Which 800 number service is the best option for my small business?

1800 number grasshopper entrepreneur

Image source: www.Grasshopper.com

You might think that ‘dialing 1-800’ is only for big businesses as seen on TV, but in fact it’s really pretty simple and inexpensive to set one up for your own small business. Adding a boost of professionalism, an 800 number is another helpful internet tool that will increase your customers’ confidence and trust in your company, which will in turn increase sales and the number of returning customers. With 800 services, you can generally forward the calls to one or more other numbers, like your cell phone or Skype, and you also get several extension numbers for other employees and departments, unique greetings, and voicemail options.

Now, there are several different companies out there to choose from which supply 800 numbers and services, but I’m going to focus on just four. They all seem fairly similar, but differ in the details. I personally have been using Grasshopper since 2011 and have found it extremely useful and easy to use. Please note that some of the links mentioned in this article are affiliate links meaning I will get a small commission if you go through the link during purchase. I really appreciate your support for Think Entrepreneurship!

Grasshopper.com Coupon

I’m going to break this up into comparisons of different features, instead of just going company by company. The four services I will discuss are Phone.com, Phonebooth.com, RingCentral.com, and Grasshopper.com.

1800 number Phone.com entrepreneur

Image source: Phone.com

Each service offers the basics, like forwarding calls to different devices, creating and managing extension numbers and greetings online, and call-holding music. Details such as cost, contract length, minute plans, and smartphone apps are where they differ.


To activate an 800 number, a $30 activation fee has been the norm. Of the four reviewed, only RingCentral still has that $30 fee. Phone.com rings in with a $10 activation fee, and the other two include it when you just start a normal plan. The variations 855, 866, 877, or 888 never have an activation fee.

1800 number phone.com entrepreneur 1

Image source: Phone.com

Phone.com offers the lowest price at first glance, at just $8.88 for one number, one voicemail, and 300 minutes. 300 minutes is pretty low compared to the unlimited-minute starter packs with the three other services. 22 bucks gets you the ‘unlimited extension plan,’ otherwise it’s 4.9 cents/minute over your 300 on Phone.com. They do have a pretty clear table to show all the different money numbers though, unlike RingCentral, which has a bunch of little number-astericks leading to fine print below—including a two year contract after your 30 day free trial. Grasshopper and Phonebooth each have monthly plans for more of a “pay as you grow” style, and Phone.com has a slightly ambiguous “no long term contract.”

Grasshopper charges $12 per month per user, with 6¢ per minute—no minutes included, but every other feature is included. For comparison, 300 minutes at 6¢ per equals $18, which would be about the same as Phone.com’s $8.88 + $22 unlimited pack (not including the $10 activation). This is Grasshopper’s Pay As You Grow level, with bigger packages with more minutes: the Ramp package at $24 includes 500 minutes, the Grow package for $49 has 2,000 minutes, and a Max pack includes quite a bit more for $199. You can find more information by reading my Grasshopper.com review.

Phonebooth.com has a flat $20 fee per month per user. This smallish hike in price includes two different free numbers and unlimited everything else: nationwide local and long distance minutes, auto-attendants (answering greetings/directions), group conferences, and extension numbers, which they call groups. Phonebooth.com is also proud to own their own network, “just like a traditional phone company,” which helps with price and quality, they say.

Voicemail Management

1800 number Ring Central cloud

Image source: RingCentral.com

With the exception of RingCentral, all of the services can convert your voicemail messages to text and email them to you so you can read them at your convenience. Though sometimes they can sound a little off, voice-to-text technology has been getting better and better, and can be especially useful when you’re stuck in a meeting or on the golf cart between holes and really can’t stick the phone to your ear. Also, faxes can all be turned to PDFs viewable on your phone or computer, with the exception of Phonebooth.com.

Extension Numbers

They also all can route each call to different extensions, so you can have employees across the country operating under the same number, just with different personal extensions. And to direct these calls you can record a greeting and message, “for sales, press 1,” etc. etc.

1800 number Phonebooth entrepreneur phone

Image source: Phonebooth.com

Caller ID on Outbound Calls

The white elephant in the room may be that you couldn’t always call out from these numbers, however, that is mostly taken care of. Grasshopper has a newish smartphone app that allows this, as does RingCentral. Phone.com doesn’t have an app per se, but just includes it as a feature that you can choose your outgoing caller ID, plus each extension can choose their own ID. Now, I couldn’t really find anything about this on Phonebooth.com, and when I searched for ‘app’ and ‘outgoing call,’ there were only complaints about the lack thereof on their Phonebooth Community forum, the latest from November of 2012. Perhaps they are working on this, or have solved it, but I couldn’t find any info about outgoing caller ID on their site.

Managing Online

Adding extension numbers, greetings, and customizing caller IDs can all be managed online, so to add a new employee’s extension, it is generally pretty quick and easy, and updated immediately. RingCentral claims to be the “first and only cloud touch system”… but as far as I can tell, the others are all are pretty similar, and they might just be running with specific the word, “touch.”

1800 number Ring Central add employee entrepreneur

Image source: RingCentral.com

Old-fashioned Phones

While all these calls can be forwarded to your smartphone, which probably makes the most sense for small operations anyway, they do all sell old-fashioned phones too. These might be helpful to make sure that the office always has a phone, in case there’s only an intern around or someone else without a connection. They also sell conference speaker-phones, which are flatter, UFO-looking phones that work well in the center of a conference table where everyone can contribute. Phone.com and Phonebooth.com also boast High Definition voice quality with their HD equipped phones.

1800 number Phonebooth HD voice quality

Image source: Phonebooth.com

Conference Calls

You can also set up conference calls with your 800 number. Phonebooth.com can handle up to 8 conference callers, Phone.com can supposedley host 500 attendees, RingCentral 1000, and Grasshopper doesn’t give a number.


In summary, getting an 800 number is an important and very handy step to take in developing your business. These are all pretty great services, but vary in different ways and you’ll have to decide what’s best for you. Study the fees a little more for individuals versus larger groups and how much you think you’ll use it. Like I said, I’ve been using Grasshopper and been very happy with it, and the pay-as-you-go system works well if you’re just starting and want to give it a try. Good luck, and please comment with your own findings!

PS – Grasshopper has since contacted me and offered an exclusive coupon if you’d like to get started with them. It is a $75 off coupon and will cover your first few months of service. Making it a WIN WIN situation. Click here to get the $75 off coupon from Grasshopper.

Grasshopper.com Coupon

Image source: Grasshopper.com

Image source: Grasshopper.com

  • http://www.prochiromt.com/ Dr. Jonathan Wilhelm

    Thanks for the info! 800 and Tracking numbers are a valuable tool for sure.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      You bet Dr. Wilhelm. Keep up the great work with ProChiropractic! Cheers – Pete

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  • Dania Mallette The Chalk Chica

    I am SO glad I found this article! Not only did you help me make the right decision (Grasshopper), I found a vanity 800 number that was 100x better than what I originally wanted…plus the $75 coupon made everything cost effective. You ROCK!!!

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      You bet Dania! I’m glad it was helpful. I use the 800 number for my business – http://www.signsofthemountains.com — and it works out great. Good luck and have a great week! – Pete

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  • Joy

    This article helped me make a decision about an 800 # & the $75 certainly helped too! Thank you, Pete.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Joy! Thanks so much for the message:) I’ve used it for a number of years now and it works great. I think you will like having it for your business. The $75 coupon will cover the first few months and get you by for free which is a win win! Have a great rest of the week Joy! – Cheers from Montana! – Pete

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  • Chantel

    Thank you for this article and the $75 coupon. Grasshopper has better options than the service I just cancelled.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi Chantel! You bet and I’m so glad you’ve found it to be a better service! I’ve been using it for my businesses since 2011 and have extensions for each business. I’ve definitely been happy with it and the $75 off coupon works out great because it covers a few months of service so it gives you plenty of time to decide if it’s a good fit for your business. Cheers and enjoy! – Pete

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  • BandwagonFanClub.com

    Thank you for the article and the coupon!! I just joined!

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi! You are more than welcome and I’m so glad the article helped out in making your decision! Hope all is well and best of luck with your business. Cheers from Montana! – Pete

  • http://www.Date2Relate.Com/ Date2Relate

    A bit late to the party on this post but happy to have found it. It was very helpful especially the conversion of voice to email/text and the best vendors having the function.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Glad it was helpful:) Cheers!

  • Nikolagirl

    Thank you! I ordered my number and used your coupon. Awesome.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Glad to help out! Cheers and thanks for using the link 🙂

  • Nini

    This was very helpful…Thank you

  • Matthiew Abbot

    Hi Pete! Very insightful article thank you, one thing you did not cover is how an 800 number can operate from different countries. I starting a small cruise travel business based in UK but I will be targeting customers throughout Europe and North America. What are the best options? in terms on selecting the right 800 number, price plan etc. Thanks again

  • Scott Moore

    Just found this and the $75 still works! It was amazingly easy. Thanks for sharing this.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      So glad it save ya some money Scott! Thanks for the info about the vanity number, I didn’t know that, but good to know! Cheers! – Pete

  • Marisol

    Do any of these services record the calls? Not just when they go to voicemail, but all calls coming in?

  • Ryan M

    I run a music store and am not affiliated, in any way, with any of these services but need to choose one. This “article” however, appears to be an advertisement for Grasshopper.com. According to it, RingCentral, which I’ve used before with no issues, is the only one of the four that still charges and activation fee. However if you go to the FAQ section of their site they explain that there are no activation or set up fees. This “article” also says they require a two year contract. Again, not according to RingCentral. Lastly, they do convert voicemails into emails attachments despite what the author says above. If this article is dated then it should be fixed. The author does admit: “…that some of the links mentioned in this article are affiliate links meaning I will get a small commission if you go through the link during purchase.” I’d be willing to bet those links are for Grasshopper, namely, the coupon offered as RingCentral is not going to give someone a commission for misleading customers about their product. Here is the link to RingCentral’s FAQ section. http://www.ringcentral.com/office/phone-system-faq.html

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Thank you for pointing out there have been changes in pricing / polices. We have a lot of articles on this site, and it’s not always easy to keep everything 100% updated. I apologize for some outdated information, but we’ll research things and get them updated. This is a site I run because of my passion for entrepreneurship, and do my best to work on this site when I can — in addition to my full time business. Once again thank you for your concerns, and cheers from Montana. Please do reach out to me if you’d like to talk. I have experience with the other companies as well.

  • Ryan M

    Deleted my comment. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s much easier to sell a product when you lie to potential customers. I will share this page on social media but will clarify what is true and what was lied about so that you can earn a small commission from grasshopper.com. I will also forward this RingCentral so they’re aware as well as Grasshopper.com as they may have more integrity than you do in selling their product. Best of luck.

    • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

      Hi there Ryan,

      Thank you for reaching out. All comments are moderated prior to anything being posted – and my team sent it to me for review before responding. I am the owner and this specific article was written at least a couple years ago by myself. I am a very transparent person, and thoroughly went through each company at the time I wrote this. It is dated, and I created a newer post last year with updates seen here: http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/best-800-number-phone-service-for-entrepreneurs/ — And because of you helpfully pointing out changes have been made in each company, I’ll be writing a new article next week with updates. And instead of just writing a new article, I will in addition update this old article as I agree it is out of date. All of these companies are affiliates correct — and I personally use Grasshopper and have since 2011 because I’ve been a very satisfied customer. You can personally give me a call at 1-800-294-3670 and I would be happy to talk with you. Thank you for reaching out.

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  • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com/ Pete Sveen

    Hi fellow entrepreneurs! I wanted to let you know I went through this article and made updates to the pricing and updated features for 2016 for these services. I encourage you to take your time to do your research to find the best fit for you. While I have a lot of articles on the site, it is tough to keep everything updated — but I strive to do my best. If while doing your own research you see any changes that need to be made to my review please let me know. My goal is to help others find the best service for their needs. If you have any questions on any of the services please holler. I will do my best to answer them for you. Cheers from Montana! – Pete

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  • Dan Stecklein

    Thanks Pete! Great info here… and just used the $75 coupon.


      You bet Dan! Best of luck continuing to grow your business this year. Cheers from Montana! – Pete

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  • Kate

    I am trying to decide between Grasshopper and RingCentral. We have a landline phone that we need to use & RingCentral charges $79 for their converter. They are also live chatting with me which is really really convenient.
    What does Grasshopper offer that RingCentral doesn’t and vice versa?

    • Kate

      Update….I waited hours for an email response still nothing. I called & waited 5 minutes to talk to someone in sales…still no one so I hung up. I then called support to see if I could get anywhere & again after 5 minutes-nothing, so I hung up. They made my decision for me. No way I can operate like that….RingCentral it is

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  • Byron Jackson

    Thanks for the info, just used the $75 off coupon and got everything set up!

  • DiabeticStrips

    Be careful and check before you sign up. I left my 800 # forwarding company and went to Grasshopper
    after they charged me for services i did not want i also realized just the taxes where $10 a month.

    My cost went from $15 to $40 a month