Are you treating conference call services as a commodity, going with the first service that sounds
reasonable or the conference call service offered for the lowest price?
Unfortunately, many business professionals don't put forth as much effort in finding the right conference calling
plan for their needs as they should. It doesn't take long for regret to set in as you realize that there's more
involved in selecting a calling plan than going with promises of free conference calls or super low prices.
A commodity is generally considered an item or service that has the same value regardless of quality. For example,
gold is considered a commodity because an ounce of gold is an ounce of gold regardless of who is selling it. On
the other hand, a gold necklace or gold watch is not a commodity because quality varies depending on craftsmanship
and artistry. When it comes to conference call services, quality also varies from one provider to the next.
Among the quality issues you may encounter with free conference calls and ultra cheap plans are: conference bridge
downtime, attendee trouble accessing conference line, audio quality, participant disconnections, problems dialing
in, and even unexpected long distance charges. One of the more common quality concerns involves conference call
services that use VoIP technologies rather than traditional telecom lines. While VoIP is a viable technology, it
still has a few bugs to be worked out in terms of reliability and call quality.
Problems with access and dropped calls are also a concern. When considering conference call services, especially
if you have international attendees, it's important to find out which countries are supported. In addition, domestic
carriers in the past have blocked access to certain providers of free conference calls due to disputes over connection
fees. If possible, participate in a conference call demonstration or sign up for a free trial account before committing
to a calling plan. By doing so, you'll get to hear the sound quality for yourself as well as experience any issues
such as access problems or disconnections for yourself.
Finally, free conference calls aren't necessarily free. Sure, as the host of the conference call, you won't have
to pay, but your call's attendees may find themselves with unexpected long distance charges for the conference.
While a brief five-minute call won't likely bust anyone's budget, a longer call involving cell phones or international
callers could lead to higher-than-expected phone bills and hard feelings.
A conference call service is not a commodity.
Quality does vary from one service to the next. Sure, you can find plenty of services offering free conference
calls, but you may be paying a price. Avoid the problems associated with lower quality providers and instead look
for a provider who is willing to host a live demonstration so that you can experience the quality of the service
for yourself. Look at the provider's features and benefits as well as the available conferencing plans. No matter
how cheap a plan may be, if the plan doesn't meet your specific conference call needs, it doesn't offer you value
for your money.
Conference calling plans don't vary much from one provider to another, right? Wrong! Plans vary dramatically both
in terms of price as well as in quality. Treat conference calling plans like they are a commodity and you'll likely
regret it. Instead, evaluate calling plans carefully and choose the right conference call provider for your needs.
AIT provides high quality conference
call services that bridge the gap between quality and affordability. Several calling plans are available including
"pay as you go" plans, pre-paid buckets of conference calling minutes, unlimited monthly plans, and international
conference calling plans.