Thursday, August 5, 2010

Answering Service FAQ's

Q. My business is not in the same state as your answering service, does this mean I will incur long distance fees or toll charges when using your service?
A. No. Although many answering services do not follow this same policy, at AnswerFirst, you will never have any long distance fees or toll-charges associated with your account. This includes not only providing a toll-free number for your incoming calls, but also any outgoing calls we make on your behalf. Delivering messages via fax, alpha-pager, digital pager, telephone and text messaging will all technically be long distance calls from our service to you but, because we do such a high volume of "long distance" calling every month, the price we pay for long distance is virtually the same as a local call for us.

Q. I need to use the phone number you supply for my account, but I need a number that is local in my community. Does this mean I have to use an answering service in my area?
A. No, but you certainly will need to make some additional arrangements if you are to use a service outside of your local area and need a local area code for your clients to call. You will have to secure your own phone number from your local provider and then forward that local number to the toll-free number we supply to enable us to answer your calls. One of the more economical options is to secure what is known as a "switch-based" phone number from your local provider. A switch-based local phone number is different because it only resides in the telephone company switch and must always be forwarded to another phone number, such as the toll-free number we supply you. Costs for switch-based numbers are generally less than a traditional phone line, usually about half the cost. The other option is to use an answering service located in your area who can supply you a local phone number.

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