The Truth About Free Conference Calls Charges

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Imagine if you could cut out one invoice from your monthly monies owing cycle without damaging the running of your business. It’s an opportunity that’s difficult to pass up. With more and more services offering lite or free versions of their services, it seems like a no-brainer. But beware of Free Conference Calls Charges…

A lot of services manage to run their business from the advertising revenue generated from the free service. For example, free magazines, newspapers or even YouTube; but what about non-media based services? Services like conference calls can’t accommodate the advertising model? How does 247meeting’s Anytime Free conference call service generate revenue?

You might guess that these free versions are supported by the supposed many companies that need a larger dial-in network or extra features. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and the truth of the matter may be more costly than you think.

The short answer: Like all free conference call services, when you dial a number to join your conference call, that number generates a commission-based fee for the conference call provider (in this example 247meeting).

Introducing “Revenue-shared” numbers

To offer our extensive dial-in network of 200 numbers in 96 countries, we work with different Network Providers, like Orange, BT, Vodafone or Eir. To provide our conference call service Anytime, we pay them a fee for the use of their network. We then incorporate that fee into our Conference Service Charge to the Host of the Conference.

On free conference call services, Network Providers (Orange, BT, Vodafone, etc.) charges You, the end-user, directly. This is a fee for using their network to place your call.
Because 247meeting supports hundreds of thousands of calls, we can negotiate a “bulk” usage rate for our Anytime Free number. The Network Provider won’t charge you more for your call.

So, for example, if you dial the Anytime Free number for a 10-minute call, you generate €1 in revenue. (You won’t even see that €1 charge as you or your company certainly have Unlimited Calls bundle). Of that, 247meeting will get a 20c commision from the Network Provider.

Free Conference Call Charges

Why are there Free Conference Call Charges?

However, when you use free conference call numbers starting with 0818, the Network Provider still has to pay the Conference Call Provider a commission, so they charge You, the end-user, and every caller on the conference. 

Thus, as the Host of the Conference Call, you may not receive an invoice for Conference Call services, but you will see a spike in your telephone bill. Your Guests will also see this spike in their respective telephone bills.

To put this into real terms, here is an example.

What happens if you hold a 10-minute conference call using 247meeting’s Anytime conference call service with 5 participants?

  • as the Host of the call, you will get a bill from 247meeting for 2.50 Eur.
  • as a Caller, you will also receive a bill from your Network Provider (Eir, Three, Vodafone, etc.) with either no extra charges because the minutes were included in your existing package or a small fee for a national call.
  • your Guests will have either no extra charges or a small fee for a national call.

What happens if you hold the same conference using a free conferencing service in 0818?

  • you won’t receive any invoice for the conference call. Convenient!
  • you and your Guests will each pay for your call as these numbers aren’t included in Network Providers’ packages. Depending on Network Providers, the extra costs on the telephone bill could run from €2 to €10, per participant.

This could result in some furious clients or partners, or you could run up a hefty phone bill on your company phones.

So before being a victim of free conference calls charges, check the dial-in numbers these “free” providers offer and compare them with our list of the most expensive Irish numbers. 



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