Zoom Phone Reviews

Zoom Phone


User Reviews


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Zoom Phone Review by WhichVoIP

The Company

Zoom was founded in 2011 and is headquarted in San Jose, California, with offices around the world. They have become a household name during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Following stay at home orders throughout the USA and the world to combat the pandemic many people have turned to Zoom's video conferencing solution to stay connected with loved ones, as well as serving the needs of schools and businesses. They have now introduced Zoom Phone to complement their existing video and chat services to create a Unified Communications offering aimed at Enterprises. The Zoom Phone cloud service is available to over 40 countries, providing an intriguing solution for companies with an international footprint.

The Good

Zoom phone has been designed to integrate into their existing video, meetings, and chat services. This provides a single Unified Communication solution for businesses and enterprise across multiple platforms with the use of Apps, including Apple iOS and Google Android devices, and Apple MacOS and Microsoft Windows desktops. As Zoom Phone is integrated into their existing platform you will need to be a subscriber to their Zoom Pro plan or above to be able to add the phone service plan. It is not available as a standalone service.

As you need to have a Zoom meetings plan lets start there. The lowest cost plan is the Pro plan which is $14.99 per month per host. A host is someone who can initiate or setup a zoom meeting, and only one meeting can be set per host at a time (i.e. if you setup a meeting at 10am then no one else can unless they have another host licence). Other plans are available dependant on the number of hosts required, but the Zoom Phone add-on price does not change between plans.

There are currently two plan options for the voice add-on, an unlimited calling plan and a metered calling plan. The unlimited calling plan starts at $15 per month per license. This includes one free phone number. You can add more local or toll-free numbers for $5 per month per number. The metered calling plan starts at $10 per month per license. For both plans you can select the number of licenses you want. You can also select how you want to be billed for calls to destinations outside of your selected calling plan. You can select a pay as you go option to get their standard rates or a $20 per month or $100 per month prepaid monthly commitment to get lower rates. For the metered plan the standard rate for USA calls is 3.18 cents per minute and the reduced rate (with prepayment option) is 2.05 cents per minute. Canada calls are 3.55 cents per minute standard and 2.29 cents per minute for the prepaid lower rate.

If you want to utilize desk phones and not just their Apps for your voice services they have a Hardware as a Service (HaaS) plan. This allows you to get phone hardware with no upfront costs, such as deskphones and conference phones. With the HaaS plan you can lease phones with various phones available from Poly and Yealink. Rates for desk phones range from $5.99 to $15.99 per month per phone. Conference phones are more expensive at $50 to $60 per month. This fee is on top of your Zoom Phone license pricing.

Once you have signed up for an account the admin (or account owner) can setup the phone system inside the secure online portal. Setup starts with the company phone number and location information entries. You will also set the extension numbering system (i.e. if you select the first extension number as 100 then adding new users will increment from there as 101, 102 etc.). Once the basic setup is complete you can then access various other call flow features to setup like hunt groups and auto attendants. The account owner can also assign new users (a new user will get an email notification) and direct dial numbers to users. Each license the admin assigns creates a new extension. Each extension is setup through their online portal by the admin person.

As with most VoIP services there are plenty of features included. We already mentioned the Mobile App and Desktop App features. Some standard features include call forwarding, call transfer, call blocking, call hold, 3-way conferencing, call logs, call park, and music on hold. They also have call recording, voicemail transcription, salesforce integration, slack integration, auto-attendant, call queues, Five9 and Twilio integrations, and time condition features. One nice option is that you can seamlessly switch from a phone call to a video call with their elevate to meeting feature.

One interesting feature is their Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC) option. This allows you to redirect existing voice circuits/trunks to their Zoom Phone service. This helps them provide phone services in areas globally and locations where they do not have service yet, as well as enteprises that may have complex setups that they do not want to mess with.

As we mentioned above the phone system setup is performed by the business assigned admin person. The website support center contains a good selection of helpful guides in getting started and covers most if not all the features you can setup. They also provide live chat, an online ticketing system and phone support 24x7. However, due to increased demands during the COVID-19 pandemic only the higher plan subscribers can access phone support currently.

The Bad

Like 99% of VoIP providers they have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which covers the use of their unlimited calling plan. If Zoom consider your usage excessive when compared with standard business usage then they will contact you to discuss alternatives.

To use their Zoom Phone service you need to be a paying subscriber of their video conferencing plans. If you just need phone service then this might not be the right solution for you.

Even though you can lease hardware such as desk phones it does not appear you can buy them outright directly. You will need to go through a reseller to purchase them and they recommend a few.

Many providers offer phone hardware at discounted rates and they are typically delivered pre-programmed (provisioned). With Zoom Phone it appears that you have to provision the phones yourself through their online portal. This can be seen as a positive also for some who like more control over their owned equipment.

Currently phone support is only available to customers on the higher priced plans.

The Bottom Line

  • Unlimited USA/Canada calling plan at $15 per user per month as an add-on to the Zoom meeting paid plans.
  • You must have a Zoom meeting paid subscriber plan to use Zoom Phone (as an add-on), starting at $14.99 per host per month.
  • The combination provides an intriguing Unified Communications platform, particularly for enteprises with a global footprint.
  • Feature rich service includes salesforce and slack integrations as well as mobile and desktop Apps allowing work from anywhere.

Overall Thoughts

Zoom Phone adds a voice connection to the PSTN to their existing meeting and chat platform offerings creating a Unified Communications solution on a global scale with coverage in over 40 countries. This makes it an ideal solution for enterprises that have an international presence and offices across the globe.

For those looking for straight forward phone service this may not be the best solution for you. If you are already using a paid subscriber plan through Zoom then this could be a great way to consolidate some key business functions.

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