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.