In our global economy, virtual phone numbers are a necessity for companies of all sizes. They are a convenient way to establish a local presence with your international customer base, and they allow you to remain nimble in a climate of constant change.  Virtual numbers should make business easier, not more complicated. If you’re less than pleased with your virtual number provider, you don’t have to settle. Here are six signs that it’s time to make a change:


One: They Nickel and Dime You For Features


You wouldn’t buy a new car that didn’t come with air conditioning and a radio as standard features. Twenty years ago, these may have been options, but today, nobody wants to pay extra for minimal must-haves. The same holds true for virtual number providers. If your provider forces you to pay extra for features like call waiting, on-demand call routing, and call reports, it’s time to move on to a company that offers these features as part of their standard package.


Two: You Can’t Understand Your Contract


Consumers are ditching long-term contracts when it comes to telephone services. They don’t want to be locked in to rates, and they don’t want to pay extra to terminate service. If your virtual number provider forces you to sign a long-term contract that reads like a Constitutional Amendment, you’ll probably wind up sorry you signed. Opt instead for a provider that doesn’t charge setup fees, termination fees, and does not lock you into long-term agreements.


Three: Where’s Your Service?


There is still good customer service out there. Unfortunately, some virtual number providers don’t offer service that meets the needs of their client base. Virtual numbers never sleep, and neither should service. When you’re doing business globally, it’s possible that you’ll have questions or concerns, and you’ll need to get those concerns addressed efficiently. If you can’t reach your provider’s service team when you need them, or if the service team is less than helpful, seek out a company that values your business and offers you raving-fan service with every interaction.


Four: Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You


In today’s world, there is simply no excuse for poor call quality. In the early days of virtual phone service, internet-based telephone calls were inconsistent. Sometimes they were clear, other times it sounded as though a call was coming from outer space. Technology has evolved tremendously, and you want to choose a virtual number provider that offers crystal-clear calling at all times. If your international callers can’t hear what you’re saying, they’ll likely never call back again. If you experience consistently poor call quality, seek out a new provider sooner rather than later.


Five: You Need to Buy Extra Equipment


Telephone hardware is extremely costly, and business owners should be wary of virtual number providers that require you to purchase hardware in order to connect to global customers. Internet telephony is about convenience and simplicity. A virtual number should be able to ring any phone you choose, without having to utilize costly hardware. If your provider requires hardware purchases, move on to a company that uses the most advanced internet telephony technology available.


Six: Forget the Christmas Bonus, We Have a Phone Bill to Pay


International calling rates have decreased significantly over the last twenty years. If you dread your monthly virtual number bill, or if that bill is causing you to cut corners in other areas to make up for the hit, it’s time to move on.  Choose a provider that freely publishes their rates, and one that offers easy-to-understand billing that you can budget for without cutting out your Christmas bonuses.


If you experience one or more of the above problems, it’s time to start looking for a new virtual number provider. Don’t choose a company based solely on price, look for a provider that will give you the best value for your money.