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Phone Service Agreements – What You Should Know to Protect Your Park’s Interests

Here in Illinois and across the country there are a number of service providers to choose from and each brings its own blend of technology, pricing and special terms to the table.

If you are considering a new Voice or Internet solution take time to ask your peers who they use. There’s nothing better than getting feedback from actual customers.

Additionally, don’t sacrifice your rights as a business. The parks community has several key differentiators that can be leveraged when negotiating a new service agreement.

As we know, the park district community is unique in several ways.

In Illinois, park districts have
* the full financial backing of the state
* the legal backing of the state

How can you use these to benefit your park district?

Credit Procedures
Most phone companies require a credit check with their customers. The state of Illinois guarantees payment under the Illinois Local Government Prompt Payment Act. This provision should erase any money concerns with your vendors.

Arbitration
Phone and Internet providers are headquartered all over the country. If you review their Terms & Conditions you will probably see that each one will require any arbitration matter to take place in their ‘local backyard’. This can be a great inconvenience to you because it means your park would have to hire an attorney to represent you in that carrier’s local jurisdiction. This is a negotiable item. Be sure to ask the carrier to compromise and allow any legal matter to be settled in your local county.

Damages by Third Parties
It’s unlikely anyone in your organization would create damage using your voice or Internet services. Assuming your IT staff secure your phones and computers properly, there should be very little risk of damage. But what about your patrons? Your Internet provider wants to hold you liable if a third party sends malware, viruses or anything else through their network. At the very least, be aware that this provision can be found in most service agreements. If possible, you want your legal staff to negotiate and limit your exposure from any 3rd party damages.

For more details and examples of Carrier Terms & Conditions call
RAM today at 847-358-0917.

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