When you see the list of companies that have either OnSIP or Phonebooth as their provider – Pandora, Ars Technica, Living Social, Swype, Pinger, – it should come as no surprise that these new, internet-based companies are taking advantage of the flexibility and savings of VoIP. If RingCentral and Nextiva are the heavyweights, then Phonebooth and OnSIP are the cruiserweights, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. What company is the best pound for pound VoIP provider? Let’s look at the tale of the tape to find out:
|Monthly Cost of Cheapest Service||Free (200 inbound minutes, 0 outbound)|
|Amount of Lines Per Pricing Tiers||There are no pricing tiers or variations in price. It is $20 per line plus an additional 2 lines for free [i.e. 22 lines + bonus 2 = 24], no matter how many users.|
|Monthly Price per Extension, Unlimited U.S. & Canada Plans|
|Metered Plans||$0.029/min + service plan||n/a|
|International Calling||Varies Per minute, per country||Varies Per minute, per country|
|Cost of Phone #s||$7 activation + $2/mo||2 included, $1 each/mo|
|Free Mobile App Compatibility|
|Tech Support Hours & Location|
|Conference Bridge||2 Included, up to 8 callers
Unlimited with OnDemand
|Call Group/Simultaneous Ring|
|On-Hold Music||Choice of 3)|
|Voicemail Transcription||$.035/msg or $9.95 for 40 msgs/mo or $29.95 unlimited/mo||Free|
|Toll Free #||$1/mo per month for the number and [Inbound calls are 2.9 cents per minute]|
|Money Back Guarantee||N/A|
|Largest Clients||Mozilla, Ars, Tumblr, Bump, Disqus||Living Social, Pinger, Swype, Pandora|
|Number Porting Fee||$15.00||$25.00|
One important difference to point out right away is the pricing schemes. OnSIP has a la carte pricing: Internal calls are all free. Calls to and from the PSTN are 2.9 cents each. From there, you have a choice of bundles and add-ons to customize your VoIP experience.
From OnSIP – for $39.95/mo, you get five voicemail boxes, on-hold music, dial by name directory, auto attendant, group paging, and call groups; for $99.95/mo, you get 15 voice mail boxes, an ACD queue, an HD conference suite, and call parking; for $195.95/mo, you get 50 voicemail boxes, 2 ACD queues, 5 HD conference suites. Once you have your plan, additional voice mail boxes are $2/mo, conferencing suites are $19.95/mo, auto attendant is $19.95/mo, call parking is $14.95/mo, and ACD queues are $19.95/mo. Each package comes with a set number of groups (see chart), and additional groups are $14.95/mo. Please note that an OnSIP subscriber can change or add users at will, and OnSIP will charge for a mailboxand numbers, but not the user.
Phonebooth charges a flat $20 per user. They also have “Phonebooth Free,” which, following the model favored by Google, is, well, free. Phoonebooth Free is only for incoming calls, and it is in beta (testing) stage right now. Phonebooth Free forwards your calls or makes calls on a softphone, including a click-to-call widget on your web page
OnSIP is easy to customize and scale. For ten users, for example, with ten mailboxes, you’d pay $49.95 a month, which is only $5 per user. Ten users and ten mailboxes would be $200 on Phonebooth. But before you run out and sign up for OnSIP, remember that, for example, Phonebooth offers unlimited Auto Attendants and Unlimited Groups. So, on OnSIP, the more direct you want your call to be routed, the more you have to pay per month.
Both Phonebooth and OnSIP’s web pages had informative videos, showing how, with a quick click of the mouse, you’d be up and running on either of their services. On Phonebooth.com, there were the main “advertising” videos, with flashy cartoons, and there were more instructional videos in the “take a tour” section. OnSIP had their own series of videos, but, instead of one video showing you how easy it was to do, OnSIP gave a series of videos with a choice of two links at the end. It felt like reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book, which was pretty cool. And, each video gave well-narrated, easy to follow directions on how to set up each feature. It was subtle, but the videos did show the sample user buying features, which had to be “confirmed.” I liked the interactive videos on OnSIP much more than I liked the instructional videos on Phonebooth.com, most of which were around 15 minutes long, and had poor sound and video quality. Also, both OnSIP and Phonebooth had great online forums for customer support.
OnSIP really came through with line bandwidth. Phonebooth has two conference calls with up to eight callers, and no option to buy more conference lines. OnSIP has up to 15 callers for $19.95/mo, and one is included at the $99 tier. With OnSIP, each phone number (regular and toll free) supports up to 25 calls at once.
Phonebooth has a one size fits all approach. You never have to watch the clock, your bill will be the same every month. You get nice features, including unlimited voicemail transcriptions, which not every company even offers.
Both OnSIP and Phonebooth market themselves to companies that don’t have existing PBX infrastructure, and they are also marketing themselves to companies with a 21st century mindset. With both OnSIP and Phonebooth, you can get your app startup or Kickstarter project up and running. For any business that’s running out of a garage, OnSIP and Phonebooth are for you. Phonebooth does not offer a free trial. Therefore, I suggest that if you are going to pick either of these companies, write down every option you need, and expect to need within the next few months. Then figure out how to squeeze the most out of your VoIP business service. Neither of these companies lock you into a contract, and they both encourage you to buy an IP phone. If you have your own IP phone you can easily switch from one to the other, if you feel you that one would be a better fit for you as your company grows. But, as you can see by the big names attached to both of these companies, once you found the right VoIP service provider, there’s no need to switch.