As with any service conference
calling services and their features and prices vary dramatically from
one provider to the next.
After all, an inexpensive service provider may be cheap because very few features are offered. Perhaps that same
service is cheap because it's not the participants of the call who pay for the service but rather an advertiser.
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to make conference calls, you don't necessarily have to give up features
or suffer through a barrage of advertisements in exchange for affordability. In fact, you may be surprised to find
that many legitimate conference calling providers offer a wealth of features, great service, and affordable rates.
Beyond Price - What to Expect
Conference calls are packaged in many different ways including in prepaid bundles of minutes, as monthly recurring
"flat rates" for predetermined service
levels, on a per-minute/per participate basis, and for "free" with some strings attached. You'll also
find other packages including unlimited conference calling plans.
However, it's important to balance your expectations with price. For example, unlimited plans are going to have
a higher rate than plans with reasonable limits. After all, if you only plan on using 90 minutes per month, why
pay the extra cost for thousands of minutes per month?
Another consideration is whether or not you must commit to a long term contract. Just as it's difficult - and expensive
- to cancel a cell phone contract before its termination date, it could also be problematic to terminate a conference
calling plan early when your needs change.
Paying by the minute, by participant
can alleviate some of these concerns, especially if no contract is required. However, when conference calls extend
beyond your estimated time frame, costs could soar higher than expected.
So, what's a responsible, frugal conference calling host to do? Take charge of your conference calling plan! Cheap
teleconferences are possible, but you absolutely need to know your calling patterns and future calling plans before
you commit to a service, cheap or not.
Cheap Conference Calls with No Strings Attached
If you understand how often you'll use conference calling services, how many participants will attend, and how
long your calls usually last, you'll be better able to select an affordable plan that doesn't require you to commit
to services or terms that you don't want. For example, if you know that you want to hold short, daily conference
calls with your staff of twenty, choosing an unlimited plan designed for twenty participants will likely be far
cheaper than paying ala carte or by the minute. Finding a low cost conference calling plan, such as an unlimited
plan based on the number of participants that you normally call each month, allows you to make the calls that you
need at a predictable rate.
While that particular conference calling plan may be the perfect choice budget wise, make sure that you understand
the terms of service. Is the plan for a predetermined term, such as two years? Or is it month-to-month? Can you
change the number of participants each month?
Other considerations include caps - is your "unlimited plan" really unlimited or are there charges when
you exceed specified limits? Are there per-minute bridge fees or are the calls unmetered? Are there toll charges
incurred or do the participants pay their own individual toll charges?
Cheap conference calls are indeed possible with plans available that meet your needs without shortchanging you
or making you listen to ads. It takes some research to find these plans but you may be surprised at your options.
Before you commit, make sure you understand how you will be using the service, your expectations, and the calling
plan's terms. By finding the right plan, you can get the conference calling services that you need at affordable,
Cheap conference calls aren't necessarily bare bones services loaded with advertisements. In fact, you may find
decent packages that allow you to make the conference calls that you need at an affordable price. It takes research
and an understanding of how you'll be using the service, but cheap conference calling is indeed a reality.
aitelephone.com offers affordable conference
calling and packages including unlimited monthly usage conference calling plans featuring a flat rate.
Best of all these plans require no monthly minimums and no contracts.