Whatever else can be said about phone.com, they leave you in no doubt as to what their business is. They are actually one of the smaller operators out there, but having such a no-nonsense name shows that they are at least motivated to get the best tools to grow their market share. There is more behind their service than just that, of course, and the fact that a smaller independent company has turned a lot of heads has to mean it has a lot going for it.
Cost: Right off the bat, you can make a big saving if you sign up for an annual plan. While the monthly plan affords you greater flexibility, by signing up and paying yearly you will save $5 a month right off the bat, or $60 a year for the service. On the basic Virtual Office 300 service, that is the equivalent of getting four months for free, plus some change. By picking the right features you can get unlimited minutes, each plan gives you a month for free, there are no activation fees and, even if you exceed your minutes, each additional minute costs between 3.5 and 4.9 cents. Overall, that’s pretty good for your bottom line. 9/10 is a fair mark.
Ease of Installation: If you have problems setting up the phone.com system then VoIP in general probably isn’t for you. It’s all highly intuitive, explained clearly on repeated occasions and if you’re still having issues then you just need to phone the manufacturer and they will take you through things step by step. It’s all very reassuring and gives you a sense of confidence for your future use of the product. All in all, you can’t ask for more than that and it’s worth a 9/10 mark.
Tech Support: It is clear that phone.com have targeted user-friendly service. The website has a detailed and well set-out FAQ section and a range of user guides that will help you get the most out of the system. The user forum is filled with people who have been using the system for a while and can give you tips on how to use the various features. Contacting the company to get issues ironed out is also simplicity itself, as they provide a live chat system to help you get right to the crux of the issue. In addition, there’s a handy and original “Test Your Network” feature that allows you to see how well the network is running to your PC. All in all, well worth 9/10.
Quality of Voice Service: The voice service from phone.com is not right at the head of the pack, which is not to say it isn’t very good. There are other services with better clarity and which have slightly more consistent performance, but you will not run into serious difficulties using phone.com for your VoIP purposes. Set alongside the areas where it outperforms the majority of the market, this service is more than good enough. In comparison with other companies though, we can only mark it at 7/10.
Speed: Speed is not a problem with phone.com, although it is fair to say that some other services might be a little faster. Going by the stopwatch, there may be a small amount more waiting time here, but it’s not something that is going to cause you to sit drumming your fingers while seething at the lack of promptness. Not fast enough for full marks, perhaps, but good enough to deserve 8/10.
Features: Although they may not be one of the big boys, phone.com don’t fall down on the feature set which is often a major selling point for the companies with a bit more muscle behind them. In actual fact, with more than sixty features which all make the service more useful still, the list of additional features is genuinely impressive, and in more than a superficial sense too. Among the most impressive is their Chatcall service which allows you to send a personalised message to a friend or customer’s phone. There is very little here that could not be considered productive and useful. It’s not over-praising them to give phone.com 9/10 on this front.
Overall: A very impressive score of 51/60 for a service which hasn’t got a big name, a huge market share or a grand advertising budget, and you could do an awful lot worse than picking up this service for business or residential use.