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Grasshopper is a virtual phone number service that offers small businesses a professional calling system to route calls to an unlimited number of extensions. Users of the Grasshopper service do not need to purchase any additional hardware such as an IP Phone or an Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA), as although VoIP is used by Grasshopper to route calls and provide calling features, it does not extend to the user. The service does however require the user to also have some other form of phone service that Grasshopper will utilize to forward calls to.
Grasshopper is effectively a stand-alone auto-attendant service that also allows for inbound faxes and enables multiple endpoint phone extensions. A new user simply chooses a phone number for their business and then sets the system up to forward incoming calls to any type of phone device (cell phone, home phone, office phone, etc).
No additional hardware is required and setup is quick and easy, so you can be up and running in no time.
The Grasshopper plans come in four different options with each plan offering a 30 day money back guarantee and no long term contract. All the plans include at least one toll free number, unlimited extensions and every possible features. The main difference in the plans is the number of minutes that are included. The Pay as you Grow plan is $12 per month with calls costing 6c / minute. The next step up is the Ramp plan that includes 500 minutes per month and costs $24 per month. The most popular plan is the Grow plan that currently costs $49 per month and includes 2,000 minutes. For the heavy users, there is the Max plan that costs $199 per month and includes a massive 10,000 minutes.
There are a number of cool features included with each Grasshopper plan. In particular, the auto-attendant, music-on-hold and toll free number features help give any size of business a professional appearance to the outside world. An iPhone app enables Grasshopper users to make outbound calls with an outbound caller ID set to their business phone number. As every plan includes unlimited extensions, it makes expanding the service easy and free of additional cost.
Some form of additional phone service is required for Grasshopper to work as it is not a stand-alone service. This is likely not a big deal as the main premise of the service is its ability to send incoming calls to cell-phones while enabling enhanced business phone service features.
Users need to use the iPhone App for outbound calling or the use the Call Out feature if they want to ensure the outbound caller ID is their business phone number. Although an Andoid app is currently available for download, it is currently only a Beta test version. To use the Call Out feature, users must first enable outbound calling on the extension and then call an access number to make calls (similar to a calling card). Make sure you don't use Grasshopper if you are making a 911 call as 911 calls are not supported.
Although inbound fax is supported, there is no way to make an outbound fax.
Only one local or toll free number is included with the Pay as You Grow and Ramp plans. Additional numbers are $5 per month so costs can add up when you want DID for extensions.
Conference calling feature only supports up to 10 participants and usage is charged per minute times the number of participants. So a 30 minute call with 4 participants will use 120 minutes.
Grasshopper is great option for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are looking to get access to an enhanced set of business phone service features that leverage existing phones and service. Perfect for businesses with employees on the move or working remotely.
Grasshopper reviews are listed in chronological order.
#1 : MAR 21st, 2014 : John
Thought about going with typical hosted service but decided on Grasshopper as it had all the features my business required. So far so good and did not have to buy any new phones. Getting fancy new desk phones would have been nice, but we don't really need them, so this was a good option.
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