Rates vary depending on the type of phone numbers selected. For a US toll free number that forwards to any US phone line, the fee is $10.00 per month, which includes 127 minutes of talk time. Additional minutes bill at 7.9 cents/minute.
A British toll free number, for example, that forwards to a US phone line bills at 19.00/month, which includes 112 minutes of call time and additional minutes bill at 16.9c/minute. The service can also offer customized corporate rates.
Before adopting the service, you can try it for 10 days, with $10 credit given free for the testing.
The contract length is month-to-month, with no setup and cancellation fee. The rates include taxes, access fees and surcharges.
Apart from call forwarding, voicemail and fax, the other features included with the service are: auto attendant, with automated greetings and auto-forwarding; time-of-day routing, which can route calls base in the time; sequential/simultaneous ringing; international ringback tones; online control panel; and delivery to any VoIP or SIP address. The system forwards incoming calls to the voip server first, and instantly falls over to the PSTN number if the SIP fails for any reason. This feature is called Find Me Follow Me.
They also offer a virtual PBX. The number of mailboxes for voicemail and the number of extensions are unlimited with one number.
The service offers numbers in over 75 countries (300+ cities) and specialize in international call forwarding.
By having in a locality a toll-free number that links to your phone (in any place in the world), people calling you from that locality pay nothing. Calls can be forwarded to any phone in the world, and calls can be received from any fixed, mobile, softphone or fax phone.
The service has a nice web interface through which numbers can be selected and activated instantly.
You can link your virtual number to ring up to 15 phones worldwide. You can also decide on an order in which the phones will ring. Also, you can forward calls based on the time of the day. You can, for example, forward calls to your office during the day and to your mobile at night.
A number bought comes along with free voicemail, which can be emailed to you. Faxes can also be emailed as PDF or TIFF documents.
You can transfer calls between phones, anywhere, through virtual extensions, as as to project a professional image.
The rates compared to other services of the like is not the lowest. Since the target customers are mostly corporates, an ideal plan would be unlimited, with a flat rate per month. With this service, you have the constant worry of an unknown required monthly cost, since additional call minutes above the flat rate are charged.
The virtual PBX has proven to be a bit confusing and difficult for customers to set-up.
Since the numbers are recycled, upon buying a new number, you can get calls from unknown people if the ex-owner of the number has advertised it.
I took a couple of numbers to try the service. The online control panel is quite user friendly and number activation instant. The customer service seems good (I wasn't a customer), but I suspect you won't be needing it very often since the service is quite easy and straight forward to understand and use.
The call quality is good. I received calls from very long distance international locations and the conversations were quite clear. I had some connection issues, but I suspect it was local problems rather than forwarding issues.
Although it is easy to change a number through the interface, target users will have no reasons for changing numbers on a frequent basis - the idea is to establish a number / publish the number for the purpose of having an established way for customers to reach them. Many companies will get multiple numbers (e.g. one in NY, one in UK, one in South Africa, one in South America) and have them all forward to their business line, so that customers from various parts of the world can reach them toll free. In this way, businesses are establishing virtual presence in multiple countries, without actually having a physical presence.
The service is not for those who want to save money on international calls. It is for soft of a 'niche' market. The rates are higher than a typical calling card, but are far less than typical mobile roaming charges. So, for people traveling internationally, they can set up a toll free number to use in conjunction with their mobile phone or a disposable mobile phone and save money that way.
One number I took got me some calls from unknown people. Later on, with the help of tollfreeforwarding.com technical support, I found out that before me, the number was once taken by a company that published it on their Web site and did not update. This may be an unpredictable problem for many, since the numbers are recycled. It may cause customers to lose time and money, since they pay for the calls, and the rates are not for unlimited calls. But I guess this problem is potentially existent for all services of the like that recycle numbers, and not only for tollfreeforwarding.com.
Of the companies that specialize in international call forwarding, tollfreeforwarding.com have been around longer and have arguably more reliable service than any companies that may be considered competition. They have more phone numbers in more places worldwide. Since there is no unlimited plan, corporate customers can take advantage of customized corporate rate plans.
The advanced features that tollfreeforwarding.com offers are quite advantageous compared to those that other services of the like offer.