While there are undeniable names at the top of the tree in VoIP provision, the rest of the market is hotly contested and, if a new supplier can offer a few sweeteners to get the casual customers interested, there is definitely money to be made in the mid-range and budget markets. In order to really profit from what is available, you need to offer a strong service. InPhonex are one of the newer providers on the market and are receiving a few positive write-ups from people who know what they are talking about. How does their service stand up against what others are offering?
Cost: What InPhonex are offering seems to be set out fairly clearly on their website, and there is a pretty good slate of plans for customers who want to give VoIP a go and aren’t already tied to a deal. Like a few other providers, InPhonex offer a Pay As You Go plan which involves a single initial payment of $9.95 and which you then top up with credit. LifeLine, an interesting service, asks $7.95 per month for a service which connects all your phones to the same number. The World Unlimited Plan costs $19.95 per month and offers unlimited calling to the US and Canada in addition to another 67 countries worldwide. This does make you wonder why they bother offering the Basic 500 plan for five dollars less, which only gives you 500 free US/Canada minutes.
All in all, what they are offering seems to be very good for the price, although there seems to be a lot of replication between certain plans – perhaps because InPhonex wish to be seen to be offering a lot of choice. All the same, it still merits 9/10 on cost.
Ease of Installation: The set-up process can range from very simple to quite complicated, although the plethora of instructions which covers every imaginable device means that InPhonex are doing what they can to ensure that it is as straightforward as possible to install. They also offer you the opportunity to order a device based on ease of installation, which means that you need not be faced with a Herculean task simply to get up and running. The more you know about the technical side of things, the easier you will find installation of more complicated devices. But as they offer something for everyone, it seems only fair to rate them 9/10 for ease of installation.
Tech Support: A mixed review in this category, because it has to be said that InPhonex will offer you a very comprehensive list of FAQs and informational guides, which is also well divided into different categories to allow you to find precisely what you need in a prompt manner. There is also a glossary of VoIP terms which will aid the novice in troubleshooting; it needs to be noted, however, that there is a fair amount of information not covered by this glossary, which they could helpfully offer for not much more effort. Most problematically, however, the contact information for tech support consists of simply one telephone number. If you find that not to be helpful, there is nowhere else to go, which does not demonstrate a great commitment to customer services. 6/10.
Quality of Voice Service: InPhonex has managed to provide a very decent level of voice service; you won’t find yourself cut off in the middle of calls and you won’t be frustrated by a lack of clarity. They have covered this area well. As a company, they seem to have caught on to the fact that all the decent plans, excellent features and other aspects of VoIP telephony services are as nothing if the bread and butter issue of voice service is not well addressed. On this front, they have passed muster well, and deserve 8/10.
Speed: When we tested the system, speed was satisfactory. Calls connect promptly and the sign-in process is painless. During calls there is no problem with lagging and there is nothing to fault here. It may not be on a par with Vonage or Voipo, but it would be unfair to dwell on this as the company is still making its way in what is a highly competitive atmosphere. It is worth a mark of 7/10 in any case.
Features: Each plan offers a fairly comprehensive list of 24 features, and this can be augmented with another four. The general consensus is that few of the features on offer are particularly spectacular, but taken all together they have covered most of what needs to be covered. A widely-held opinion is that they could lower the number of features and combine what is already there. To add much more to what they have would really be overkill, and anyone who is shopping for a VoIP provider based on what they can offer in terms of features is already going to be looking elsewhere at one of the flashier brands. In terms of meeting needs, they’re doing fine. Individual wants aren’t really what matters. 8/10.
Summary: While some users will complain that there could be more features, that is at best a secondary concern. What should concern people more is the pretty slim level of customer service, which would most likely put off a lot of potential customers. Knowing that your provider is looking out for you is the minimum you should be asked to expect, and it is fair to say that InPhonex have missed a trick or two by not adding a Live Chat or email Help system. It doesn’t mean they’re a rubbish provider, but you can’t overlook an absence of customer service; hopefully they’ll remedy this soon and then they’ll get more than 47/60 overall.