Affordable Conference Calls

Written by Gregory Parker
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Affordable conference calls are not an oxymoron. Though many of the most well known names in conferencing solutions can be pricey, there are a number of providers offering comparable services at highly competitive rates. With a little research, individuals and businesses can find the perfect conference call provider for their specific needs.

Keeping Costs Low

The less personal service you require from a conference call provider, the lower your rates will be. Fully automated systems, which require zero human involvement on the part of the provider, are easily among the most affordable solutions. With these systems, one makes the phone call to the provider's automatic request line, indicating via keypad entry the date and time of the conference call, the number of participants, and how long the call is expected to take. Respondents call in, enter their pass-code, and are automatically patched in to the call.

Another affordable solution is the one-time investment of conference calling software. Software can range in price from very expensive to completely free. However, even the priciest software solution over time will pay for itself.

When trying to keep conference call costs low, investigate any "hidden" fees that may be sprung upon you at a later date by your conference call provider. Check that the program which offers the lowest by-minute rate doesn't require a start up fee or program cost. Investigate how much prices jump if your conference runs long, or if more people than you expect "sit in" on the call. Check too if they offer money back guarantees in the event of call failure. Finally, consider their customer service track record. The cheapest company in the world may end up being the worst investment if their lines are unstable, or their system is difficult to navigate. If budget is a concern, spend money on the important stuff, like technology and reliability, and leave the bells and whistles for later.

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