This case involves a whistle-blower matter relating to a state statute against false claims of a large telecommunications company in West Virginia. This latest lawsuit was only the most recent of the cell companies’ legal troubles, however; they had already become embroiled in a privacy lawsuit which alleged that they had been allowing illegal phone recordings of their clients’ calls the be accessed by government agencies, throwing their public stock and customer trust into turmoil before the onset of this particular litigation. Within this new case, many state entities were part of a group contract negotiated by the state in which cell phone carries agreed they would provide the lowest cost service possible, optimizing cell service through faster connections using ‘soft switch’ software. This tends to result in significant cost savings for consumers, but it was alleged that the cell phone carries never optimized the cell service and thus never provided the lowest cost plans.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your background in cell phone cost management.
- 2. Can you explain how cell phone plan optimization works and how it was meant to work in the context of this agreement?
Expert Witness Response E-105108
I am a 20 year veteran of the telecom industry, having spent most of it focused as a telecom expense management consultant and expert witness. I have worked with nonprofits, mid-market businesses, large enterprises, and public sector/military organizations to source, negotiate, write and enforce hundreds of contracts and legal documents with carriers. I analyze invoices, inventory, reports, call detail records, and all other documentation to audit and optimize the client’s entire telecom spent across all of their vendors. I also manage the dispute process, which entails providing all backup research in a legal format and pushing the carrier to correct, and credit errors and discrepancies like in this case. There are many factors that can be analyzed in this case including contractual pricing and discounts, the use of pooling by groups, the removal/addition of features and add-ons, the transfer from older plans to newer, and overall support provided by the carrier’s billing departments and account teams. We can compare the pricing provided to other similarly sized groups and entities as well as across the industry’s best practices from that time period. We can go back several years and gather the billing/invoices, inventory, call detail records, emails and other documentation between the group and the carriers, in order to perform an audit and optimization that will show what the lowest costs should have been had they been done correctly, and show the differences in what was actually billed and why.