Press1 Blog 
 

Planned Work 21-01-2010@17:30 for 3 hours – No Login possible

We have planned maintenance on Thursday 21st of Jan @ 17:30 to improve switchboard functionality.

Work window is from 17:30 to 20:30, during this period there will be restricted access to your online account. CALLS WILL NOT BE AFFECTED.

We will have a service announcement on completion to bring you details of the improvements.

VAT reduction

From Jan 1st 2010 VAT was reduced from 21.5% to 21%.
All VAT savings are past on to consumers.

The change in VAT affects pricing as follows

The following charges excluding VAT remain unchanged (ie. the price including VAT will be lower than before)
– All call charges
– All monthly charges

The charges excluding VAT were changed (ie. the price including VAT remains the same as before VAT change)
– All setup/activation fee’s
– Top-ups for Pay As You Use
There is no loss of benefit to the consumer for these changes as the full charge amount is credited to the balance on account (for example the pay-as-you-use top-up will still be 20 but calls are cheaper so the balance will last longer).

All charges can be viewed on our website.

If you are unclear on any issue related to VAT change please do not hesitate to contact support.

Q. Why are you charging 21% VAT ?

21% is the new Irish VAT rate where press1 HQ is based.
There are special rules for telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services.
In the case of business to consumer services are taxable at the place where the supplier is established.
In the case of supply to UK VAT registered businesses no VAT is charged.

Outage today (5-01-2010)

We had an outage today of incoming call handling.
Fault Start Time: 11:11am
Fault Resolution Time: 12:37pm

Initial fault led to 30% of calls failing, removal of the faulty node led to overload and complete failure of all calls. The faulty nodes continue to be pro-actively monitored, the manufacturers are performing a full investigation.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

New Referral Program

We’d like to let you all know, we have a new referral program.

It’s an easy way for existing customers to benefit from referring others to the press1 service.

It’s very easy to use – no special application forms or subscription is required.

How it works
You get someone new to sign up as a press1.co.uk customer and we will credit your press1 account with the sign-up fee they paid.

Click here to find out more

A new video – How to record sound files in Audacity

Here’s how to record sound files for upload to press1 using audacity – audacity is a nifty cross platform FREE sound recorder/editor


A new video on how to record and upload sound files

Here’s our new vid. on making and uploading sound files

New video's introducing the press1 control panel

Just released a new video to help users understand the basics of the press1 web control panel


Changes to 0870 Switchboard pricing

The pricing for our 0870 switchboard has been revised to 14.99 per month (ex. VAT)

All new subscriptions will see this effect immediately, the new prices are reflected on the website.
Existing customers will be updated to the new pricing plan in November automatically ( monthly charge for Oct. will be at the old price level, charge for Nov. will be at the new level.

Questions and Answers

Q.Why have you reviewed pricing ?
A.Ofcom the UK regulator has introduced new regulations regarding 0870 numbers (see below) which became active on August 1st 2009, the result of this change is that significantly less inbound revenue can be offset against the switchboard hosting cost’s – hence there’s an increase in the switchboard monthly fee.

Q. What are the changes ofcom has introduced ?
Changes are applied to regulations which strongly encourage all operators to keep 0870 number call pricing equal or below the cost of a national call.  The changes refer to how operators must advertise pricing – see more on the ofcom website

Q. I have an existing 0870 switchboard, what are my options ?

A: You have a number of options
1) Keep your 0870 numbers and pay the new monthly charge
2) Change to an 0845 (local NTS) number for 9.99 per month – we can attach your old 0870 to an announcement so your customers will know where to call.
3) Change to an 0844 (fixed rate NTS) number for 4.99 per month – we can attach your old 0870 to an announcement so your customers will know where to call.
Note: There is no charge for changing accounts.

Unplanned Service Outage – 23-1-2009

A failure in our core network early this morning lead to an unexpected service outage, voice service was restored by 10:00am and full web services by 10:30am.

We are investigating the exact cause of the problem, once isolated we will put measures in place to prevent the same problem re-occurring.

Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Press1 Support

Howto: Setting up a Virtual Switchboard

This is a quick howto to help first time users get started.

Here’s what we want to do.

During Opening Hours (Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00)

– Answer the call and play a menu “welcome, press ‘1’ for sales, press ‘2’ for support, press ‘3’ to get our postal address”
– Get an email alert to tell us a call arrived (we will keep this as a log of calls).
– If the customer presses ‘1’ they are diverted to ‘sales’ on the landline 021-123456
– If the customer presses ‘2’ they are diverted to a mobile number 077-123456
– If either of the numbers are busy/unavailable we will collect a voicemail
– If the customer presses ‘3’ we play them a recording with our address.

During Closing Times
– Answer the call and play an announcement “sorry, we are closed, our opening hours are … please leave a message and we will return your call”.
– Collect a voicemail.

Step-by-step
(1) Define the opening hours
Select the tab ‘opening hours’, click the days you are open and enter the times.

Define business opening hours

Define business opening hours

(2) Upload the recordings

You will need to make some sound recordings for upload. This can be done on any PC with a microphone.  You can use the ‘sound recorder’ application which comes on windows (start>programs>accessories>entertainment>sound recorder). The preferred format is a .WAV file 8Khz MONO (this is the native format and will not be re-sampled).

Tip: If you do not have a microphone you can phone in to your switchboard and collect a voicemail, this will be emailed to you in the correct format.

Note: We can also provide professional recordings at very reasonable rates.

Upload the recordings you need

Upload the recordings you need


(3) Configure open menu

Let’s recap the requirements

– Answer the call and play a menu “welcome, press ‘1’ for sales, press ‘2’ for support, press ‘3’ to get our postal address”
– Get an email alert to tell us a call arrived (we will keep this as a log of calls).
– If the customer presses ‘1’ they are diverted to ‘sales’ on the landline 021-123456
– If the customer presses ‘2’ they are diverted to a mobile number 077-123456
– If either of the numbers are busy/unavailable we will collect a voicemail
– If the customer presses ‘3’ we play them a recording with our address.

Click on the ‘Open’ tab. The default setup will look something like this.

The default 'Open Menu'

The default 'Open Menu'

Now add the digits which will be pressed ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ by clicking on the ‘unused digits’ section.

The menu will now look something like this..

The 'open menu' with 3 options added.

The 'open menu' with 3 options added.

We will now activate notifcations for every call.

Activate email alerts

Activate email alerts

Then choose the correct recording for the message to be played “welcome, press ‘1’ for sales, press ‘2’ for support, press ‘3’ to get our postal address”. Make sure to select how many times the message will be played, when the message is played out (and no key has been pressed)  it jumps to section ‘no key press’.

Select the greeting you want to play while open

Select the greeting you want to play while open

The configure the three options which will be selected by the caller. If you do not want to play a message to the caller after pressing the digit (like “we are forwarding you to the correct department”) then choose ‘silent pause’ (this is default microsecond of silence) before forwarding.

Options ‘1’ and ‘2’ will be sent to a phone number, option ‘2’ will play a pre-recorded announcement (uploaded on the ‘recordings’ page). Don’t forget to set up an action for calls which make no choice after calling the menu, the section ‘no key press’ is reached if the caller presses nothing an listens the greeting the set number of times.

Configure options '1', '2' and '3' - don't forget the 'no key press'

Configure options '1', '2' and '3' - don't forget the 'no key press'

Click ‘apply changes’ to commit the updates.

Apply changes to commit updates

Apply changes to commit updates

Then set missed/busy/unavailable actions in case any of the forwardings fail. Typically you will play an unavailable message and collect a voicemail.

Note: this section will only appear if you have a forwarding active on your menu.

Set actions for missed/busy calls.

Set actions for missed/busy calls.

‘Apply Changes’ once again.

Apply changes to commit updates

Apply changes to commit updates

We can now phone into our switchboard to test the change.  If it’s not during opening hours we can force this from ‘Opening Hours’ page by selecting ‘always open’.

Here’s how the final menu looks (that was easy wasn’t it?)

The is how the configured 'open menu' looks

The is how the configured 'open menu' looks

(4) Configure the ‘Closed Menu’

To review, on the closed menu we want to

– Answer the call and play an announcement “sorry, we are closed, our opening hours are … please leave a message and we will return your call”.
– Collect a voicemail.

This should be straight forward once you’ve configured the ‘open menu’, take a look at the screenshot below.

Note: Don’t forget to click ‘apply changes’.

The configured the 'closed menu'

The configured the 'closed menu'

The switchboard is now fully configured !