“Warning! You’ve used up your Teams/Skype for Business PSTN minutes for this month” – if you got an email from Microsoft with that subject line, you’re not alone. Many businesses were blindsided in December with the new Communication Credit limits Microsoft introduced on December 1.
As of December 1, 2019, each Office 365 user gets a limit of 60 minutes a month for conferencing dialing. The minutes are pooled for the entire tenant and not limited to each user, but this can still present a challenge for organizations who heavily use their conferencing dialing out and in.
How do I check my pool of minutes?
You can monitor your Communication Credits in the Teams Admin Center and pull the report under Legacy portal. Tenant administrators will also receive email notifications when the dial-out minutes pool has reached both 80 and 100 percent.
How do I get more credits?
As of right now, you have to tie your credit purchase to a new E5 license in order to access the view to add the credits. (If you cancel the E5 within 24 hours of setting it up, you won’t be billed for it.) You can reload as a one-time event or set up auto-recharge.
The auto-recharge option allows you to set a minimum balance of credits (in dollars) that will trigger a purchase for the credit amount you designate. For example, if you set your threshold to $100 and the re-load amount to $200, then when you use up all but one-hundred dollars’ worth, Microsoft will auto-load $200 worth of credits and charge the credit card associated with the account.
Hey, but I buy all my Office 365 licensing through a reseller, what then?
Well, you can still provision your own licensing in the admin portal and unfortunately, that’s how you have to do that as of right now. Your Office 365 reseller currently does not have the capability to provision communication credits on your behalf like we can your other licensing. (Fingers crossed this changes soon.)
I’ve got the E5 added, now what?
To add the credits themselves — after you’ve added the E5 license — go into the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to Billing, and then Subscriptions and find that non-CSP E5 license you just provisioned. Click add-ons (it’s in tiny print at the bottom) and that will take you to the page where you can add Communication Credits. From there you can add credits manually or enable the auto-recharge option.
Be aware that if you do run out of credits, your conferencing dialing will be impacted. At this time setting up the auto-recharge option will be your best bet to prevent this. Again, you don’t get billed on a recurring basis, only when your credit count drops below the minimum threshold you set.
Please note that these limitations also apply to toll-free numbers used with audio conferencing, auto attendants or call queues, as well as certain international dialing scenarios.