it was different.  If its not any different, why should we be using it? 
Instead of being happy ringcentral customers who encourage other small business owners to use it, we are now going to be looking at options to see if we can find a more affordable solution.
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Saadet, Employee

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Hi Heather,

I've escalated this to your Account Manager. You should be hearing from them soon!
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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I had tech support help me out with call flow issues with a call queue which did not have the flexibility my customer needed build me an extension that had all real users of the account (paid premium users) in it to handle call flow and set hours and overflow better. This was brought up and built by a ringcentral partner tech support agent. After being contacted by another customer and they have the same setup and now a billing issue which i had to have set straight by my account manager. This seems like RingCentral should be able to tell if calls are being directed away from or to unpaid freeloading extensions or to true paid user extensions.
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Saadet, Employee

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Hey Chris, really sorry this happened :( Could you email me the details of the Accounts involved and who you spoke with? My email is: community.support@ringcentral.com 
You are wrong my friend!! After more than 10 years of being ringcentral customer we were charged 250 bucks for "Mobile User" which is ridiculous as we dont know what is it, When we contracted (more than 10 years ago) that was offered as a "follow me", "find me" and a free app. It looks like all these  service names have changed the name, the name RC called them and suddenly want to charge us 250 bucks for a "service" that we did not know it even exists!!!  I will dispute it tomorrow or close the account. We have only one ringcentral softphone or software downloaded in only one pc to send faxes out, one RC phone device where we receive incoming calls, however, they charged us three mobile users without any advice!!...Steal somewhere else
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OnCallAnswer

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Good luck, we were able to stay with Ring Central but had to revamp our whole set up because as a telephone answering service we get 13,000 calls a month
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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I had a customer remove my ( their vendor / the person who sold them RC) extension because they misunderstood the email and charges that would be applied and thought they'd be charged for me having an extension on the system even though my extension neither makes or takes calls for them.
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Noah Wieder

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I just reviewed our RC billing statement to find two new charges for July and August 2019 for mobile usage even though we changed nothing in our system. All of a sudden in the last 60 days we are being billed $44.99 (ref #9805770012). Why are we being billed these again.  The same thing happened last year and tech support changed everything in my setup so we would not be charged those fees.
(Edited)
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Saadet, Employee

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Hey Noah, you will want to speak with your Account Manager to get more info about your bill. If you don't have their contact info, let me know!
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Noah Wieder

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Yes, please send their contact info.
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Noah Wieder

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I have called my account manager Nowell E. Sincioco  at (877) 370-8000 Ext.0617 a half dozen times and he never answers. I left a detailed voice mail (says he never got it, what a joke from a company that creates phone systems), sent him a half dozen emails (nowell.sincioco@ringcentral.com ) about these charges but nothing has been done in over a month.

He's emailed me back several times asking for a good time to reach me but never calls at any of the times I provide. He has not been helping me at all. He is the worst account manager I've ever endured. I would like a new account manager.  I even provided my personal Direct Google Phone number to make sure I don't miss his call. It rings all of my phones, home, work, cell and he has never called me.   I'm so upset at his lack of service I'm seriously considering switching all my services to phone.com and I'll deal with all of the hassles of changing providers. 



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Saadet, Employee

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Hey Noah, I'm very sorry about this. I sent you an email with some more info. Hopefully our Executive Response Team will get things taken care of quickly!
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David Balian

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Our business has been using Ring Central for 10 years or so and just now we were charged Mobile user fee for last month. But nothing has changed. We didnt add a mobile user. If ring central is going to charge us $56.05 for every person that downloads your app we will UN-install them immediately. Ive called and left 3 messages for support and no one has called me back to explain the charges and new fees. I will cancel and switch to another company! Please contact us.
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Becky - Community Support, Official Rep

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David, it looks like you are in contact with your account manager. Please contact us directly if we can assist further. Review@RingCentral.com
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Steven Suslick

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this happened to us too. A while back it used to be that we could make calls via our mobile carrier but now the bill trigger seems to be incoming or outgoing calls to that extension. No relief supplied to us at this point.
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Kevin Dougherty

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The same thing just happened to me and the support person could not provide a reason of logic for this charge. She did say it was just implemented in December.  I can't afford doubling of a phone service for some arbitrary decision that was made and was never communicated to me.  I have reached out to my account manager but have yet to hear back from them.  This is not only ludicrous it a bait and switch if I ever saw one. Time to find a new service provider after having been a loyal client for over 10 years.
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David Balian

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HI All, I've been dealing with this for a few weeks now here is what I've learned:
In 2018 RC started charging people a fee for mobile users. If any of your extensions get or receive 10 or more calls forwarded to a phone they will charge you a fee for each user. In our case the mobile user fee was supposed to be included for at least 1 user per our plan but they still charged us. This should be true for most users/plans. After hours and hours of coordination with them they basically said I needed to pay additional taxes so they can apply the free mobile user that Im supposed to have per our plan. They did refund us for 1 month of fees since we were supposed to get it as included in our plan but they charged us for a 2nd month of fees and even though they said just email us if it happens again and we will refund it they simply wont email back after 3 attempts.
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SMEChong

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The mobile user charge is a rip-off; it was not the model we signed up for with RC. The RC model that was sold to us allowed users using the mobile app to make calls through the single line. If you want more functionality like receiving call from your extension, then sign up for another line. All we needed was for a few associates to make call on RC when they do not wish their personal line.
The mobile charges we have incurred since Nov 2019 is close to the amount that we are paying for our annual fee.
The new RC model will not work for us. If I have to pay 5 to 6 times more, I would be better off getting a local service that will cost much lesser than the new RC model. 
I am looking around for a new provider and will welcome pitches.
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Becky - Community Support, Official Rep

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Every customer situation is different. We encourage you to reach out to your account manager to negotiate your specific account. 
We've contacted your account manager to reach out. 
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SMEChong

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I have been trying to contact my account manager since Dec and he has not contacted me. Contacted support twice in the last few days and they conveyed message to him and he has yet to call back.
This lack of response says it all of RC. Small customers are not the focus of RC.
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David Balian

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We too have been customers for years and we renewed September of last year and in the middle of our term we’re hit by these charges in December. Calling account manager doesn’t work. We did that. They knew we were stuck in a contract u til next September. They offered us NOTHING. We switched our account to monthly then told our Credit Card company to block RC charges. We will be switching to 8x8 or grasshopper when our contract is up.

So ya. We spoke to Hector our account manager several times. We gained nothing.