BabyTel Reviews



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BabyTel Review by WhichVoIP

BabyTel was founded in 2004 as a Canadian phone service provider and launched its U.S service in 2007. It now provides residential and business phone service to over 7,000 locations in the U.S and Canada.

It focuses on four main VoIP related service offerings to customers, these being home phone service, business phone service, T.38 Internet based faxing and SIP trunking.

The Good

Home phone service is provided throughout the U.S and Canada. A Lite package is available for just $12.95 per month (excluding taxes) which provides one phone number, unlimited incoming calls and 300 minutes of outbound calls anywhere in the U.S and Canada, except Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. For the Lite plan, if you go over 300 outbound minutes you are charged 3c/minute. The All-in plan costs $21.95 per month and offers the same service as the Lite plan, except it covers unlimited outbound calls and includes two phone numbers with distinctive ringing so you can distinguish calls for each number. The home plan options are quite feature rich and include free calls to other BabyTel users regardless of where they are in the World, voicemail, voicemail to email, voicemail transcription, call forwarding, connect up to 3 phones on an account each ringing simultaneously, E.911, virtual numbers and conference calling (3-way). Also there is home alarm system support and no contracts, service runs month to month.

The Business phone service is also cloud based so there is no expensive on-premise equipment needed other than IP phones and BabyTel has a plan that provides a free phone for each user, which could save a lot of up-front capital costs. There are four options for business plans, a Lite extension plan, a mobile extension plan, all-in extension and all-in with a desk phone. The Lite extension plan costs $17 per user per month which is good for light usage and includes 100 minutes of calls and 3c per minute for excess minutes. Like the home phone plans it does not include calls to Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. The mobile extension is an App for smartphones and tablets and costs $19 per user per month and covers unlimited inbound and outbound calls inside the US and Canada, text messaging (200 messages, excess 2c/message) and a second phone number for fax or other uses. The all-in extension is aimed at regular desk phone usage, and therefore supports more features, and it costs $27 per user per month. You can also use the smartphone App in addition to using a desk phone. The all-in plan with desk phone is a special deal where BabyTel provides a Yealink T23G phone for free to each user. Just keep in mind that if you cancel service before 6 months of service you will be billed the price of the phones. As for features, all of the ones stated under the home plans are included for all business plans, along with call recording, toll free numbers, voice dialing (say who you are looking for), simultaneous ringing and eavesdropping (and barge). Call queues, for those with higher call volumes, are available as an add-on feature and costs $14.95 per month plus 3c/minute charge for each minute of hold time in the queue. This is a little surprising.

The smartphone App is known as the Triple-T phone App. You can use the App for all of your business calls and also full SMS text messaging. Your entire team's contact details are pre-loaded and accessible from the App and group chat is available for free. Voice to text is enabled so you can listen to text messages and push notification ensures you never miss a call or a message.

Internet faxing is fully T.38 compatible to ensure high reliability for your inbound and outbound faxes. It starts at $9.90 per month for 100 fax pages and 8c per page excess. For higher volumes, consult BabyTel for pricing. A desktop App can be used to make faxing as simple as sending or receiving an email. Faxes are sent and received as PDFs or TIFF attachments. You can also fax directly from the smartphone App.

SIP trunking is offered to those businesses that have their own Private Branch eXchange (PBX) and just need to trunk to the outside world for external calls. BabyTel's SIP trunking service offers 3 plans to customers. A dedicated T.38 fax trunk costs $8 per month plus 2.6c/minute. These are dedicated T.38 routes to maximize completion rates, something that is important for Faxing over the Internet. A SIP trunking Lite plan for small usage is available for $5 per month plus 1.4c/minute inbound and 2c/minute outbound inside the U.S and Canada. The all-in trunking plan costs $35/month and covers all inbound and outbound minutes inside the U.S and Canada. There are no contracts, service runs month to month and calls are free between users. Up-time is currently running at 99.95% and various fail-over strategies are employed to ensure high reliability. You can also set switch-over numbers should your Internet drop or you have a power outage at your business (i.e. your PBX stops responding).

Full redundancy is built-in to all of BabyTel's services and maximizing up-time is of prime importance to them. There is also around the clock monitoring for all of your connections so any issues are addressed promptly.

In most cases you can port your existing numbers over to BabyTel. There is also a neat tool you can use ahead of time to verify your number can indeed be ported.

The support section of its Website offers a lot of articles, guides and FAQs to help you get up to speed with the services offered and troubleshoot any issues. Support is available 24/7 via email and you can call them during normal business hours for live in-person support.

The Bad

As per the Terms and Conditions, you should pay close attention to the number of simultaneous calls you can have with each service. For home and mobile plans you can only have one simultaneous call at a time. For business plans the number of simultaneous calls is equal to five plus the number of extensions. For faxing, the number of simultaneous fax calls is limited to 10. You will be charged excess minute charges beyond those limitations. None of this is unreasonable but important to be aware of.

There is no mention of the terms for unlimited minute plans. Normally there are fair use policies for unlimited plans, so consult with BabyTel if you expect high usage for your account.

BabyTel does provides a full 14-day money back guarantee but there are restrictions on this you should be aware of. For business accounts this is only up to four users per account. Also it only applies if you have less than 250 minutes of usage. You also must return any and all devices within 14 days in order to be eligible for the refund.

International calling is available but not included in your outbound call package. This is fairly standard but looking at the International rates, they do seem rather expensive compared to many other providers. For example calls to the UK cost between 2c and 28c per minute. Our new International rate tool may help you if you are looking for the lowest rates to specific International destinations.

The Bottom Line

  • Home Phone Service: Lite plan costs $12.95/month (unlimited incoming, 300 mins outbound). All-in plan costs $21.95/month (unlimited U.S and Canada).
  • Business Phone Service: Lite extension costs $17/user/month (100 mins of calls). Mobile plan costs $19/user/month (unlimited calls). All-in plan costs $27/user/month (unlimited calls, all features). All-in plan with desk phone costs $27/user/month and includes Yealink T23G phones.
  • SIP Trunking: T.38 fax trunk costs $8/month (+2.6c/min). Lite plan costs $5/month (+1.4c/min inbound and 2c/min outbound). All-in plan costs $35/month (unlimited U.S and Canada).
  • Internet Fax: $9.90/month (100 fax pages, 8c/page excess).

Overall Thoughts

BabyTel offers competitively priced plans for consumers and businesses in the U.S and Canada. Reliability seems to be an important element of its architecture and the feature sets for all offerings are very reasonable.

If you have used Babytel please let us know your thoughts, using the review form on this page.

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