Phonebooth

Phonebooth Reviews

4/5

Average Rating

73%

Recommended

Total:

44

5-Star:

27

4-Star:

5

3-Star:

3

2-Star:

7

1-Star:

2

WhichVoIP.com Phonebooth Review

Phonebooth is part of Bandwidth.com, which was founded in 1999. Being part of Bandwidth.com gives Phonebooth the advantage of using the Bandwidth controlled, nationwide all-IP CLEC network for phone calls. Currently, it has over 30,000 customers for its hosted PBX service.

The Good

Phonebooth offers two plans to customers. The first is the OnDemand plan which is an unlimited local and long distance plan with a reasonable feature set for a very low price of $20 per user per month. One reason the rate is so low is because Bandwidth.com actually owns its own IP-CLEC network and in fact, many other VoIP companies use them for wholesale minutes. This is likely the reason why rates are lower than most other providers. The second plan is actually a free plan and is for incoming calls only, up to 200 minutes per month. This is currently in Beta testing and is actually tough to find on its website, as it is not heavily promoted.

No contract needs to be signed to get this low monthly rate and also there are no setup fees. Many providers are doing this these days but usually to get a low price such as this, a contract has to be signed so this is definitely a feather in the cap for Phonebooth.

One advantage of being owned by Bandwidth.com is the resources that are available for its hosted PBX service. For example there are many data centers, all geographically dispersed and multiple points of redundancy. This should ensure good uptime for customers, though surprisingly no number is quoted for uptime on the website.

All support is U.S based and is available 24 hours per day and 365 days per year - this is impressive and likely gives its customers peace of mind that problems can be resolved promptly. On a similar subject, the customer support section of its website has lots of useful articles and guides.

The Bad

The OnDemand rate is very low but be aware that although it is stated as unlimited minutes for local and long distance calls, there is a reasonable use threshold of 2500 minutes per month. Beyond this limit, it costs 1.9c/minute. This is actually quite a low threshold compared to other providers that offer unlimited plans, which tend to be between 3000 and 5000 minutes, but likely fine for the majority of customers.

It would be nice if a metered plan was available like some of its competitors, for example a 1000 minutes per month option. This could be provided at a very low rate and would be of value to a lot of smaller businesses it seems.

The feature set is sufficient but certainly a sub-set of other providers you see on our website. For example there is no presence feature which can be very useful to see if a colleague is already on a call. There is no softphone for PCs or Apps for Android and iOS devices - most providers offer this these days. Also the service is lacking in terms of plug-ins such as CRM and email integration. On the flip side, it does offer a voicemail-to-text transcription service where all voicemails are transcribed and sent to your email inbox.

The selection of IP phones is lacking and only phones from Yealink and Polycom are available for purchase. The prices seem reasonable and the phones are pre-configured to work "out of the box" with the Phonebooth service. This does not mean that other phones cannot be used but they have not been tested and are not pre-configured, which could be a headache for customers.

The Bottom Line

  • OnDemand: $20 flat rate per user per month for unlimited local and long distance calls. Includes two free numbers and additional numbers only cost $1 per month.
  • Free (Beta): Incoming calls only and up to 200 minutes per month free. Beyone 200 minutes it costs 3c/minute. Cannot make ANY outbound calls - even 911 calls are not permitted. No live support, online support only. Costs $25 to port in a number to this plan.
  • Porting out: If you leave the service and need to port DIDs that were assigned by Phonebooth, it costs $5 per number port.

Overall Thoughts

Phonebooth provides a service that is very low priced, regardless of the number of lines you require. To get rates such as this with other providers often you need to order 50 to 100 phone lines or sign up for one or two year contracts.

It has a reasonable feature set, although certainly a sub-set of what you see from other major providers. It likely lends itself very well to small businesses that do not need productivity enhancing features such as Outlook and CRM integration.

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