Review: TRI Utility Cost Reductions — How You Get Refunds

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Review: TRI Utility Cost Reductions — How You Get Refunds

For over 30 years, TRI Utility Cost Reductions (716-754-1752) has been dedicated to securing refunds for hundreds of clients due to errors that have occurred on past phone and utility bills. Its client base consists primarily of medium to large businesses, corporations, manufacturers, hospitals, municipalities, universities and school districts, and focuses on errors involving tariffs, misapplied contractual rates, recurring billing mistakes, unlawful tax charges and database errors.

Here is a general summary of the things you should know:

1) TRI offers a no-lose agreement for its clients — a business model which guarantees clients refunds. TRI works on a contingency basis and if it is unsuccessful in obtaining refunds on your behalf, its services are free. TRI’s fee is 50% of whatever refunds and future savings it can recover. (Future savings are calculated as 24 months into the future.) There is no need to change vendors or change any system configurations. TRI’s sole mission is to insure that clients have been properly charged for the services they have chosen and receive. In effect, clients have nothing to lose.

2) TRI’s staff of auditors are highly specialized and have years of experience isolating billing errors and navigating the sometimes convoluted and intricate claims process which some professionals have labeled “a different world.” During recent years, vendors have become more reluctant in readily approving claims and additional evidence is being required. This time consuming process has prompted more and more corporations and organizations to outsource their auditing function and have their internal staff focus on more traditional business activity. TRI’s chief auditor is a licensed attorney who has an extensive background in tariff law. This is also classifies TRI as a professional service and enables local governments and municipalities to return TRI without the need for a lengthy bidding process.

3) If you haven’t performed an outside audit of your phone and utility bills in the past 6 years, you should have one done immediately. The statue of limitations may reduce the refunds for which you are eligible.

4) TRI obtains refunds for over 80% of its clients. Some clients have received hundreds of dollars back, while others have recovered millions. The largest refund has been $3.7 million. Generally speaking, most refunds are a culmination of several years of recurring monthly errors. For example, a $250 error on a monthly phone bill will result in a refund of $18,000 (72 months x $250.) If that same or similar error has occurred 7 times on other accounts, the total refund would be $126,000. That’s how small mistakes can add up over time.

5) Most companies and organizations make the assumption that telecommunications and utility bills are the responsibility of the operations staff. That is a huge mistake. Yes, configuring your systems, hardware, and contractual agreements are operational, but the accounts payable and auditing functions belong in finance. Companies should not let the operations or technical department audit itself. That’s why it’s a good idea to retain the services of an outside agency to insure you are being billed properly for the contracted services the operations department has implemented.

Interestingly enough, operation departments may object to conducting an outside audit for fear that they will be held accountable if mistakes are found. They fear upper management will say, “Wasn’t this your job to find these mistakes in the first place? Why did an outsider find them?” However, the fact is: It is NOT the responsibility of the operations or IT staff to find tariff mistakes on phone or utility bills. That is not what they were trained or hired to do. Their job is to make sure your phones are working and the heating, air conditioning and electricity are functioning properly. Bottom line: This is a finance issue, not a technical one.

6) These days, top management is turning over every stone to find ways to cut costs and become more efficient. Since phone and utility costs are a substantial part of budgets, having an audit done, especially before you make any changes with your vendors or have a business reorganization, is probably the easiest way to get money back and secure permanent cost reductions without the need to change anything.

7) Getting started is easy. TRI has a simple and straightforward one-page agreement form. You will also be asked to provide letters authorization so TRI can get 6 years worth of old phone and utility bills directly from your vendors (so you don’t have to look for them.) You only need to provide one copy of your most recent phone and utility bills, along with any agreements or contracts you have with your vendors. That’s it.

To find out more, we recommend you contact TRI Utility Cost Reductions directly at 716-754-1752 to learn more about the benefits of having a no-lose audit performed on your old phone and utility bills. Disclosure: 24Conference does not have an ownership interest in TRI, however we do have a long standing affiliation with TRI and are proud to refer and recommend its services to clients and others who are interested in new and innovative ways to cut expenses, particularly telecommunication costs.