Grasshopper Vs Phone.com – in-Depth Comparison

Company Website Full Review Coupons
grasshopper_logo_light visit_site_big Limited offer: $75 off coupon.Click here to redeem!
phone-com-logo visit_site
Company Website Coupons
grasshopper_logo_light visit_site_big
Limited offer: $75 off coupon.Click here to redeem!
phone-com-logo visit_site

Phone and Grasshopper are two of the market leading brands when it comes to virtual phone systems for small and medium businesses (SMB). In this article, we will briefly review each system then compare their distinctive features (or lack off) in order to determine which virtual phone service would be the best fit for the start-up or SMB business.

grasshopper-vs-phone-com

 

Phone.com

phone-com-logo

Phone markets itself as the service to help you communicate when you want, where you want and how you want. To achieve this goal Phone.com has mobile, web and Softphone applications as well as support for standard and VoIP phones.

 

 

Price/Plans:

There are three service plans, the entry level Base plan, the most popular Plus plan and the top of the range Pro plan. Each comes with a selection of free minutes and share a common set of features.

  • The Base Plan – this service plan is the entry level choice at $9.99 per user per month with 100 free minutes, (with additional minutes billed at 3.9¢ per minute.) 1 local or Toll free number, unlimited users, a mobile app and 24/7 US customer support. (currently at time of writing April 2017 there is no charge for the first month)
  • The Plus Plan – this is Phone.com’s most popular service and costs $19.99 per user per month and with 500 free minutes (with additional minutes billed at 3.9¢ per minute.) 1 local or Toll free number, unlimited users, a mobile app and 24/7 US customer support. (currently at time of writing April 2017 there is a $9.99 discount for the first month)
  • The Pro Plan – this is the flagship service plan that costs $29.99 per user per month and comes with 1,000 free minutes (with additional minutes billed at 3.9¢ per minute.) 1 local or Toll free number, unlimited users, a mobile app and 24/7 US customer support. (currently at time of writing April 2017 there is a $9.99 discount for the first month)
  • Pay per Minute – which is free, but each call is billed at 3.6c per minute for the first 5000 minutes and at 3.5c for minutes up to 10,000 subsequent calls up to 20,000 are charged at 2.9c and calls exceeding 20,000 are billed at 2.5c per call.

Previously, Phone.com’s virtual phone service came with a limited but for the small to medium business a comprehensive range of features but that deficiency has now been addressed. The feature set now offered as standard across all service plans includes call queuing, a softphone, HD conferencing and call recording, which previously were notable by their absence. The mobile app also comes with all of the service plans, or at least one instance does, subsequent instances of the application costs extra. However some other notable improvements are the High Definition voice that provides the standard high-quality voice calls and conferencing. Additionally, Phone.com now offers alternative communication channels such as SMS and chat via the Chat Calls and Business messaging SMS features. There are also some notable collaboration tools such as group messaging where you can initiate and moderate a group chat over SMS using the mobile app and an important step forward is with CRM integration – albeit at an additional cost. However, the ability to integrate the phone system with CRM and financial software is a very attractive feature for any small business and the range of applications that Phone.com can integrate with rivals some of the most expensive and prestigious enterprise versions of its competitors. For example, Phone.com can integrate with Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar, Zoho, Propertybase, Streak, Navatar and financial force.com amongst several others. This feature alone raises Phone.com’s profile and utility from the virtual phone service market into the large SMB IP/PBX market space.

 

The basic features are:

  • Free additional extensions
  • No transfer charges to move an existing 1-800 number.
  • No activation fees
  • Professional recording services
  • Web integration button (click to call)
  • Mobile App (Apple, Android, Blackberry)
  • Voicemail
  • Call Transfer
  • Call Forwarding
  • Music on hold
  • Custom Professional Recordings
  • Online account management
  • 24/7 support
  • 100 Free monthly minutes on all plans
  • Call Waiting
  • Caller ID

 

Additional features not included but charged an extra monthly fee are:

  • Voicemail to email transcription – there are two options transcription by software at $1.50 per extension per month or human transcription, which is charged at 25c per voicemail.
  • Custom Hold Music – 99c per month
  • Call recording – $4.99 per month
  • International number / call minutes – dependent on the international call rates
  • Caller analytics (reporting/auditing) – $2 per month

Phone.com’s now has some very distinctive features such as call tagging which can be used to identify incoming calls before you answer the phone similarly there are good call screening features that allow you to identify the incoming caller before you answer and providing the option to answer, pass to voicemail or reject the call. Phone.com also has good find-me/follow-me call options where you can configure the service to ring all the phones attached to a users extension in sequence or simultaneously. This is a great feature for mobile users as they can configure their VoIP, mobile and home phone numbers against their desk extension number so that wherever they are the virtual phone system can find them.

Phone.com is a capable virtual phone system with affordable prices to suit small and large businesses.

Read Phone.com’s Full Review | visit Phone.com

 

Grasshopper

Grasshopper's logoThe Grasshopper virtual phone system is slightly different in so much that Grasshopper bases its service on the traditional telephone system, which means it uses traditional call answering and forwarding techniques. Consequently, Grasshopper is a true virtual phone service, whereby it answers incoming calls and diverts them to real telephone numbers, whether they be mobile, landlines or even VoIP.

 

Price/Plans:

  • Pay As You Grow – $12/month (no minutes)
  • Ramp – $24/month (500 minutes)
  • Grow – $49/month (2,000 minutes)
  • Max – $199/month (10,000 minutes)

 

Grasshopper's Plans and Pricing

Grasshopper Features

Grasshopper targets it marketing to small and business start-ups although they can scale to larger companies. The point is that they provide the features to enable mobile workers, and entrepreneurs to receive calls on their mobile phones; employees no longer need to be tied to a desk phone.

This is of course the whole point of virtual phone systems, where you can have a real business number that clients can call and then be forwarded to the appropriate business extension. Grasshopper is exceptional in this regards as it provides home and mobile business operators the facility where they have the freedom to be mobile whilst never missing a call.

The problem is with Grasshopper is it is an incoming answering service – there is no real effective way of replying to calls. However, Grasshopper as a call answering facility is superb, as it has all the auto-attendant and auto-receptionist features a small business requires. You can be assured never to miss a call as Grasshopper has unlimited ability to answer calls and forward them to the phone of your choice, or even ring them simultaneously.

 

Features:

With regards features Grasshopper it is not a cloud based IP/PBX so it does not have all the bells and whistles of Phone.com or RingCentral. However, it does have the features and functions required to operate a mobile centric business. Grasshopper operates on call answering, forwarding and mobility, where calls are professionally greeted, a menu of choices provided and calls forwarded to preconfigured phone numbers. This gives callers to a small company and start-up the impression of them being larger entities.

Additionally, Grasshopper has very good voicemail to email function whereby it can send transcripts in text to a preconfigured email address. This is very effective when reading missed calls in a meeting.

Where Grasshopper fails is that it is strictly an incoming call service so there is no dial tone or way to send faxes. However, for most entrepreneurs and start-ups on the move this is rarely a concern. Return, outbound calls can be made via the business number as can faxes but it is a problematic method via the mobile application and voicemail. Another important failing is the lack of 911 calling, Phone.com can support this important feature but Grasshopper cannot.

However, Grasshopper does allows six phones to be assigned to each extension, comparative to Phone.com’s three, this is marvelous for find-me/follow me as you will never miss a call. Furthermore, Grasshopper has a really nice feature where you can set up an extension in the auto-receptionist menu for company information, for example office hours, holidays or general information.

 

Read Grasshopper’s full review | Visit Grasshopper.com

 

The differences:

The brands are very similar as they target the same market space however there are some important differences:

  1. The pricing plans ‘Share as you Grow’ Vs ‘Shared Minutes’
  2. Monthly fee at entry level -$12 for Grasshopper Vs $9.99 for Phone’ base plan
  3. Free trial – Yes with Phone.com, but only money back with Grasshopper.
  4. Voicemail by email – yes for Grasshopper extra for Phone.com
  5. Internet Fax – Yes bi-directional for Phone.com, incoming only for Grasshopper
  6. International numbers – yes for Phone.com, not available for Grasshopper (though Grasshopper works in the UK)
  7. Overage fees – Phone.com = $0.039 where as Grasshopper is $0.06
  8. Pay as you go charges – Phone = 2.5c to 3.5c per minute whereas Grasshopper is 6c per minute.

 

 

Bottom Line

phone-grasshopper

Although both virtual telephone systems are very similar in price and functionality, Phone.com is better suited to the larger business with office based employees and some remote or mobile workers. Grasshopper on the other hand excels where the business employees are mobile and working from their own (BYOD) phones.

 

Company Website Full Review Coupons
grasshopper_logo_light visit_site_big Limited offer: $75 off coupon.Click here to redeem!
phone-com-logo visit_site
Company Website Coupons
grasshopper_logo_light visit_site_big
Limited offer: $75 off coupon.Click here to redeem!
phone-com-logo visit_site

Alasdair Gilchrist

Alasdair is a technical writer with interest in business practice, operational strategy, start up philosophy and affordable technology. He lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand with his wife and daughter, and writes terrible novels as a hobby.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply