Conference Call Pricing

Written by Gregory Parker
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Rates for conference call services can vary dramatically. Big name companies charge big prices. "Small name" companies may charge lower prices. The savvy consumer, though happy at the opportunity to save money, may wonder why price differences are so extreme. As a result, she may assume that the difference is quality, and that the lower costs are not worth the risk to business image if the service provided is substandard.

Low Cost Doesn't Necessarily Mean Low Quality

The fact of the matter is that many of the most popular and reliable conference call service providers are among the most affordable. Why? Well, for one thing, they don't have multi-million dollar image and advertising concerns to worry about. Secondly, they're not trying to support a vast global network of various telecommunications services. Many of the finest conference call companies only provide that one service. They're not trying to run the world; just trying to help business leaders within it stay in touch.

When investigating conference call pricing, first find providers that deliver the technological support you need, coupled with the high audio quality you expect. Then, get out your magnifying glass and check out the rate sheets. What are the obvious charges, such as automated vs operator assisted calls? How do they determine their charges: by the minute, by the number of participants, by the call, or some other methodology? To they offer a choice between toll and toll-free calls, and if so, are the rates charged a good value? Finally, do they offer volume discounts to businesses which do a large percentage of their communication via audio and web conferencing?

Once you've narrowed your list of providers down to just a few, check out the "hidden" charges that sometimes get slipped in. Are there annual contracts which have to be maintained? Are there sign up fees, monthly minimums, or time limits--be they minimum or maximum? Do they charge for "last minute" conference organization? Do they force paid operator assistance on you? You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that many of even the most affordable solutions avoid these scenarios entirely, charging low minute to minute rates, multiplied by the the number of participants.

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