The sometimes false economy of cheap school phone systems

We understand that school budgets are under tight pressure in today's modern world and that this may lead to the understandable temptation to look for cheap school phone systems.

There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with looking for cost-effective solutions to your educational or business telephone systems needs. Yet cost cannot be everything.

The fact of the matter is that there is now a huge degree of choice in the area of small business phone systems of a type that theoretically may be suitable for schools and other educational establishments.

Although that is typically a good thing, it also means that there are a large number of systems out there of what may be called ‘variable quality’.

Although your instinct may be to consider the quality of your telephone system to be of secondary importance to its cost, in reality, cheap school phone systems may cause you considerable direct and indirect expense downstream.

Consider the impact upon your school if your phone system ‘goes down’:

  • you may be unable to communicate with the outside world - something that may be a disaster if you suffer an on-site emergency;
  • the outside world may be unable to contact you - something that may be difficult to explain to, for example, parents who are trying to contact you due to a family emergency;
  • your internal communications may be unavailable meaning that your staff are spending their time walking backwards and forwards between classrooms and the office instead of being able to use an internal phone.

They, in a sense, are the potential consequential but intangible costs and risks that may arise if your phone system breaks down.

There may also be rather more direct and quantifiable costs.

Cheap school phone systems may not come with the same warranties and post-sales support services as systems sourced from professional high-reputation solution providers.

If your system is unreliable and you are paying for constant callouts and repairs, your original cost-benefit case may start to look rather shaky.

Of course, the temptation doesn’t only arise in terms of the procurement of new business telecoms services.

You may be even more tempted to stay with your existing, albeit unreliable, system because you do not wish to spend money on a replacement.

That may be a reasonable strategy but you should keep in mind that the older and more obsolete a system becomes, the greater tendency it may have to fail.

You may experience the highly undesirable situation of finding that your system fails one day and it is impossible to remedy the problem due to the age of its hardware or software components.

That is why we typically advise the selection of solutions from globally known manufacturers such as Siemens business telephone systems, coupled with the expertise of telecommunications installation and maintenance specialists such as ourselves.

That may be a more advisable approach than looking exclusively for cheap school phone systems.

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