Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Free Conference calls?

You know it wasn't too long ago when setting up a conference call was not only a frustrating process but it was also expensive as well. It almost seemed like the telephone companies deliberately made it difficult so no one would think of doing it themselves.

Of course, this just make someone more motivated to do it themselves. And these new competitors to the phone company had a nice selling gimmick. It's FREE. At least the conference call part of it is free. When I registered to try it out, I was given a Minnesota number as the call-in number so any participants in my conference call would be charged whatever they would normally be charged to call that number. There might even be some Minnesotans for whom the call wold be a local call. If you want to eliminate these charges, you can sign up for a plan that would give you an 800 number instead of the Minnesota one.

The system distinguishes who is the host and who are the participants, allowing certain codes to be used by the participants only and others by hosts only, Fore example, *4 accesses the system instructions while *6 mutes your phone so you can have a local conversation.

So how can this company get away with providing free service? For one thing they have little of no costs. Unlike some prior phone company who had a human on Stand-by during the conference should technological problems arise. Another way they get away giving away is by making this free service a loss leader - Standard service is free, Premium service is $0.10 per minute. For the extra ten cents you get a higher limit on number and length of calls as well as some addition management reporting.

My wife Carolyn says her ooffice has use this system for some time without any problems. Check it out before you need to set up your next phone conference and let me know what your experience is!


No comments:

Post a Comment