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Virtual Internet Service Provider Program

Thinking Of Becoming A VISP?

Interesting Things To Consider
Fact vs. Fiction

There are many hidden charges that I should be aware of when selecting a vISP Provider. Fact or fiction?

As you compare various virtual ISP or vISP provider programs you will see a large difference in pricing or costs. The first reason for this is the differences in quality and features as outlined in item #3. However, another reason for a large difference in cost is hidden charges. This is not to say that they are secret. If you ask, chances are an honest virtual ISP or vISP provider will explain it to you. It is more an issue that you may be so focused on the monthly "per user" cost (particularly if it is exceptionally low), that you do not consider additional charges. And it is these additional charges that can drive up your cost to the point that what "appeared" to be a low cost, actually turns out to be a higher price than the provider that you felt was too expensive. So what are these charges?

Raw Access Only - The really low prices you will see advertised are for raw access only and you are unable to use this without many other services like, authentication, email, billing system, support call center and the list goes on and on. All of these services are an extra fee.

New Subscriber Set-up Charge - Does the virtual ISP or vISP provider charge a set-up fee for each new subscriber you sign up? If a provider charges a new subscriber set-up fee it is probably because they have to manually set-up the account (this should also be an area of real concern). These charges can really add up and destroy cash flow if you enjoy any level of real success (the more subscribers you secure, the more it costs you).

Support Call Center - Not only is it important to make sure that the "per user" cost includes 24/7 support but to also important to determine who pays the long distance charges. They may give you a toll-free number but there is a cost for every minute that a subscriber uses it. Who will pay for this? One virtual ISP or vISP provider charges their vISPs 99¢/minute for support. Considering that the average call length to support is 20 minutes, you can see how this can quickly add up to a very major expense. Also find out if the call center also provides support for sales (new subscribers) and billing. If yes, how much extra for that. If no, who will provide this support. And last but not least, does the provider include support by toll free telephone 24/7 (when the subscriber really needs help) or is it just during business hours or just email support. This can make a big difference in price.

Hosting of Web Site/Portal - Do you pay extra to host your web site? As the number of visitors/subscribers visiting the site increases so will the bandwidth that used. As a result, your costs will also increase. If you offer your subscribers a "Start Page" the more subscribers you secure the more bandwidth that is required.

Other Items - There are many other items that often cause unexpected expense. For example, all software must be upgraded at one point or another. Is there a charge for this when this happens? Is there a charge for training the virtual ISP or vISP on the software for running their business? From time to time, all virtual ISPs or vISPs need support. Does the provider offer unlimited support, limited support or no support at all? Is there an extra cost for this. Will they answer the phone or return your calls when you need them? One provider has charged the vISP or virtual ISP $100 if a subscriber spams and leaves it to the vISP to collect the fee from the subscriber. And guess who decides if the customer was spamming or not. Imagine how these costs can wreck havoc on your business plan.

Recommendation: Seek out a virtual ISP or vISP provider that will give you an "all inclusive" flat-rate "per-user" price. Alliance ISP Solution is such a program and prices their service on an "all inclusive" basis so their are no unexpected surprises.

Back To "Fact vs. Fiction"

 

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