1. Do I have to sign a contract? Find out if if you have to sign a long term contract, and if so, get a list of the services are that you get for signing a contract. If the conference call company isn’t giving you a large break in price for signing the contract, then don’t do it. Conferencing companies are now offering toll free conference calling for 2.5 per minute without contracts or minimums, for conferences with 100 users or less, so unless you’re having conferences of more than 100 people, a contract isn’t usually worth it.
2. What are you offering for the price? Get a complete list of all the services that the conference call company gives you with your account. Make sure the list includes prices for everything, so that you don’t use a service that they said comes with your account, but they didn’t mention it was an extra 3 cents per minute. With the complete features price list, you will have a better idea of the true cost of the conferencing services that you are comparing.
3. Are there hidden fees? Make sure you ask. Some conference providers have a monthly minimum usage requirement, or have a monthly access fee, even if the account wasn’t used. See if they’ll give you a sample bill to look at, and ask about any fees that you see on that bill. Some companies place extra fees in the bill under a broad heading of “Taxes & Fees” and make you think that you are required to pay them, when in reality; they have added handling fees and access charges to your account to increase their revenue stream.
4. How many people can you have on a call and still have good sound? In writing, get a call quality and max caller number guarantee.
5. Do you offer a free trial? Most conference calling companies that offer conferencing let you have a free trial account, because they figure once you try, you’ll buy. These carriers will give you a free account, so you can have a live call and test their services and features. Try out a few companies to see which one you like the best, then use them for your conferencing needs.
Greg Anliker is a telecom sales agent and blogger, and writes for http://www.calling-plans.com. Calling-Plans.com offers articles, news and commentary on the telecommunications industry. Visit Calling-Plans.com to compare rates for toll free conference call providers, toll free service plans, long distance companies and carriers offering local phone service.