Many of today’s hosted VoIP providers have adopted pricing plans similar to traditional phone companies. With these pricing plans, customers choose a pre-paid bucket of monthly minutes to be included with their regular invoice. These plans are popular among customers who prefer a predictable monthly invoice they can include in their budget, rather than worrying about how many minutes they are using from month to month.
In today’s post, we compare several VoIP providers and their business phone system calling plans. These providers include: The Real PBX, AVOXI, and TollFreeForwarding.com.
Please note: all pricing referenced in this article is current and publicly available as of November 10, 2016.
The Real PBX
The Real PBX is popular for the wide variety of calling plans they offer. This VoIP provider offers starter plans for both the UK and Australia that include a toll free number and 150 minutes of monthly talk time. These starter plans will only cost you $9 per month, which seems like a very attractive offer.
But, there are some things that potential customers should understand about the starter plans offered by The Real PBX. First, you may expect to exceed your allotted 150 minutes of pre-paid talk time on occasion. When this happens, a predetermined rate per minute is charged for the additional talk time used. The Real PBX charges 8¢ per minute for additional talk time in Australia and 5.4¢ for the UK – which can add up quickly.
As a Real PBX customer, you can avoid these per-minute charges by purchasing the next tier of 305 minutes for $34 per month. However, paying almost three times the monthly fee for just over twice the minutes may not make sense to some customers.
The Real PBX also offers unlimited calling plans for the US and Canada. For $20, you’ll get a toll free phone number; extensions are $39 each. The Real PBX’s fair use policy allows for 3100 minutes of talk time per extension with their unlimited plan. Details about The Real PBX's fair use policy can be found on the Real PBX website. Pricing details can also be found on the Real PBX website.
Whether you want an unlimited or per-minute plan, The Real PBX’s advertised price does not include some other costs that may apply to you. If you wish to pay for your subscription with a credit card or PayPal account, there is a 3% additional charge. Some features, like call recording, are also available for an add-on fee.
Purchasing a VoIP business phone plan from AVOXI comes with plenty of perks for you and your business. First of all, AVOXI’s Business Starter plans for Australia and the United Kingdom include a reliable toll free number that is supported by AVOXI’s feature-rich cloud PBX system, AVOXI Core.
With AVOXI Core, you get features like hunt groups, call recording, call tracking, call logs, basic call queueing, a built in support center and the ability to view past invoices, payments, and current subscriptions within one easy-to-use, web-based portal.
AVOXI’s Business Starter Plans are perfect for international businesses looking for a way to reach customers in the United Kingdom and Australia. For just $19.99 a month, you get a toll free phone number, a Bria Stretto softphone, and 150 minutes of pre-paid monthly talk time per extension.
If you exceed your 150 minutes of talk time, you have two choices. You can purchase an additional extension, or you can pay for the additional minutes over the top of your pre-paid minutes. With AVOXI’s Business Starter Plan, those additional minutes will only cost 2.3¢ for Australia and 4.8¢ for the UK.
Like The Real PBX, AVOXI also offers unlimited calling plans for the US and Canada. These unlimited plans include all the same features as the Business Starter Plans and include up to 3,600 minutes of monthly talk time per agent at a competitive price of $45.99 per month per extension.
TollFreeForwarding.com specializes in call forwarding services for international companies. With TollFreeForwarding.com, you simply choose a number and the number of minutes you require, and you’re done. Their website has a useful price calculator that allows you to choose from 6 different business calling plans based on your number type, location, and how you plan to forward your calls.
The advertised price for each calling plan includes the use of their PBX features like time of day routing, IVR, voicemail and fax to email, call recording, and basic reporting capabilities.
When it comes to pricing, TollFreeForwarding.com typically charges more than AVOXI and RealPBX for smaller plans. For example, their 150 minute bundle for Australia costs $29 per month, with additional minutes charged at 10.4¢ per minute. That’s a monthly price almost 50% higher than AVOXI’s Business Starter Plan, with additional minutes more than three times the price. An unlimited extension for US and Canada, which includes 3600 minutes of monthly talk time in our fair use policy, will only cost you $45.99 per month. Meanwhile, a plan with only 2,000 minutes of talk time from TollFreeForwarding.com is advertised at $79 per month on their website. Pricing details can be found on the TollFreeForwarding.com website.
Choosing the Right VoIP Provider for Your Business
VoIP call forwarding services have made international communications simple and affordable for businesses of all sizes. If you are searching for the right VoIP provider for your business, all three three companies offer a wide variety of calling plans and additional services from which to choose.
Before you decide on a VoIP provider, it is important to be aware of hidden fees not included in online advertising, and how those add-on charges correspond with your business’s unique communications needs. It is helpful to request quotes from more than one provider and truly understand what you’re getting with your service.
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