What is the actual definition of a "Mobile User"? Will there be any more thought put into how this new billing logic is implemented?

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Mobile User FAQs

RingCentral warned all of us that there was a big change coming about how they were going to charge "Mobile Users" and why:

All employees connected to the RingCentral solution have access to these services. RingCentral has not been enforcing licenses for employees that are using the system on mobile devices without a digital line (Mobile Users).

As of your March 2018 statement, Mobile Users using the system without a digital line will be considered part of the total licensed users and will be charged the same as users who have a digital line. For your account, this is $​37.99 per user. Please note that you have the ability to add digital lines for these users at no additional charge (excluding taxes and fees).

You can find more details here, including how to identify Mobile Users without a digital line on your account. Last month you had 0 on your account
.  

What I mistakenly took from this was that apparently that some people were using a Ring Central Phone App (my understanding of a "Mobile User") that weren't actually having to pay for a billable digital line. 

How it actually should have been described to avoid misleading users was as follows:

As of your March 2018 statement, Extensions created in the system without  a digital line will be considered part of the total licensed users and will be charged the same as users who have a digital line. For your account, this is $​37.99 per user. Please note that you have the ability to add digital lines for these users at no additional charge (excluding taxes and fees). 

But even then you'd have to clarify further that: "Extensions will be charged as additional licensed users even if the extension is used ONLY for the purpose of directing calls to other licensed users within the organization and regardless of whether the extension is being used or managed through a mobile application or softphone device if and only if that extension receives at least 10 phone calls in any given billing cycle"

So forget about the comment suggesting users were taking advantage of all of these other features. As you try to figure out how to best organize your call tree, or call flow to users that don't need a full digital line because they work from their mobile phone, but are still part of your organization, you will find that RingCentral wants all of those users to be assigned a paid digital line even if all they will ever do is receive an inbound call that came through your company main line associated with a Ring Central account. Because without an extension, there is no way to get that call to one of your "Mobile Users".

And there you have it... the definition of a "Mobile User"

I for one am not impressed, and I've been with RingCentral for more than a decade.
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Brian Del Terzo

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  • frustrated and disappointed.

Posted 2 years ago

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OnCallAnswer

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I agree, this is a mess and required me to revamp my who system for my 40 lines 
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Luke, Training Specialist

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Hi Brian,

I can totally understand the frustration with the given explanation. Part of what makes this definition less specific is that each account can vary in which users will be considered a Mobile User. The overall definition is correct, but there may be a configuration on your account which changes how your bill is affected.

We have another page about this subject here on community, the Mobile User FAQs page. Below is our recommendation on the FAQ page for understanding how Mobile Users are determined on your account specifically:

We realize this pricing structure can be confusing for some accounts and that there are several variables that may or may not cause an extension to be billed.  Therefore we can not quote pricing here on the Community. If you have specific concerns about how this affects your account we request that you reach out to your account manager by calling 800-591-7973.

If your account is highly affected by Mobile Users, please reach out to us so we can investigate your setup and see what can be done to help you out.
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templar701

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I've just started using Ring Central and still in the trial phase, and was ready to port my organisation across, but after hearing this about the pricing, I will not be continuing with Ring Central until they start being transparent and honest about their pricing. 

(Edited)
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Templar701 the mobile users does not apply to all scenarios

Were you able to get connected with someone to explain?

Let me know

Chuck Fuscone
Certified RC Consultant
630-975-1200
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templar701

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No, they're closed now in the UK, but I will call tomorrow, and update my experience here.  Thank you
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Brian Del Terzo

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templar701, I have been with RC for well over 10 years, the service has been an extremely reliable so I wouldn't give up on them yet. I hope that I am wrong, but right now it seems like RC is trying to capitalize on ALL company employees even those that don't need a VOIP phone service, such as those in sales who use their mobile phones. I hope that I am wrong and I'll update here as soon as I have any more details.
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templar701

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OK, thank you, I've just been updated by customer services here in the UK which I've written as a new reply (below).
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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I made 3 "phantom extensions" for a customers 3 inbound lines which are for 3 separate companies. When they made calls using those numbers are outbound caller ID, they were then billed for "mobile users" because RC thought they were using them as people using them to call out and not just as presence on their phones to be able to determine which line was called. Point being if this is how you're using some extensions as well, then contact your rep/account manager and make sur you're not being billed for something that's not really a user but a way to distinguish what line is called if you answer live and don't use call queues.
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Brian Del Terzo

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I just called the number that  Luke, U.S. Tier 1 Support recommended 800-591-7973. I received a message that nobody was available to take my call so I left a message.

I definitely need to find someone at RC that can help me to configure my phone system in a way that doesn't result in being billed for users that don't exist. RC is already the most expensive VOIP service provider I've found, but the premium was worth it to me to pay because of the flexibility and reliability of the system. 

Currently the system is going to cost me way more to use, so I am highly considering breaking my contract and absorbing the ETF because it will result in paying less over the next few months than paying for additional 3-5 users that don't exist. 

I almost can't believe this is really happening.
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Brian the mobile users does not apply to all senarios

Were you able to get connected with someone to explain?

Let me know

Chuck Fuscone
Certified RC Consultant
630-975-1200
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Brian Del Terzo

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Hi Chuck, I have not received a call back yet. Can you help?
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Saw your call

give me a few and I will call you back

Sorry
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Luke, Training Specialist

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Hi Chuck, so sorry about that!

I did some looking around after you reported that the number wasn't working and it turns out that your account sales representative is now the go-to for questions on your account's Mobile Users.
Let us know if you're able to get some more guidance from Chuck or your RingCentral sales representative.
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RC-Installer, Champion

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Luke, I have another comment.  How do Speed dials come in to play?  with the allotted 1,000 virtual extensions per account how could these be used then.  For example when a call comes in to a virtual extension and then ring groups are setup with paid digital lines.  Will that virtual extension be considered a mobile user because the call passes through it to get to other paid digital lines?

Just seems to cut and dry.  What about VM only extensions or announcement extensions, or after hours extensions for call handling?

Seems more thought is needed on this.  Very confusing.

Chuck
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Brian Del Terzo

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This is exactly the problem. I'm looking right now at the multi-level auto-attendant instructions I referenced when I set up my full service auto-attendant earlier last month that resulted in 3 additional billable digital lines.

They show a "Billing" extension in one of the use cases as well as a "Transfer to an external number" extension, both of which will now resulted in additional charges per the new RC billing policy if more than 9 calls pass through those extensions.

They recommend a "Sales" (Shared Line) and a "Shipping" extension will result in the same.

How does that make sense?

I'd bet there are endless help articles in the RC support center that are making suggestions that will now equate to a fortune in overcharges where before they simply represented the vast flexibility of the system that originally elevated RC above their competitors. 

My team has no need for half of the additional features RC has launched over the years, RingCentral Meetings, GLIP, we have it all covered through our Business subscription to G Suite. 

Am I to understand the brains behind RC in all they have been capable of over the years couldn't figure out how to identify a physical user of an extension or RC utility over an extension used to create a flexible workflow based on the unlimited variety of needs by its client base.

I'm still waiting on a response from support for help to determine how RC will still suit my company's needs. Mind you, when the email came out with the warning of this change, I had (0) Zero mobile users. And I've never had any user using GLIP, or the RC App without paying for a digital line. Didn't even know that was an option.

No company should pay to establish phone lines for team members, employees, or contractors that don't need them.
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OnCallAnswer

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I have an inbound telephone answering service and this has required me to revamp everything. All the lines that I had for $4.99 plus all their taxes and charges was no feasible to change to $37.99
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Danno, Champion

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$37.99 PLUS $4.99!
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Brian Del Terzo

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In that same respect, if I want to outsource calls to an answering service through an extension, I have to pay for that extension as a digital line while there is nothing about that process that falls under the advertised description of a "Mobile User". 
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OnCallAnswer

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It is a mess. The only good news that I personally have for myself is the fact that my two year contract is officially up today
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Brian Del Terzo

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May I ask what other solutions you are looking at to replace RC? I still don't have an acceptable explanation as to how the 5 specialty extensions I have created in my account will be billed this month and if all three are billed as digital users, I will be very disappointed.
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Luke, Training Specialist

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@RC-Installer, sorry about the late reply, I am normally out Tuesday-Thursday.

If a virtual extension is used to ring other user's phones that already have a Digital Line, then inbound calls to the virtual extension will not count toward making it a Mobile User.

The only time it starts to count as a Mobile User is if a call is connected through services that are not being paid for, ie forwarding to an external number, outbound calling, or being answered on a RingCentral Phone app or other integration (like the Salesforce plugin).
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Brian Del Terzo

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@Luke, can you clarify. If I have 2 virtual extensions that rings two paid digital lines, but also rings 2 external numbers, if more than 9 calls are answered by the external numbers will this virtual extension be charged as a digital line? The external numbers are not using the RingCentral App, or any other RingCentral integration.
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Luke, Training Specialist

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Hi Brian,

The 2 virtual extensions ringing other user's paid Digital Lines would not contribute to a Mobile User by itself. However, since the calls are also being forwarded to external numbers, this would contribute to a virtual extension being considered a Mobile User.
(Edited)
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OnCallAnswer

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Meaning when we forward our calls to cell phone or home phone after hours this will surely be effected. I have all of my RC line forward to my cell phones due to lack of reliability sometimes with the RC system and maybe even power or internet outage. Hope someone makes sense of this soon enough before we all jump ship.  
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Brian Del Terzo

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I'm not charged extra when calls to my direct line are forwarded to my cell or home phone in the forwarding list, but I don't do that because no call to my direct line is that important.

But calls to my billing department extension are forwarded to my cell or home phone so I will be charged for an additional digital line?

@Luke Really??? That makes sense to you?
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Luke, Training Specialist

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The best quick definition of a Mobile User is any unpaid (virtual) user extension without a Digital Line that uses features which are included in the paid Digital Line feature set.

To make sure that a virtual user doesn't become a Mobile User on accident, the change only takes place after the 10th call to a virtual user that would normally require a Digital Line.

A Mobile User has the same feature set as a Digital Line, but it is reset to an unpaid user extension at the beginning of the next month.

The things that count towards a virtual user extension becoming a Mobile User are:
  • answering inbound external calls on any endpoint using a virtual user extension (i.e. answering on a RingCentral Phone app or an integration app like the Salesforce plugin, answering a call that has been forwarded to an external number)
  • making outbound external calls on any endpoint using a virtual user extension (i.e. outbound calling on RingCentral Phone app (mobile and desktop) or an integration app like the Salesforce plugin)
  • selecting "forward call" when receiving an inbound call on the RingCentral Phone app while logged into a virtual user extension.

Some things that do not count towards a virtual user extension becoming a Mobile User are:

  • Making/receiving internal calls to/from other extensions within the same RingCentral account
  • receiving a call to a virtual user that is then only forwarded to and answered by other users' phones that are a paid user with a Digital Line
  • inbound calls made to a virtual user extension that are not answered, even if the caller leaves a voicemail message.
I hope that helps by giving an overall guideline of what constitutes a Mobile User, and by laying out some examples of things that will cause an unpaid (virtual) user to become a paid Mobile User until the start of the next month.
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Luke, Training Specialist

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TKO,

It is correct to say after the 10th call. If a user has 9 calls that meet the above conditions it is not considered a Mobile User. If a user has 10 calls that meet these conditions then it is considered a Mobile User. Therefore, after the 10th call is completed the user is considered a Mobile User.
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Brian Del Terzo

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I am hoping for some more insight from Chuck. It was his understanding, as was mine, from the initial Ring Central announcements, that the Extension Activity that would qualify as a "Mobile User" was limited to outbound call activity, but my account manager has specifically stated the following:

As long as any of your User that doesn't have a Digital Line go over 10 activities, it will be charge.
Qualified activities are :
1. Incoming call from an outside number that pass through a User that doesn't have a Digital Line.
2. Outgoing call using RingOut from a User that doesn't have a digital line.
Meaning to say, as long as a transmission just pass through an extension, that is considered an activity.

I hope this is all a huge mistake because what then is the purpose of being able to create and customize an extension if any activity within that extension is going to qualify it as a billable digital line. 10 activities is a very VERY low threshold. And how then is an extension without a number attached that has only acted as a pass through of call center activity qualified as a "Mobile User" under this description:  

"Mobile Users without a digital line can make and receive calls and have access to many of the same capabilities as users with digital lines. These include RingCentral Glip, RingCentral Meetings, integrations and more. With this advanced functionality, these users have begun using the product the same way they would a digital line."
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templar701

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UK users:

I've just spoken to Ring Central here in the UK this morning and explained the concerns listed in this thread and in the Ring Central FAQ, regarding mobile user usage.  Alan from customer services advised me that this only affects US customers.  I don't doubt his integrity, but I have asked for confirmation of this in writing, which they have agreed to.  Although this is potentially good news for UK users, I'm curious to know why our US cousins are getting stung over this and not us, and is it only a matter of time before the same restrictions are applied to the UK as well?  Once I know more, I'll be sure to update here.
(Edited)
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templar701

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OK, so Ring Central have confirmed in writing to me, "charging of mobile extensions if you receive 10+ calls is not yet implemented with RingCentral UK. You will be updated once it is available. For the meantime, you will not be charged extra when someone calls on your extension using the mobile application".  Apparently it's something to do with the format of UK mobile numbers in that they differ from land line formats, but this could not be elaborated.
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just to reafirm, my customer never logged into or used the "phantom extensions" aka presence line appearances. The extensions were merely a visual queue to them on the phone so they could answer their own paid additional numbers. So again i'll post my experience.

 I made 3 "phantom extensions" for a customers 3 inbound lines which are for 3 separate companies. When they made calls, they were then billed for "mobile users" because RC thought they were using them as people using them to call out and not just as presence on their phones to be able to determine which line was called. Point being if this is how you're using some extensions as well, then contact your rep/account manager and make sure you're not being billed for something that's not really a user but a way to distinguish what line is called if you answer live and don't use call queues.
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Luke, Training Specialist

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As far as I'm aware this should not contribute to a virtual user extension becoming a Mobile User if the call was answered by a user that has a full Digital Line and was forwarded using the "other users' phones" option in Call Handling & Forwarding.

Were you able to contact your account representative about this?
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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yes, my rep has been trying to get these charges removed and / or are compensated for since it's began happening a few months ago.
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Brian Del Terzo

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@Luke, not quite, I DO NOT have calls to my direct line forwarded to "other users' phones" through Call Handling & Forwarding", but I DO have calls to the billing dept forwarded to me and "other users' phones" through Call Handling & Forwarding. It should be my paragorory which calls I think are important enough to forward when I'm not at my desk. Billing calls yes! Calls to my direct line can leave me a VM.

So in my case, a call might be answered by a phone number included in the Call Handling & Forwarding that IS NOT a paid digital user, HOWEVER, since the recipient of the call through Call Handling & Forwarding is not in need of a digital line or any other additional RC services, such as my home or mobile number, why then would that justify a charge?

No phone company that I am aware of suggests that if you have X employees you need to pay for X lines. There are plenty of employees that don't need to make calls or have access to any RC features.
(Edited)

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