Billing Minimums / Increments
What are Billing Minimums / Increments?
Billing minimum / Increments indicate what minimum and incremental measures of time are used to calculate the duration of each call, usually for billing purposes. Historically, billing increments have ranged anywhere from 60 seconds to 6 seconds or less. A “30/6″ billing indicates a 30 second minimum with subsequent 6 second increments. For example this means that a 10 second call on 30/6 billing will be billed as 30 seconds; a 31 second call on 30/6 billing will be billed as 36 seconds and so on.
Minimum / Increments are important as both can impact the effective per-minute rate you pay for your calls. Your carrier may offer a ‘great’ rate, and meanwhile bill you in 60 second increments; by doing so the carrier would be inflating the effective rate.
For example the effective rate of a 7 second call charged at ¢1.5 / minute could go up by 750% or more depending on billing minimum / increments:
|Actual Duration||Billing Increments||Billing Duration||Billing Rate||Cost of Call||Effective Rate|
|7 seconds||1/1||7 seconds||¢1.5 / min||$ 0.00175||$ 0.01500|
|7 seconds||6/1||7 seconds||¢1.5 / min||$ 0.00175||$ 0.01500|
|7 seconds||6/6||12 seconds||¢1.5 / min||$ 0.00300||$ 0.02571|
|7 seconds||12/6||12 seconds||¢1.5 / min||$ 0.00300||$ 0.02571|
|7 seconds||30/6||30 seconds||¢1.5 / min||$ 0.00750||$ 0.06429|
|7 seconds||60/60||60 seconds||¢1.5 / min||$ 0.01500||$ 0.12857|
For an average contact center with many short duration calls made by a predictive dialer, more aggressive (shorter) billing increments could mean a difference of 20-30% or more in long distance charges. When comparing rates from multiple carriers, make sure you include the minimum / increments in your assessment; otherwise you could be comparing apples and oranges.