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Teleconferencing Service Prices
It's not always possible to gather everyone you need for a meeting in the same room. The high price of travel makes it cost prohibitive to fly in sales agents from across the country for a single meeting or to gather investors in one room to review quarterly financial results.
Hosting a conference call offers a practical and affordable alternative to an office meeting. Most business phone systems can only connect three callers on a single line, but teleconferencing services allow you to connect with dozens, even hundreds of people at once! And there's no expensive equipment to buy.
Teleconferencing Service Options
There are two basic types of teleconferencing services:
- Reservationless teleconferencing is the most popular option. After signing up, you receive a toll free dial-in phone number and two passcodes - one for participants and one for the teleconference host. The greatest benefit to this option is that you can start a call at any time without having to make a reservation, which is ideal for impromptu meetings. The service is mostly automated so rates are relatively low.
- Operator assisted teleconferencing is more expensive because an operator stays on the line at all times to monitor the call. This is crucial for important calls such as investor meetings or board meetings where there's no room for technical or logistical errors. It also allows callers to be added after the conference has already started. With operator assisted teleconferencing, a reservation is usually required a day in advance.
Most teleconferencing providers use similar equipment and technology to provide their service. Therefore, the difference from one provider to the next is minimal. Providers generally offer the same features and the clarity of calls is very similar. To distinguish between providers, look for those that offer the most cost effective plans.
Teleconferencing Service Average Costs
Some teleconferencing service providers charge on a flat rate for each conference. Others charge a per-minute fee for each person on the call. You can also opt for a monthly plan that reserves a certain number of minutes. If you go over that limit, you'll pay an additional per-minute fee.
- Per-minute fees generally range from 5 cents to 7 cents for each caller on the line. However, volume discounts are available if you use the service frequently, dropping the price to 4 cents to 5 cents.
- If you'd like to upgrade to web conferencing, which is more interactive, plan on spending more like 15 cents to 40 cents per minute for each participant.
- Per-conference fees vary widely, but a 6-person conference that lasts an hour will run you about $150.
- Flat fees also vary widely. For as little as $20 to $30 per month you can buy several hundred minutes.
Most teleconferencing service providers won't charge a setup fee. However, there are additional features you can select that will cost extra. If you opt to have the call recorded plan on spending extra for that feature.