Clear Business is proud to provide essential business services to over 60,000 small business customers. We’re one of the only providers to offer Telecoms, Broadband, Mobile, Gas, Green Electricity and Water services all on our unique one bill solution.
By consolidating the vital services needed to run a business, we’re able to give our customers – UK business owners – the most valuable gift of all: time. No more dealing with up to six different providers, we offer a single point of contact and a single bill for all services, cutting down admin and making cashflow management that little bit easier.
So, how does the one bill solution work?
Clear Business is part of the Verastar group, which is a licensed multi-service provider. We have been awarded supply licences for Gas, Electricity and Water, and have excellent working relationships with our wholesalers for Fixed Line Telecoms, Broadband and Mobile. This allows Clear Business customers to benefit from the widest range of business services on the market all on a one bill solution. It also allows us to have greater control over our supply chain which means we can give our customers the best in products, services and customer care.
When a customer signs up to Clear Business, they decide which of our products they would like to consolidate onto a single bill. Once live, the unique account on our system pulls together our customers’ information for all products and collates the ongoing day-to-day usage (used to keep the business running). Clear Business has developed bespoke in-house systems which then pull together all of the information and combine it into one monthly invoice. The end product seen below is the end result of 1000s of processes!
Understanding the one bill
We know that our customers are busy, which is why we offer a one bill solution that simplifies all your essential business services into an easy-to-read document. Here’s how it works.
The first page of your invoice will always be the Account Summary.
Here you’ll find:
- Customer Services: Our Customer Services number is there should you need us. We are open Monday–Friday, 9am-6pm. Outside of these hours, you can email us or request a call-back through your Customer Zone.
- Your Customer Ref. No. This is your account number which we will ask you for should you need to contact us.
- Invoice No. This will be used to find the latest bill (if needed).
- Your previous balance: These are charges from previous bills.
- Payments received since last invoice: These are payments made by yourself from the last bill.
- Your balance brought forward: This indicates any outstanding charges from the previous bill.
At the bottom of the account summary section, you’ll find:
- This includes your total discount of: This will include any discounts (if applicable) that have been applied to your current bill.
- VAT: This is the VAT added on your bill.
- Total charges for this period: The charges for this billing period.
- Total to pay: The accumulated amount from the total charges of this period and the balance brought forward (if applicable).
Depending on your service, your bill will include a breakdown of your charges. We’ve put together a short guide on these for our different services. Simply choose from the dropdown to find our more.
Telecom, Broadband and Mobile Services
The Telecoms services section will include your premises address and the telephone number. It will also include a total along with the relevant VAT Rate.
Line rental is charged monthly in advance. For new customers, call charges will be shown part-month in arrears and line rental charges next month in advance. You can see a full, 12-month breakdown of invoices on your exclusive Customer Zone for free.
Charges are the same for Broadband and Mobile services. Rental charges will be a month in advance and any call costs in arrears. For new customers, from the start date your first bill will include 2 months charges then normal monthly charges. If you start half-way through the month, you will pay for a month and a half.
We offer a range of different packages which can be tailored to your business needs including:
- UK Landline Anytime – Unlimited calls anytime to all numbers beginning 01, 02, and 03.
- Unlimited Landline and Mobile Calls – Unlimited calls for your landline to all UK mobiles and numbers beginning in 01, 02, 03.
- Essential Broadband Package – 20 GB usage limit.
- Unlimited Broadband Package – Unlimited Usage.
- Absolute Fibre Package – Unlimited Downloads.
The Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum have estimated that fraud is impacting UK businesses by about £1 billion a year and that it is continuing to increase. To help protect our customers, Clear Business has developed a service to detect and prevent fraud – Fraud Defender.
Fraud Defender is a fraud monitoring service designed to monitor fraudulent activity on your lines to identify. Having Fraud Defender on your lines helps protect you from fraudulent activity and reduces the risk of financial damage and liability. The service works by detecting unusual call activities on all types of telephone lines.
If it detects unusual call activity, Fraud Defender will alert Clear Business so that we can investigate and we will suspend telephone services to prevent further fraud taking place. This service is charged on a monthly basis and includes all sites and all lines on an account; rather than per line or per service.
Fraud Defender is free for the first 2 months and appears in your statement under ‘Service Charges’ with a credit for the first 2 invoices. You can also view it on your Customer Zone dashboard so you can monitor and analyse suspicious activity.
Protect yourself, protect your business from fraud.
For our customers that work outside of the UK, we can offer the International Cost Saver Tariff for calls to the Top 24 locations (including Australia, Canada, Spain, USA).
Clear Business offers mobiles to existing customers to suit your business needs, with a range of handsets; from basic phones to smart phones. And you can enjoy the same low call rates as your landline. Any handset can be used with our sim cards.
The only time a handset may not work is if it has been network locked so only SIM cards from your previous provider can used. Unlocking is possible simply through a request to your current supplier. If you can obtain a PAC (Porting Authorising Code) from your previous provider, we can port your number over so it remains the same.
Mobile Bill Limits
As of the 1st October 2018, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom introduced a new Mobile Bill Limit. This is an agreed limit set by you (the customer) on the maximum amount, in addition to the core subscription price, that can be charged for mobile services. If the limit is reached, you can’t be charged more than the Mobile Bill limit.
If you’re unsure about the number of minutes and data you will be using, or have been using more than your current allowance, Clear Business offers bundles that can suit your talk, text, and data needs. A few examples of our data bundles include:
- 100 Minutes and 100 Texts
- Unlimited Mins and Texts + 1GB
- Bundles of 1GB, 3GB, 10GB, and 30GB
If you’re not on a data bundle and don’t want to use mobile data, we suggest you turn it off as some apps will use data in the background. You should also connect to Wi-Fi where possible as this will give you access without using mobile data. If you’re going abroad outside of continental Europe, you should keep your Mobile data off always as a way of preventing Mobile data from being used.
Electricity and Gas Services
For Electricity and Gas services, billing is done on a monthly basis. Your last bill will have an end meter read which forms the start meter read of the next bill. If we do not receive a meter read, we will estimate your usage. We highly recommend you submit meter reads monthly as estimated reads may be higher than an actual read. This can be done quickly and easily via your Customer Zone.
On your statement, the Electricity services section will provide your information for emergencies. We provide our customers with the contact information of your local Electricity distributor. This includes the name, telephone number, and address.
The ‘S’ symbol is your MPAN number which indicates your supply address, and your meter number is your Electricity meter serial number.
VAT for Electricity and Gas will be charged at 20% unless the consumption fall within the De-Minimus threshold. For more information, please visit the HMRC website.
Key terms you need to know when reading your energy bill:
- Start/End Read: The start read will show the read taken at the beginning of the month, and the end will show the read at the end of the month. If you supply us with a meter read, there will be a ‘C’ symbol next to this number. If you do not, we will estimate the amount used and this will be shown as a ‘E’. An ‘Actual’ meter read is done by us; this will appear as an ‘A’ symbol on the bill. For customers with Half Hourly meters, you will see the units used and an end date, and will need to check your usage on Customer Zone. Whichever meter you have, we will arrange to read all customer meters every 6-months.
- Units: This will be the number of units used within a given period.
- Standing charge: The standing charge is one per day for a total of the billing months calendar days.
- CCL: This is the Climate Change Levy, is a tax on energy delivered to businesses in the UK. Its aim is to provide an incentive to increase energy efficient and to reduce carbon emissions. All suppliers charge the same rate. Like all suppliers, we do not profit from this. If you fall under the ‘De Minimis’ VAT threshold, there will be no CCL on the invoice.
- Rate: The agreed rate at the point of sale.
For your Gas services, the information is relatively the same. The statement will include information such as your supply address, charges from the given monthly period, and so on. It also includes an emergency contact number.
- kWh: This is the number of kilowatt hours by the unit to show the Gas charge. This is calculated by your meter readings, correction factor, and calorific value.
Information such as the Calorific value, kWh, and Correction factor, are units used to calculate your bill. This can be found under ‘How your Gas bill is calculated’.
For Water services most businesses must pay water, sewerage, and drainage charge, regardless of if the property is vacant or occupied. Depending on the type of property, you may only need to pay for drainage (e.g. car park space).
In Scotland, metered Water is calculated by meter size, while unmetered water and drainage is calculated using the Rateable Value (RV) for your property recorded by the Central Marketing Agency. You can ask for the RV to be assessed but it may increase or decrease the value. Sewerage (or waste) is based on the same as water.
Rateable value was updated on 1 April 2017 and from 1 April 2018, the Scottish Government said that water charges were to be calculated using the most current rateable value. The change was to be gradually phased-in over a three-year period so that by 1 April 2020, all charges will be calculated using the most up-to-date rateable value. For this reason, your Water bill may show with ‘Historic RV’ and ‘Live RV’. For more information on Scotland Water charges for businesses visit here.
For England, it is charged based on the water usage plus a set charge (if you’ve got a meter), and a set amount which is usually based on the value of your property. It can also be calculated by meters squared in some areas in England. For more information on England Water charges for businesses please visit here.
Some other charges that you might incur outside of your normal services might include:
Card machine and security system charges
Both card machines and security systems call expensive numbers when dialling out. Call charges can rack up overtime and this can be costly. We recommend you speak with your card and security supplier as they can put you on a cheaper alternative number. You may also wish to consider our Unlimited calls package which can be a cheaper alternative as we offer bundles to include external numbers. This does not include some call types such as Premium Rate numbers.
Restarting a line
Line restart occurs when there are no active lines at the property. Whether it be a new property or a previously owned one is relevant as the previous tenant may have transferred the numbers away or ceased the lines. Make note of this to inform us as our team can go through the necessary steps.
Change of address
There can be costs when moving into a new premise or when changing addresses. This is dependent on if there is a working line in the new property, if there is a need to reconnect the line, or if there is a need to install a new standard line.
When moving your business, please identify your moving dates as soon as possible as it will allow us to plan the transfer of your services.
You can facilitate your move by signing up and logging into Customer Zone, and filling out our moving premises tool. Once we have received this information our specialist Change of Address team can begin to plan how best to transfer your services and will call to confirm the details with you.
As standard, our one bill solution is part-itemised. If you wish to see more detail about your Telecoms and Mobile usage, your statements can be fully itemised for a small charge (please view our pricing schedule for more detail). This will allow you to view the direct dialled calls, date, time, destination, duration, and amount, with the total amount for all calls made for a specific number. Unless you have a specific data-package or go over a certain data usage, Broadband is normally not itemised.
Don’t forget, you can see all this information through your exclusive Customer Zone account!
Late payment charges
If we have not been able to collect your direct debt payment, charges may be added to your account. We do our best to help our customers by providing you with a minimum of 7 days’ notice of payment. We will send out SMS reminders and, if after 2 weeks there is no communication, we’ll send out a reminder letter in the post. Administration charges may apply if there is an outstanding balance after 5 weeks. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for further information.
Openreach engineer visits
Like most Telecoms and Broadband providers, Clear Business uses the Openreach Network. Openreach own, operate and maintain the UK’s Phone and Broadband lines. They manage the local access network; this is what connects your premises to the local phone exchange.
Like any provider, we cannot prevent faults from occurring – but we can do our best to resolve them as quickly as possible. When technical faults occur, our team will run through a series of diagnostic checks to identify the nature of the fault. If we’re unable to resolve the fault with you over the phone, it may be necessary for an Openreach engineer to visit.
If an engineer is required, we’ll confirm this with you and discuss any potential costs that maybe payable ahead of booking the appointment with you. You are liable for the appointment charge if you miss any appointments.
- Morning appointment 8:00 to 13:00.
- Afternoon appointment 13:00 to 18:00.
Our business is about making your business services as streamlined as possible. On the back of your bill you’ll find information on how to take up further services from us, and contact numbers should you wish to discuss payments, closing or selling your business, or anything else regarding your telecoms or utilities services.
As a busy owner managing anything from stock, to staff, to the property itself, we know that saving time is not only needed, it is essential. Your one bill solution offers this. It is an easier way of consolidating all your services and sites into one manageable statement.
So, there we have it, our unique one bill.