“We've been getting a lot of great feedback from new customers lately.” That’s a great first sentence for a blog post written by a virtual PBX company, in this case eVoice (News - Alert). But the second sentence, however, isn’t so great. “After reviewing the data closer, I've noticed some common misconceptions about virtual phone service in general.”
So what’s the problem you may be wondering? “What most people don't know are that many of these so-called review sites receive commissions from the sites they review,” eVoice officials noted, adding that while they appear to be legitimate, “They actually give the best reviews to the service that pays them the most.”
In other words, don’t take them at face value. Instead, EVoice offers a few pointers on what you should look for when considering a new service so “you don't get tricked by one of these virtual PBX (News - Alert) reviews:”
Be sure to closely analyze included minutes and extensions. What to watch for here, eVoice officials say, is that “The core difference between any virtual PBX service is the number of monthly minutes and the number of extensions included.” If you are just starting out you probably won't need much of either, but as your business grows you should be able to upgrade to other plans when needed.
Free trial periods are extremely helpful in being able to see how a virtual PBX product will work before actually buying it . “This one is really a no-brainer,” eVoice officials say, and they’re right as any good service should offer a trial period, or at least a money back guarantee.
In addition, hidden charges are a common trick that show up right after you sign up for a virtual PBX service that can include activation fees, configuration fees, greeting fees, etc. Ask for a full listing of fees you will be expected to pay before signing your name on that dotted line. Also, total annual cost is crucial as this will help you to figure out the annual cost of the basic plan, what the included features are and the level of service that is offered.
Virtual PBX technology can help any organization streamline operations, however be sure to research your provider thoroughly before making a decision.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Jamie Epstein