The recent launch of our Hosted PBX service caused a bit of a stir in the cloud telecoms industry.
Some of our competitors were, to say the least, not happy. And many accused us of starting a ‘race to the bottom’ on cloud telecom pricing.
So what exactly was behind our decision to remove subscription pricing from our Hosted PBX service?
Getting rid of the cloud telecom middleman
Over the last few years, we’ve seen some of the biggest cloud network providers becoming complacent and lazy. This has allowed huge numbers of resellers to make big profits reselling their cloud phone services. As the number of customers grows, the network becomes less stable, and the service deteriorates. Yet the customers still end up paying through the nose.
We set out to change this profit-driven model.
My recent article about choosing the right phone system explained how owning our own network means we’re not at the mercy of other cloud telecom providers.
We’re not in business to make friends with our competitors so we can keep mutual prices high. So we’re not afraid of shaking up the market by slashing hosted PBX prices while ramping up the quality and features of our services.
We’ve been snapping at the heels of the corporate giants of the cloud telecoms industry for over 15 years. During that time, we’ve made plenty of mistakes. But we’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way, and used these insights to improve the products and services we offer.
Our customers have told us that they value network reliability and call quality above everything else. So there’s no point offering a cheap VoIP or PBX service if the user can’t make calls. And there’s no point offering all the fancy bangs & whistles if the underlying network and critical functionality are flawed.
Why are we offering PBX for free?
Typically, cloud telecom services such as Hosted PBX are targeted at large companies, where the ability to sell multiple add-ons will boost profits.
This got us thinking. Why should freelancers, or small-medium sized businesses have to pay ridiculous monthly charges for a cloud PBX system that isn’t suited to their needs?
“Disruption” is an overly used term these days, but it became clear to us that we had a PBX platform and pricing policy that could turn the Hosted PBX industry on its head.
In a market dominated by huge, anonymous corporations, we’re offering something very different – a low-cost, flexible cloud PBX service that doesn’t compromise on call quality, stability or features. Plus, it’s available to any company, no matter how many phone users or extensions required.
To be honest, we debated for weeks about the pros and cons of charging no monthly fees. We were afraid that someone comparing our PBX service with others might think it was inferior because we weren’t charging for it.
Surely the “free” PBX service only has limited features?
Business owners are used to seeing “too good to be true” offers from cloud telecom providers, only to be disappointed when things don’t pan out as expected. So we decided that new customers should be able to fully trial the cloud PBX system at no cost to make sure they were happy. Any notions they had about our service being “inferior” would soon be blown away.
But we expect some people will still ask, “…so where’s the catch?”
Truth is, there isn’t one.
This isn’t a gimmick thought up by the marketing department. Our “free” PBX package has all the features you’d expect from a premium PBX service, including the following:
- Configure & manage redirects, voicemail and call recordings remotely.
- Provision accounts without having to give out usernames and passwords, and revoke access remotely.
- Receive incoming faxes securely by email as a PDF attachment.
- Audio conferencing with moderator and participant PINs.
- Allow operators to pause and resume recordings mid-call when sensitive data is shared (e.g. taking credit card details over the phone).
- Secure call recordings with military-grade encryption.
You’d pay through the nose to get these features from any other Hosted PBX provider.
That’s fine, but I bet you charge a bomb for phone numbers & extensions?
This is what I mean by disruption. There are no other telecom companies prepared to offer their products for free like we’re doing. Instead, they rope you in to their service with a cheap package, but when you start adding in some extras, the price you pay per month skyrockets. This approach invariably leads to weak customer loyalty and, not surprisingly, high customer churn.
It’s not rocket science. Just give customers what they want!
Turning this approach on its head, we found that customers who have no reason to leave, stay longer. And happy, contented customers have a habit of saying nice things about us, which brings in more customers. A sort of vicious circle, without the “vicious” bit.
Here are the guidelines underpinning our new customer-driven approach:
- Build a feature-rich, reliable cloud phone service on our own stable network.
- Make it free for businesses to use, and charge nothing (or very little) for any extra stuff, like virtual phone numbers.
- Give new customers a chance to test the service thoroughly for free so they can decide if it’s right for them.
- Only charge for calls made, so customers don’t have to worry about monthly subscription costs.
- Absolutely no compromising on service quality or customer support.
- Keep customers happy at all times so they stay loyal and recommend us to their friends and associates.
And if you want to find out a bit more about our free PBX, and what happens once you’ve signed up for your account, this should answer most of your questions:
Free PBX for international companies
Cloud telecoms is, by nature, a borderless industry. In fact many of our worldwide customers have been companies looking to provide a point of contact for UK customers.
Over recent months, we’ve invested heavily in our global network and PBX technology to ensure HD call quality and rock-solid stability for all international calls.
We’ve also opened a new office in California, USA to coincide with the launch of our free international PBX service. So, if you’re looking for a reliable, low-cost Virtual PBX system designed to handle international calls go ahead and sign up for your very own free, virtually hosted PBX account.
Please note we no longer offer a Free Hosted PBX accountt. Please contact us for more information about our range of Virtual Numbering or Cloud PBX products.