Pricing varies by provider; most conference calling services use one of two main cost structures: pay as you go and unlimited monthly.
With pay-as-you-go plans, there is a per-minute fee for each person on a call. For a reservationless service, fees typically range from 2 to 10 cents per minute, per person. For example, a 30-minute call with 10 participants would likely cost $6 to $30.
Operator-assisted services are more expensive. These calls cost 15 to 30 cents per minute, per caller. So, for example, a 30-minute call with 200 participants would cost between $900 and $1,800.
With unlimited plans, you pay a monthly fee and can host as many calls as you want for as long as you want. Fees for unlimited plans range from $7 to $60 per month.
Some providers charge extra fees for things such as toll-free calling, call recording and transcription services.
Many providers have set prices, so there isn't a lot of room for negotiation. However, there are some questions you can ask to ensure you are getting a fair price.
- Ask if the service offers discounts if you agree to a long-term contract. Some providers discount their rates if you agree to pay annually, instead of month to month.
- If you're a midsized or large business, see if the provider offers discounts for businesses that have a high call volume.
- Ask if the provider will match the price of one of its less-expensive competitors.
While many providers don't require you to sign a contract, if yours does, read the contract and verify that it has everything you agreed to and doesn't include any price increases after an extended period of time. It is also important to know how to cancel your service if you need to and if there are any costs to do so. There are several free conference call providers, though they may offer fewer features and services than paid plans.
Free Conference Call Services vs. Paid Services
Free conference call services are a budget-friendly way to communicate with clients and employees, and although free services tend to provide fewer features than paid services, there are plenty of free services that get the job done.
If you are looking to save money by choosing a free service, determine which features are must-haves. Most free services offer basic features that let you conduct conference calls without difficulty, but you may find yourself wishing you had the ability to host more callers or save call transcripts.
Free conference call services are just as safe and secure as paid plans; the only difference is that paid plans provide more features and support more call participants. Another difference you can expect to find is that you will likely have to listen to at least one ad when using a free service.