Telephone Bill Reconcilliation

Many of you use LUMBERJACK to verify the accuracy of the telephone bill and, we are glad to say, most of you are happy with the results. However, from time to time there are discrepancies between the bills and the logging reports. There may be several reasons for this so we thought it would be useful to set out here some of the checks you can make to find out where the difference lies.

In the first instance, if the LUMBERJACK reports are not as high as you would expect, you will need to look for zero and low cost calls.

Zero Cost Calls

Run a detailed report looking for calls that have no cost:

  1. You will need to create a filter to look for outgoing calls with a duration but no cost, and exclude calls that you know should not have a cost or are not carried by that provider.
    For example: Cost < 0.0001 AND Duration > 0:00 AND Flag not equal to Freephone AND (Call Type = Outgoing OR Trunk to Trunk)
  2. Set up a detailed report with the following fields: date, start time, party 1, party 2, access code, dialled number, location, tariff, charge band, charge rate, cost.
  3. Sort this report in Dialled Number order.

This will give you a list of all the calls with no cost. A few things should now become obvious:

Is there a tariff named? If not, this could mean that your system costs calls by trunk and you have installed new trunks which need to be set up. Give the help desk a call.

Do the dialled numbers look correct or do they appear to be prefixed by an access code? If so, contact the help desk and ask them to set up a costing style for the new access code.

Is the access code correct for the named tariff? If not, the costing styles may need to be updated.

Is there a location against the dialled number? If not, it will mean that the tariff does not recognise the number. Check the dialled numbers against the “Not Classified” list. (see below).

If tariff and location details are given, it may be that your tariff does not have a minimum call cost and calls do not show a cost until they last a minute or more. If you set the Cost filter to several decimal places as shown above, these should have been ruled out. Alternatively, create a column with cost set to five decimal places and run the report again to see the cost.

Not Classified List: When we receive the tariff details from your provider, we can only cost calls where we are given the information. If it has not been supplied we will send you the Not Classified list so that you can see the problem numbers. As a general rule these will be non-geographic locations such as Personal Numbers or Premium Rate Numbers, quite often we do not receive information about the international mobile numbers.

If this is the case, we generally set up a costing style to charge the call by the correct tariff then, if there is no cost (NC) attached to the dialled number, we substitute the cost using the BT standard rate. This way, the calls will have a ball park cost which is preferable where you are charging Departments for calls.

To find out how your system is set up, look at the costing style. This is under System>Costing Style. Highlight the style that relates to the carrier and see if it is “Direct to Tariff” or “First Costable”. If it is “Direct to Tariff” then you will probably find that most of the calls with no cost are on the Not Classified list.

Incorrect Low Cost Calls

If a new route is added, it can often produce a new access code. For example, say we had set the system to strip off an access code of “9”. However, the new route produces an access code of “9718”. If this is not set-up within LUMBERJACK we will strip off the 9 as usual, and cost the call according to the rest of the dialled digits. In this case, the number would begin with 718 and the call would carry a local cost. This is easy to spot. If you run a report on Local calls, check if the numbers dialled really are local. If they are not, call the Help Desk and ask us to set up a new costing style.

Missing Calls

One other reason may be that some of the data is missing. Have a look under System>Days Stored, check all the days for the period and see if you have the number of calls you expect for each day. This would mean that logging was disabled for a period.

If the calls are higher on the reports than you would expect look for the high cost calls.

High Cost Calls

Run a similar report, this time looking for high cost calls:

Is the access code correct for the named tariff? If not, this probably means that we have not received a full tariff from your provider and have substituted a cost from another more complete tariff. (See How First Costable Works)

This report may highlight the fact that all costly calls go to the same destination and this may need further investigation.

If none of these options help, there is, of course, just a chance that you may have moved to a new carrier and not told us!

How First Costable Works

Once the system has defined the tariff (either by Access Code or by Trunk) it looks at the Area Code and searches for the Charge Band. It then checks for the Charge Band classification.

If “No Classification” is found, and the costing style is NOT set to First Costable, it will return NC as the Charge Band and a zero cost.

If the costing style is set for First Costable and alternative tariffs are given, the system will look through the tariffs listed, in sequence, looking for a tariff with a classification for the Area Code.

If none is found, the system will return the original tariff with a Band of NC and zero cost.

If it finds a tariff with a charge, this will be substituted and a charge will be returned. The substituted tariff details will also be logged against the call.

This entry was posted in Call Costs. Bookmark the permalink.