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Phone.com Review

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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Extra minutes, capable with iPhone apps, and simple interface & setup makes Phone.com a top choice

Full Review:
[Editor's Note: Phone.com is giving Nextadvisor visitors 20% off for their first six months! At checkout, just make sure to use the coupon code: 20off6] When you test new services as often as we do, things can get complicated. Each one has its own way of functioning and we have to learn our way around them rather quickly. As soon as we figure out one, we have to switch to another and we find a whole new way of doing things. Some services though are so intuitive that it feels like we've been using them for years. The aptly named Phone.com falls squarely into this category. Simple, intuitive, yet highly robust, we would almost say that we love it.


Interface and Setup

Phone.com's interface is clean, simple, and well organized. Options are intuitively grouped and controls are large and clickable. It's particularly fun to operate the sliders that set your business hours (see screen shot at left). Recording your own announcement for the auto-attendant is as easy as telling the system to call you. You can also enter your own text for the robo-answering system, and select a number of different voices (more on that later).

Assigning different behaviors to telephone keys is incredibly easy, and with Phone.com it actually makes sense. It also has the easiest call queue assignment mechanism we've seen, making it easy for you to deal with multiple incoming calls.

We also liked Phone.com's setup procedure. It takes you through all the essential steps after sign-up, including an option to import your Gmail or Outlook contacts, so you'll be ready to go with all the essential features.


Service and Features

Phone.com's call quality was on par with the other services we used. Between two desk phones, the quality was absolutely fine. Most users will not notice any difference between Phone.com's call quality and that of traditional phone service.

Phone.com bundles a number of compelling features into its virtual phone offering. First off, the service grants all accounts with the ability to have unlimited users, which can be useful for growing small businesses. Additionally, there's built-in support for faxing, and Phone.com's services are compatible with two virtual iPhone apps — Bria made by Securax Ltd. and Zoiper Softphone made by CounterPath Corp. There is a one-time charge of $7.99 for Bria, and Zoiper Softphone is free in the iPhone app store. Phone.com has no charge for using the services on your iPhone. Phone.com does offer a free iPhone app — called Phone.com Group SMS — that allows you to send group text messages from your virtual phone number. The app is free in the iPhone App Store and also free to use if you currently have a virtual phone number. Phone.com also offers a HD Video Conferencing feature that allows you to see and speak with up to 25 people at a time. Alternatively, the feature allows you to host up to 200 people if you opt for a telephone conference.

Phone.com offers an assortment of hold-music options. While none are great, they're not terrible, and it's nice to have a choice. We mentioned above that Phone.com offers a number of different voices for your robo-answering service, should you decide not to record your own greeting. There are over a dozen voices, some of them rather comical, most of them sounding fairly robotic, although we did enjoy an irate voice named Shouty. You can also add sound effects, from howling monkeys to burps. If you own a novelty joke shop, you've found your virtual phone service.

On a more serious and relevant note, a brief mention should also be made for their round-the-clock US-based customer support. It was helpful, friendly, and actually pleasant. It almost made us wish we had an issue with the service.


Pricing and Minutes

At $12.99/month with a month-to-month plan (or $9.99/month with an annual payment), you get 300 minutes/month, which is a good deal. The service does have some strong features and you can always upgrade to get additional minutes. It's only $19.99/month for 500 minutes or there's a 1,000 minute plan for $29.99/month. Additional virtual phone numbers cost $4.88/month for each number.


Conclusion

Any complaints? Not really. The price is right and this month-to-month service is a solid choice for your virtual phone needs. The sign-up process felt clumsy, but it was all smooth sailing after that. Phone.com offers strong features that can help you grow your business. Additionally, the first month of regular service is free (though you'll pay for any additional minutes you use over your allotment) so it won't cost you anything to decide if you like the service.

Sign up for Phone.com | Compare to Other Virtual Phone Services

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Service Details

Annual Plan Price:$12.99/mo with a month-to-month plan; $9.99/mo with an annual plan
Free Trial:No trial, but comes with 30-day money back guarantee
Domestic Minutes:300/mo
Extensions:Unlimited
Faxing:Send & receive
Additional Minutes:3.9¢

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