SureTel Reviews



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SureTel Review by WhichVoIP

The Company

SureTel was founded in 2007 and is located just outside Portland, Oregon. Its goal is to provide hassle free phone service to businesses of all sizes, across the United States.

The Good

SureTel's servers are hosted in the Google Cloud, in multiple different geographical regions, giving it high availability of service (over 99.99%). There is a status page to see any network issues over the previous weeks.

A free, no obligation, 30 day trial is available which includes a free phone number to test with so there is no need to port your existing phone number until you are completely happy with the service. Also there are no contracts.

Pricing is based on two different use cases, either the number of extensions or by the number of lines. This may be a little confusing but SureTel has a nice pricing tool with a sliding scale so you can see how it would work for your business. The first use case is multiple extensions with shared lines. This would be typical for a business that has a few employees where each needs a phone extension but not everyone needs to be communicating with the outside world at the same time. This is very similar to existing landline technology where phones are shared with a dedicated phone line and number. SureTel uses a mapping of four extensions per shared line. The second use case is multiple lines and this may be needed by businesses with larger call volumes to and from the outside world. As an example, for the shared lines use case you could have up to 12 extensions and 3 shared outside lines for $90 per month. For the multiple line use case you could have 3 extensions and 3 dedicated phone lines for $60 per month. The sliding scale tool on the SureTel Website will show you pricing based on your exact needs. It sounds complicated but it does provide a flexible way to support all business types. Each plan provides unlimited calling inside the U.S and Canada.

iOS and Android Apps are available for download so you can take your phone system with you on the road using your cell phone or tablet. With the App you can make and receive phone calls and SMS messaging and there is also visual voicemail and presence status for all extensions. SureTel also has Chrome Dialer and Call Manager plugins for the Chrome browser so you manage your phone system all from your Web browser. The Dialer plugin mirrors the features in the iOS and Android Apps and the Call Manager is for managing call flows, queues and much more.

Every customer has the same feature set, so there is no tiered pricing based on features. The feature set is extensive and includes full integration with Office 365, Salesforce, and Zoho.

To reduce up-front capital costs, you can rent phones rather than paying for them all at once. The cost varies depending on the chosen phone but typically ranges between $4 and $60 per month per phone. You can also purchase phones and the prices are reasonable.

The Bad

Service appears to be only for businesses with more than 3 extensions or phone lines as pricing starts at $59.97 (for 3 lines). No pricing is given for single lines or single extension companies even though the Website says it is good for small businesses. Most small businesses typically do not need 3 extensions or 3 lines so there may be better options if your business is very small.

There are multiple add-on costs of between $1 and $3 for caller ID, E911, SMS and Toll-free calling.

The phones that are for sale or rent appear to be mainly from Grandstream and Snom for conferencing phones. There is a good selection for entry and mid-level through to executive class phones but limited options in terms of other manufacturers. It may be worth reaching out to them if you already have your own IP phones to make sure SureTel can support them.

There is no terms and conditions page on its Website, which is unusual these days. This is normally where reasonable use policies are stated for unlimited plans so it is worth asking SureTel about this.

The SureTel support section has some articles and guides to help you get up to speed with the features but it is quite limited. There is also no phone number or email address listed or hours of operation should you need further support.

The Bottom Line

  • Pricing is based on shared lines or multiple lines. Rule of thumb is that a shared line costs approximately $30 per line and you get 4 extensions per shared line. For multiple lines, each dedicated line costs approximately $20 per month and you get one extension per line. For example, up to 12 extensions with 3 shared lines costs $89.97 per month and 3 extensions with 3 dedicated lines costs $59.97 per month.
  • Customers can rent phones from $4 to $60 per month depending on the phone.
  • Never Miss a Call costs $29.99/Month (this is essentially a roll-over option for when you reach your maximum limit on concurrent calls).
  • Local Phone Number/DID ( i.e. Direct Inward Dial) is $1.99/DID.
  • Toll-Free Phone Numbers are $1.99/DID + $0.025/minute.
  • Local E911 Service is $1.25/DID.
  • SMS Service is $1.00/DID.
  • Inbound Caller ID is $1.00/DID.

Overall Thoughts

SureTel offers quite a compelling phone service to small and medium sized businesses. It has an extensive feature set with good mobility options through Android and iOS Apps and it also integrates with CRMs and Office365. This feature set is available to all customers regardless of the plan they choose. The pricing is a little confusing at first compared to other VoIP companies but it does provide a cost effective way for all business types to save on their phone service regardless of their phone extension or phone line needs.

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