Dropped Outbound Calls vs. Inbound Calls: When to Call Customer Service

Dropped Outbound Calls vs. Inbound Calls: When to Call Customer Service

Every once in a while, we at FPUAnet Communications get a complaint about call disruption—a formal term for a frustrating concept usually referred to as a “dropped call.” And we share in your frustration.

There can be a few reasons why a call may terminate unexpectedly, from standard technical or weather-related hiccups to more complex matters related to different calling networks. Of course, we cannot control or explain the weather!

But, we can help explain how different calling networks can sometimes create issues for customers, which we’ll do in this article. We’ll also suggest when you should take the time to reach out to customer service for assistance.

Understanding Voice Over Internet Protocol and Call Termination

To understand why some calls, get suddenly dropped or why some calls “don’t go through” in the first place, we need to explain how FPUAnet Communications’ Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls work.

Firstly, VoIP transmits its signal—your voice and the voice of the other caller—through the internet. After moving at ridiculously fast speeds, the signal (and your voice) then connects to its end point—i.e., a cellular phone—through a process known as “call termination.”

Call termination is the crucial step that lets FPUAnet Communications keep you connected to family and friends over the phone as well as through email and social media. At its most basic, call termination simply refers to the process of routing calls from one phone company to another.

Dropped Calls Due to Call Termination Issues

Now, as the old saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” With call termination, there are almost always at least two parties (meaning, two companies) involved. And just as with tango dancing, sometimes things can get a bit tangled up—and in this case, that can lead to the dreaded dropped call.

Remember that with VoIP, lots of data is transformed instantaneously and then rapidly moved over the internet before hitting your phone in the form of your voice and the other caller’s voice. It’s a technological wonder, but one that sometimes hits snags over the networks. Hence, occasionally, customers will experience dropped calls due to call termination errors.

When to Call Customer Service

It’s tempting to call FPUAnet Communications’ customer service when you’ve experienced a dropped call seemingly out of the blue—especially when the weather seemed perfect on both ends of the call! But keep in mind that because there are often two calling networks involved in the call, FPUAnet Communications’ customer service can only assist or investigate when you are the initiating caller—or when both callers are FPUAnet Communications customers. That’s because any technical problem due to call termination errors is nearly always an issue with the calling network of the person who initiated the call in the first place.

When deciding whether to call FPUAnet Communications’ customer service number, follow this rule of thumb: if you originated the call and the call was dropped, feel free to reach out to us at any time; however, if you received the call from another person—and that person is not also a FPUAnet Communications customer—there is, unfortunately, nothing we can do to assist with that call.

Please know that we are not trying to discourage you from reaching out to us! But we don’t want to waste your valuable time if the dropped call was initiated on another company’s network.

Just remember: we can investigate and assist with outbound call termination issues—the calls made by you on our network—just not inbound calls made to you by other callers from other companies’ networks.

As always, please be sure you’re following FPUAnet Communications’ social pages to learn more about how our high-speed fiber internet can help keep you in touch with your loved ones!

Understanding the Broadband Facts Nutrition Label

Beginning in April 2024, you’ll probably start to see a new and rather official-looking label on some marketing materials, advertising, and websites for broadband internet services.

Given the importance—and even necessity—of high-speed broadband internet to our economy and everyday lives, the government is now requiring a new consumer-friendly broadband service facts and information label to appear on certain internet service marketing materials. 

Keep reading for answers to common questions and more information about these “broadband facts nutrition labels” that you will soon begin to see, including on FPUAnet Communications’ website, social media, and other materials that highlight our high-speed fiber internet services!

What exactly is the new broadband facts “nutrition” label?

Quite simply, the new broadband facts nutrition label is an easy-to-read statement of basic information about available internet service that’s been recently mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when broadband (high-speed) internet service providers advertise the sale of their services.

What is the purpose of the broadband facts labels?

Like other labels, the government requires for many kinds of goods and services (including food ingredients, nutritional facts, and over-the-counter medication), the new broadband facts label provides essential information that consumers want to know before choosing a company to provide internet service.

Most importantly, the labels are designed to make it easier for you to compare competing internet service offerings—just like consumers do when choosing what type of breakfast cereal to purchase at the grocery store!

What information will be displayed on the new labels?

The labels contain the most pertinent information about internet service that customers need to make informed choices about their broadband options. Just by glancing at the new labels, you’ll more easily see distinctions between various services and plans, such as the price of monthly services, fees, and internet speeds offered by companies.

Specifically, the Broadband Facts label includes the following detailed information:

  • The company name of the broadband internet service provider;
  • Price per month;
  • Whether the price is an introductory rate, and if so, the duration of that rate and what the new rate will be when the introductory rate expires;
  • Whether the monthly price requires a contract, and if any, what the terms and duration of the contract are;
  • Additional monthly fees and costs, and if any, an itemized list of each cost (e.g., required equipment rentals);
  • Any one-time fees at the initiation of service, if any (e.g., installation fees, administrative fees, etc);
  • Any early cancellation fees, if any;
  • Taxes, if any (which will depend on local and state laws);
  • Any discounts, including bundled service discounts (i.e., whether combining contracts for other company services like landline telephone service lowers the monthly costs of broadband service);     
  • Whether the company participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program, a government program that helps reduce internet service costs to qualified consumers;
  • Typical download and upload speeds, and latency;
  • Data information, including whether there’s any data cap and what price for any additional data exceeding that cap may be (if any); and
  • Links to network management (e.g., content blocking) and company privacy policies, and customer support contact information.

What broadband-specific terms on the labels do I need to understand?

Most of the terms on the label can be easily understood, but some of the more techy-sounding terms might need a bit of an explanation. These include:

  • Typical Download Speed: represents the generally-expected speed that internet data and information are downloaded from the internet into your home or office’s internet connection (the speeds for browsing the internet, streaming music/movies, etc.);
  • Typical Upload Speed: represents the generally-expected speed that internet data and information are uploaded from your home or office’s internet connection and sent back through the internet to others (the speeds for conducting a live stream, uploading photos/videos, etc.); and
  • Typical Latency: represents the generally expected amount of time it takes for internet data and information to transfer from one designated point to another (especially important for online gaming).

How will the information be presented—and why does that matter to me?

The information must be set forth in a standardized, uniform manner. That means that just about all labels will be structured nearly identically to make it easier for consumers to directly compare and contrast services and pricing from different companies.

The labels are particularly valuable to customers who have recently moved into a new area (and with internet service providers they may never have heard of before). And for consumers considering an upgrade to better internet, the labels help make the benefits of improved, faster broadband—like fiber internet—even more obvious.

At FPUAnet Communications we’re proud to offer the fastest, most reliable internet consumers can get—and at a fair and reasonable price. We’re confident that the forthcoming “broadband facts nutrition labels” will help make that even clearer to customers.

As always, should you have any questions about the labels, our products, and services, or wish to upgrade your internet, feel free to reach out to the friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives at FPUAnet Communications. And keep up with our social pages for more updates on our advanced fiber network!

Six Online Payment Options for Your Small Business

Six Online Payment Options for Your Small Business

Small businesses and their leaders have way too much going on to spend time tracking down invoices or waiting for the bank to process payments. Fortunately, advanced internet-based payment systems have substantially cut down paperwork processing, as well as the time it takes to receive funds.

Below we highlight six of the best online e-commerce and in-person payment options available for small businesses today. When connected to FPUAnet Communications’ fiber network, your small business can use the technology it needs to grow and thrive—and you can get back to doing the actual work of your business instead of worrying about receiving payment for your efforts!

1. Square

We start our list with Square, an overwhelmingly popular payment service that continues to attract new vendors and customers alike.

Square is an excellent fit for businesses that are mobile or whose clients often pay on-the-go rather than in a brick-and-mortar business establishment. At the same time, Square’s in-person point-of-sale options are still well-respected and its software and app are noted for their ease of use.

2. Stripe

Stripe is a sophisticated online payment processing app with versatile features many savvy small business owners love. Highly customizable with numerous options to aid in bookkeeping, databasing, and generating revenue reports, Stripe excels well beyond basic payment processing.

Its software fully integrates payments and invoicing as well as other essential business needs, including tracking accounts receivable and processing refunds. Given these extra features, however, there is a steeper learning curve for Stripe than with other simpler payment processing options on our list.

3. PayPal 

Perhaps the most well-known payment service on our list, PayPal has been a part of e-commerce culture since 1998 and is particularly useful for vendors that prefer sending and receiving online invoices.

Its near-universal name recognition also means customers know and trust it. However, compared to other options on our list, PayPal is relatively sparse in terms of features and versatility and does not offer businesses as much in the way of in-person transactions as other services.

4. Shopify

Like PayPal, Shopify is another familiar name in online shopping. Shopify’s ecommerce ecosystem encompasses vendors both large and small, offering a significant advantage to many online retailers.

That advantage comes with a cost, however, as Shopify charges a monthly fee in addition to per-transaction fees, which can be a drawback to many small businesses. Still, its seamless and simple interface and many features have drawn many happy small businesses to Shopify.

5. Clover

Next up is Clover, an exceptional in-person payment processing program with many online features as well. Industry experts are impressed by Clover’s vast library of fully integrated third-party apps that do much more than just accept payments.

With Clover, small businesses can get accounting, tax, databasing, marketing, and other critical business features all in one place, making it a solid value. Clover’s pricing is notable for its flat rates, but be sure to check out the differences between plans, which can vary based on sales volume and other factors. 

6. Lightspeed

Our last recommended option is Lightspeed, one of the leading cloud-based in-person and retail-oriented point-of-sale payment services in the industry. Popular both for its simplicity and competitive pricing, it also offers a range of features from simple retail purchasing to online shopping and e-commerce.

For businesses with an extensive inventory to track, Lightspeed’s acclaimed inventory management systems are a huge timesaver, even helping you reorder when stock gets low.

Fiber’s Speed and Power allow you to Process Payments and Run Your Business Simultaneously!

Now that you’ve checked out the above six payment options, small businesses should remember that to be truly productive and efficient, they also need the fastest, most reliable internet they can get. After all, the systems above, along with all their many benefits, are only as effective as the quality and speed of the internet that delivers them. Fiber internet is quite simply the best internet a small business can get today.

Contact FPUAnet Communications today to get the speed you need to power your business. And for more helpful hints to keep your small business productive and efficient, follow our social pages!