Are conference calls free? That’s the question on many people’s lips.
Long story short, yes. Conference calls can be made from mobile phones at no extra cost. Participants are required to dial into a conference bridge from their mobile phone in order to gain access to a conference call. Many mobile service providers offer free minutes to their customers as part of their service plan. By choosing conference calls that are accessed using these free minutes, you’ll avoid extra costs for conference calls.
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Conference calls have such a variety of uses and benefits. A big one is how much money they can save businesses. After all, a conference call is doubtless cheaper than renting a meeting room, covering travel and accommodation expenses, buying a fancy new suit… Conference calls are definitely cheaper than meetings. But there remains the question: do conference calls cost extra compared to normal telephone calls?
Premium services can have premium prices but conference calls should be free
Generally, providers of teleconferencing services offer much more than cost effective solutions. Many emphasise highly sophisticated systems that are feature-rich. It is common for businesses to engage in productive conference calls with clients, business affiliates, and colleagues from around the globe.
For some people, a suite of special features is necessary to host effective conference calls. As a result, businesses will often purchase pricier packages from teleconferencing providers. But while the host should be able to buy swanky features, nobody should have to pay to just join the call.
Conference calls from mobiles happen every day
Many people need to be constantly on the move, which makes mobile phones the preferred mode of communication. After all, part of the beauty of conference calls is that you don’t have to be in a set location. Understandably, lots of people who travel for business or pleasure make great use of teleconferencing.
But even remote workers who might not be on the move still conference call from mobiles! Fewer people choose to have landlines at home. Consequently, more than 40% of calls are made from mobile phones, a figure constantly on the rise. That means free conference calls from mobiles are vital.
When conference calls aren’t free: avoid these red flags
While conference calls with no extra cost are possible, sadly they aren’t always offered by providers. Some teleconferencing services require participants to dial expensive numbers, meaning their conference calls cost money – sometimes lots of it.
To avoid extra costs on your conference calls, avoid these numbers.
- mobile short codes. These are quite apparent, because they are shorter than standard phone numbers. Calling a short code number usually comes at high cost to the dialler.
- premium-rate numbers. Sadly, many conference call providers still offer premium-rate dial-in numbers. Call one of these, and you’ll be hit with a huge bill – especially if you’re attending a full-length meeting.
There are a few different prefixes for premium-rate numbers and costs can vary hugely depending on your network provider and the conference call service. Ofcom refers to these as service numbers. They have both an access charge (set by your network) and a service charge (set by the company you’re calling).
- 084 (usually 0843, 0844 and 0845) numbers have a service charge of up to 7p per minute. The additional access charge can be as much as 55p per minute.
- 087 numbers’ service charge is even higher, ranging up to 13p for every minute you’re on the call. The access charge can reach a whopping 65p per minute.
Clearly, if your conference call has one of these dial-in numbers, then your conference calls will cost extra – sometimes a lot extra.
When are conference calls free?
It’s not all bad news. Conference calls can be free! You just need to choose your service wisely.
Use what you’ve got: look to bundled minutes
Many mobile phone service providers offer free minutes to their customers as part of their service plan. Calls made to several levels of numbers, including standard UK landlines, are included in those minutes.
According to Ofcom rulings, 03 numbers must be charged in the same way as standard UK landlines. In other words, they’re included in callers’ bundled minutes. Therefore, participants that dial a 03 number to join a conference call have no extra cost. They don’t part with a single penny in order to take part in the call.
That’s why every WHYPAY? conference room is accessed by dialling an 03 number. It means that most conference calls made using WHYPAY? are free if you join a conference call with inclusive minutes.
What do you lose (or gain) with free conference calls from mobiles?
Hearing of the possibility of free conference calls often makes people wonder why anybody would pay. The simple fact is that they shouldn’t. It’s one thing to pay for a paid plan with a conferencing provider. That can give you as the conference call organiser really useful features. But neither the host nor any participants should pay to dial into a conference call, whether from a mobile or a landline.
Even if you sign up to WHYPAY?’s free plan, though, you’ll have an incredibly valuable (yet completely free) communication tool at your finger tips. Once you create your account, you’ll get your permanent Conference Room Number and PIN, as well as your 03 dial-in number. These are all you and your participants need to join a conference call. Each caller pays for their respective call at the same rate as a landline number or enjoy a free call if any free minutes are available.
It is essential to choose the right provider that can meet your conference calling needs. Providers such as WHYPAY? offer various flexible plans to suit your business requirements. If you have a number of participants joining conference calls from mobile phones, it is worth considering providers such as WHYPAY? since there are big savings to be made. Besides, there are plenty of features to ensure that you get the best out of each teleconference. Participants can also be notified about the time and schedule of the teleconference. Most importantly, you can enjoy safe and secure conference calls at an affordable price or at no cost at all from your mobile phone.
Conference call with confidence
If you want to guarantee that you get free conference calls from mobiles, be sure to check your contract with your network provider. Key points to find out are:
- do you have bundled minutes?
- how many bundled minutes do you have?
- are calls to UK landlines (and 03 numbers) included in your bundled minutes?
- are there restrictions relating to the time of day, or day of the week, when inclusive minutes are applicable?
- will you start being charged per minute after the call has lasted a certain amount of time (usually 60 minutes)? If so, you can still avoid charges by hanging up around the 55th minute and re-dialling.
Your best bet to be absolutely certain that your conference call won’t have extra costs is to check with your provider.
|Top UK mobile networks|
|giff gaff||Virgin Mobile|
Once you know the terms of your contract, you can start conference calling without worrying about extra costs!
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