GRPS Logo GRP Services
 
  | Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact Us |

Frequently Asked Questions

DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO ENGAGE UTILITY AUDIT SERVICES?
There are no guarantees that our review will produce dollar results. However , it is a fact that 90% of our clients have saved money with our services.

WHY DO I NEED AN AUDIT OF OUR UTILITY AND TELECOM INVOICES?
Utility and telecom costs are a major expense for most companies and subject to error.  Utility and telecom invoices are not easily understood.  GRP Services has the  training, experience, and knowledge (i) to evaluate invoices, (ii) track cost trends and competitive rates, (iii) to understand industry jargon, (iv) to save you money, and (v) to deal with utility and telecom representatives.

WHAT BENEFIT SHOULD COME FROM  AN UTILITY AND TELECOM AUDIT?
The benefit would be the recovery of funds from over billing and cost reductions, which are both high in number and dollars according to industry experts and governmental agencies.  Conversely, if your billing are found to be free of errors, etc. you will receive the satisfaction that your internal surveillance and audit procedures are functioning.  Moreover, your staff will have a better understanding of your utility and telecom invoices.

HOW LONG WILL THE AUDIT TAKE?
A progress report as to the findings of the audit will be issued within 4-8 weeks depending upon the response time of the providers to pertinent inquires.  Within 10 weeks, a report will be issued detailing our finding, conclusions, savings, and matters requiring action.

WHY SHOULD I USE GRP SERVICES RATHER THAN ANOTHER UTILITY CONSULTANT?
Other companies simply offer advice to their clients on a one-off basis, whereas GRP Services manages all of your utilities for you — we remove the hassle. We also continue to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible after the initial audit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM TIED INTO A CONTRACT WITH MY UTILITY SUPPLIERS?
We will check your contracts thoroughly and establish that

  1. you are getting value for money, and
  2. the supply contract is fair to you.

Should either of these not be the case, we shall endeavour to find a legitimate way out of your existing contract. We will then recommend a more suitable tariff and/or provider for your needs.

While waiting for your supply contract to come to an end, we can save you time and money by carefully checking your utility bills and negotiating rebates with suppliers who have overcharged you. We can also help you to accrue accurate figures by locating undercharges. This can avoid unpleasantly large, unexpected bills at the end of your contract, as the supplier catches up on any substantial undercharges.

WHAT IS COVERED IN THE AUDIT THAT GRP SERVICES PERFORM?
The main objective of a GRP Services analysis and audit is to identify possible cost savings in your water, gas, electricity and telecom costs. Among other things, your audit will include:

  • Identification of any errors in your utility bills.
  • Examination of your existing utility costs and contracts to see if they are offering you the best value for money.
  • Analysis of your current tariffs, to ascertain if they are the most appropriate for your organisation.
  • Consideration of alternative suppliers, with a view to securing better value for money in light of your organisation's needs.
  • Identification of more efficient ways of running your utilities that would generate net cost savings.

A fully comprehensive report is submitted to each new client, giving expert recommendations as to where your savings can be made, and how substantial those savings will be.
At this point, you are entirely free to pick and choose which recommendations you wish to have us implement. You are also under no obligation to accept any of them, if you wish.

WILL THE AUDIT AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS?
GRP Services recognizes that your relationships with your service providers are important and therefore we do our best to handle the Audit in a manner that is both cordial and diplomatic. If we establish a good rapport with your service providers, this enhances the Audit process and increases the likelihood of success.

Utility Service Providers are aware of the problems with their billing systems and know that errors may exist. Most utility company have a separate department to handle Auditors requests and claims. In the case of long distance voice and data services and cellular service, many of these may be uncooperative at first. If the potential for a significant refund is uncovered, we may need to enlist your support with a meeting or conference call to encourage their cooperation.

IF SOMEONE IN OUR ORGANIZATION IS ALREADY WORKING ON OBTAINING A REFUND, IS THERE ANY POINT IN GETTING GRP SERVICES  INVOLVED IN THOSE NEGOTIATIONS?
When we begin the Audit, you can identify any refunds already being worked on by your in-house staff and we will agree not to work on the same items. However, you may wish to consider that our Auditors have many years of experience in negotiating refunds. It is likely that we can get back more money than someone in-house may agree upon. Even if you decide to continue to pursue these yourself, there may be a benefit to letting us review the outcome before you reach a final settlement, as a further refund is often possible.

HOW FAR BACK DOES GRP SERVICES NEED COPIES OF OUR BILLS?
To begin the audit, we just need one recent, representative month of each bill. You can give us the originals, which we will return, or photocopies. If you like, we will come to your offices to make the copies. While we begin with one month’s bills, we may wish to look at additional bills. Do not discard any old bills, contracts or records while the audit is in progress, since they may provide evidence of how far back a billing error goes. Your Utility service providers seldom provide past bills or if they do there is often a substantial charge for them, so keep your own records archived.

WHAT IF GRP SERVICES FINDS EVIDENCE OF INCORRECT BILLING WHERE WE HAVE BEEN UNDERCHARGED?
While overcharging is more common, there are some instances where your service provider may be undercharging. If we discover this, we will point it out to you and you can decide whether or not to have it corrected. If you do this, you may minimize the chance for retroactive billing. If you do not correct under-billing and your service provider discovers it, they may be able to bill you retroactively unless your contract with them specifically prohibits this.

HOW FAR BACK WILL THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDER GO WHEN ISSUING CREDIT?
Each state Public Utilities Commission has established guidelines for how far back a refund may be issued. In most states the Statute of Limitations is six years, even if evidence that the billing error existed for a longer period of time can be demonstrated. If no documentation can be provided, the maximum credit is typically two years. Some telecommunications service providers are now limiting their liability by inserting clauses in their contracts that you are responsible for reviewing your bills as you receive them and that they will not issue refunds for incorrect billing going back beyond six months. Try to have this restriction eliminated from any of your agreements.

If you are a large customer (over $50,000. of billing per month) your service provider is more likely to provide refunds back beyond the 6-month period, regardless of what is in your contract. If your organization’s procedure is to confirm the addition or removal of telecommunications services in writing, save copies of these letters, forms or e-mails as they may provide valuable evidence that can support our claims for incorrect billing, particularly in the case where you are being billed for a service that you had requested be discontinued. Without any written evidence, how far back a credit will go often depends upon a negotiation process that we go through with the service provider. Our experience is brought to bear in negotiating for the maximum amount possible.

HOW CAN WE GET AN ORGANIZED DATABASE OF ALL OUTSIDE LINES AND THE ASSOCIATED CIRCUIT NUMBERS THAT ARE USED IN OUR ORGANIZATION?
While we compile some of this information as part of the audit, a database of your circuits is not a by-product of the audit since there is considerable additional effort involved on our part in developing the circuit list into a useable format. Once the audit is complete, we can propose to develop the circuit database as a follow on project, using the information we have collected.

WHAT IF WE DON’T HAVE COPIES OF OUR BILLS READILY AVAILABLE?
If you cannot provide us with bill copies, it may be possible for us to obtain bills directly from your service providers if you give us your account numbers. This can often take some time and there may be an associated charge.

IF WE RECEIVE OUR BILLS ON ELECTRONIC MEDIA (CD-ROM) DOES GRP SERVICES NEED THIS AND DO YOU STILL NEED THE PAPER VERSION OF THE BILLS?
While the CD-ROM version of your billing can be helpful in the Audit process, we also like to receive paper bill copies which can contain information that may not be on the electronic version. It is also easier to miss errors when using the CD-ROM vs. the paper bill.

Certified (SDB) by the SBA and A NMSDC Certified Company
© 2006 GRP Services.  Design by SecondSonDesign.com