- Intelligent, unconventional features
- Scalability of network
- Mobile-friendly account
- Pre-configured devices for purchase
- Monthly or usage-based pricing plans
- Free trial with money back guarantee
Holding a leading position on the market for two decades is not easy, as it requires a constant strive for perfect customer satisfaction. VirtualPBX, a California-based company established in 1998, is definitely capable of pulling that off. If you go along with this company, you can choose from competitively priced subscriptions providing everything you need for your virtual phone system needs. From regular, albeit advanced features like call-forwarding, auto-attendant, conference calls, programmable extensions, voicemail notifications to extras like call blasting, Direct Inward Calling (DID), email to fax, hot desking, outbound caller ID, flexible device management; everything will be at your service to be set up and customized by you or your colleagues using a straightforward account. The above features and more are all available in three pricing plans (two usage-based for smaller businesses and one on a monthly basis for offices), all of which coming with a 14-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee. However, you also have complementary options like desk phones, additional services and decent customer support.
At first it is quite hard to get a hold of all features coming with your subscription, but once you do, you will immediately notice that VirtualPBX has over 20 years of experience in VoIP. Regardless of the two subscription types, you get all features necessary for maintaining a decent, fully internet-based virtual phone system: auto-attendant, programmable extensions, call forwarding, follow-me find-me, dynamic voicemail boxes, customizable hold music, and many more. However, VirtualPBX truly shines when we look beyond these “regular” features: you can use the advanced/complementary version of call-forwarding (call blasting), connect to your clients with Direct Invalid Dialing (DID), enjoy the advantages of the hot desking option, make calls for free within the network, and handle conference calls intelligently. And all of this managed from the simple dashboard of your account (where you can even change the default English language to Spanish, French or Russian) or using the phones of the provider via dial commands.
Speaking of the online account, this is the place where you can set up call groups, manage users and phone numbers, check and download the call log, set up business/holiday hours, and deal with outgoing faxes. And as a little extra, VirtualPBX can provide phone devices for your system, and restore your complete virtual phone system in case of damage using PBX Parachute.
Naturally VirtualPBX has regular features, such as the usual follow-me find-me option. Even that is accompanied by something unique; in this case call blasting, which rings every single phone number associated with a group of people until someone answers the call. Speaking of the latter, you can set up ring groups, directing certain calls to a certain group of people only, separating different calls from each other. By setting up direct numbers to your colleagues you are able to provide Direct Inward Dialing (DID), which means your customers can immediately reach the person they are looking for if the caller knows the direct extension number. If this is not possible, there is (valet) parking, which puts the caller on hold until a receiver can accept the call. There’s also the programmable auto-attendant (with or without greeting message), which either pushes the caller to an extension prompt or to the dynamic voicemail boxes. These voiceboxes can send you emails regarding the caller’s data and even the message itself in WAV or MP3 format.
VirtualPBX is also capable of handling inbound/outbound calls and transfer them to any extension in your phone network. Furthermore, with hot desking you can sign in from any device connected to your network with your account, which is handy if you have to leave your post for some reason. And thanks to the intelligent three-way conference call handling you can let up to 300 people join a conference call with just a push of a button.
Phone System Management
Like in the case of most quality VoIP providers, the account dashboard is simple and straightforward (albeit a tad slow), containing everything you need. The features you can customize are the main numbers, users, groups associated with your network – although manually adding them one by one can take up some time. Aside from the above, you can also add the devices connected to your network, manage the caller IDs, the voicemail boxes of the participants of the network and check out the call log (exportable in CSV format). As a nice little extra, there’s a “cheat list” for those who’d like to manage their accounts from a phone. Speaking of accounts, you can invite your co-workers via email, thus they can get access to their own separate subaccount, where each of them can check their voicemails, call history, contacts etc. and make modifications regarding their data, phone extension number and the email address where voicemails are forwarded to.
If you want to access your account on the go, we’re afraid that’s not an option as a system management application is only available for vConsole users (part of the Office subscription). However, your account/computer can be turned into a virtual fax machine, whether you are a recipient or a sender. This means that your computer can receive faxes, while you can fax TIFF or PDF files too – but only if a fax number is associated to your network.
If you want to associate a phone number, you can only do it after you have created the account. The company offers the main phone number types: local, toll-free (including 800s) vanity numbers, and even international numbers. However, there are some differences between the two major subscription types, Dash and Office.
Dash only allows one number to be associated with the account. However, you can pick as many sequential phone numbers as you want later on as your main, conference or fax number thanks to the scalability of your account, which lets you pay for only those phone numbers you actually use.
Office, on the other hand, includes 2 numbers with the option to purchase new numbers for $5.00 per month per additional phone number. But this subscription requires clients to pay $30.00 for new vanity and true 800 numbers, and $25.00 for number porting.
Like we mentioned before, there is a huge problem regarding the mobile app version of VirtualPBX: the dashboard can only be accessed for those who created their accounts before 2012 or who have an Office subscription. However, before we move onto the VirtualPBX Phone app, developed for iPhone and Android users who have Dash subscriptions, there is a satisfactory solution for the above problem: the site itself seamlessly adapts to mobile screens, so you can simply use your mobile browser to access your account.
As for the VirtualPBX Phone app, the good news is that it can turn your phone into a softphone. This way you can add your phone to the list of devices in your account, plus you can place and receive calls, get notifications etc. for better prices than your regular mobile subscription. Unfortunately, the above is a con too, as the app doesn’t offer a true interface for managing your account.
Integrations with other apps is not the forte of VirtualPBX – especially if you are a Dash subscriber. If you are an Office subscriber, you have no better luck either, but at least you can integrate your account with your Dropbox account. However, aside from that option, there is nothing else to say.
Like we mentioned before, you can import TIFF or PDF files and send them as faxes, while the only thing you can export from VirtualPBX (as a CSV file) is the call log. The latter option is completed by the call record export to Dropbox, which is only available for Office subscribers for 14 days before the record is deleted. However, this feature will soon be available for Dash subscribers, meaning that quite possibly Dropbox integration will follow as well.
Aside from offering various desk and conference phones from $69.99, and Concierge Service for account/network setup and management ($99), VirtualPBX has three pricing plans with prices depending on the number of users and the payment schedule: Dash, Dash Unlimited and Office.
Dash costs $15.99, $14.99 or $9.99 per user per month for one, 2–99 and 100+ users respectively (if paid annually in one lump sum), including 1,000 minutes (+ 300 extra minutes per user as a gift), unlimited VoIP minutes between system users, 1 number, and a fee of $0.049 for each extra minute. Dash Unlimited is basically the same pricing plan as Dash, but you get unlimited minutes for your money. The prices of Office subscriptions vary between $19.99 and $33.99 per month (for 1 year) depending on the number of phone lines. With the latter you get unlimited minutes, 2 numbers, Dropbox integration and the call record option.
Regardless of your subscription, you always get a 14-day free trial and the option to get a full refund if you terminate your account within 30 days from subscription. Keep in mind that you have to provide your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card details before signing up.
The customer support of VirtualPBX is quite impressive due to its availability and variety. If you need immediate help, you can contact the personnel every day via email, a local and international phone number and live chat. No matter which contact method you choose, you get prompt answers, but keep in mind that customer support is only available during business hours and getting answers may take longer than expected. If you want immediate answers beyond business hours, you can always read the up-to-date blog, leave a message on the company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn page, or turn to the plentitude of written and/or audiovisual tutorials on the site. Furthermore, if you want to stay on top of things, you can ask the company for weekly webinar-style trainings as many times as you want.
If you are convinced by the company, VirtualPBX allows you to refer its services to as many people as you want; if they subscribe and stay, you will be rewarded with an account credit up to $250.
Despite a few questionable tings, VirtualPBX’s services are without a doubt ideal for those looking for a reliable virtual phone system provider. The biggest mishit is that many features and extra costs are not well-advertized, therefore new customers might not get the necessary information in time. However, next to doing the basics right, VirtualPBX manages to stun its users with many extraordinary features: follow-me find-me with a call blasting function, intelligent three-way conference calls, free of charge intercom, advanced call transferring, hot desking and the list could go on. All of this combined with flexible device management from a simple dashboard, the scalability of your Dash or Office subscription and cost-friendly pricing proves that VirtualPBX is worth checking out.