Hosted PBX Phone System by Grasshopper
Hosted VOIP PBX System Review
Grasshopper is a hosted phone system that utilizes your existing phone lines (landlines and/or cellular). If you are looking for a complete cloud-based telephone solution to replace an existing copper wire-based system, or you do not currently have service, you should consider looking at a VOIP business telephone system. This is a very affordable alternative to a traditional solution, bringing you powerful communication features at a very affordable price.
Learn more about using a VOIP small business phone service to see how such a solution can benefit your company.
Grasshopper was founded in 2003 by two undergraduate business students who wanted a better way for entrepreneurs to communicate with their customers. The result is a powerful, hosted VOIP PBX telephone system designed for today's small businesses.
While Grasshopper offers some great features, it comes up short in several areas when compared to the competing cloud-based systems. More about this later in this hosted PBX review.
Hosted PBX Phone System
Grasshopper is an Internet-based, hosted phone system that allows your organization to sound more professional while streamlining your customer communication. Grasshopper does this by building upon your existing phone service by allowing callers to dial one main number to reach any of your employees, regardless of where in the world they are, or what kind of a telephone they have access to.
By combining a unique toll-free or local number, with many advanced features, Grasshopper hosted PBX VOIP (Voice Over IP - Wikipedia definition) telephone solution allows your company to sound its best without breaking the bank.
No extra hardware or software is required to take advantage of Grasshopper's features. In fact, all you need is your existing telephone lines and you are on your way to making your current communication capability perform like that of a much larger corporation.
How It Works
The cloud-based PBX (Private Branch Exchange) auto attendant answers incoming calls received by your Grasshopper number, thus it functions as a virtual receptionist. Callers hear a custom greeting of your choice and are given options to be transferred to any employee or department.
Once the caller chooses who they want to talk to, Grasshopper forwards the call to the appropriate extension, which is really just an existing telephone line. You are able to designate extensions for virtually any purpose - employees, departments, or company information such as store hours, location, or a marketing promotion.
You can choose to have callers listen to hold music or a marketing message, as the VOIP hosted PBX system transfers the call to any existing number in the world. You have complete control of the extension's ultimate destination, and you can change the phone numbers calls are forwarded to at anytime.
See the video below to learn more about Grasshopper's service.
Customizable Communication Solution
Grasshopper offers customizable hosted PBX solutions for one or more employees and works with any handset (that has a dial tone), anywhere in the world. You can have calls forwarded to office, home, mobile, or Internet phones. The choice is up to you.
If it is after business hours, or the particular extension is not currently available, the cloud-based small business PBX telephone solution has a fully functioning, customizable, voicemail solution. And, once you receive a voicemail, you can access it via any phone, the Grasshopper online interface, or have it delivered to your email as an audio attachment. The delivery and notification methods for each extension are individually customizable.
**NEW FEATURE** Grasshopper just introduced a new, optional feature that allows you to receive a text transcription of your incoming voicemail messages. This allows you to read your new messages when you are unable to listen to them. For an additional fee of just $10 per month, incoming messages are automatically converted to text and sent to you as an email attachment, along with the normal audio file attachment.
You also have the no-cost (included in the $10 a month fee) option of having a real human transcribe your voicemails into text. The advantage of this is there is less chance of error in the transcription. Disadvantage of this is that someone is listening to all of your incoming messages. If you aren't concerned about privacy issues, then this is a great choice to get accurate speech-to-text conversion.
The ability to get a text transcription of incoming voicemails is a great feature that some of the other hosted PBX providers don't offer. If you have the need to read your voicemails because you are often times unavailable to listen to them (because you are in a meeting, etc.), this is a great, affordable option to take advantage of.
This Hosted PBX System is Missing Many Key Features
Grasshopper does not offer the same, full service online faxing capability that RingCentral does, which is our top rated virtual PBX phone system provider. Grasshopper only accepts inbound faxes and has extremely limited outbound faxing capability. For example, if you need to fax a document to a client, you cannot do so with Grasshopper. You will need to use a stand-alone faxing service.
There are several other key features missing from the Grasshopper hosted PBX phone system, which are available with RingCentral. These include answering rules and an online call controller.
In the cheapest plan (Pay As You Grow), there are NO included minutes. This means that you will be paying 6 cents for every minute from the start. Considering RingCentral's comparably priced plan has included minutes, we cannot see any reason to choose the Grasshopper Pay As You Grow plan.
The Grasshopper cloud-based PBX hosted telephone solution offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you aren't satisfied with their service within the first 30 days, you can ask for a refund. However, the competition offers a 30-day free trial, which lets you see if they are the right choice before you pay anything.
Grasshopper Hosted Phone System - Final Thoughts
While the Grasshopper hosted PBX systems have some great features that give you the ability to effectively and efficiently run your company, it comes up short when compared to other hosted PBX providers. You may be better served with RingCentral, which offers several key, advanced features not found in Grasshopper. If you are looking for a cloud-based communication solution, you should take a hard look at the RingCentral hosted PBX services.
The only compelling reason to choose Grasshopper PBX hosting over the competing virtual phone system is if you really need their new, optional voicemail-to-text transcription service that allows you to read your new messages instead of listening to them. This is a great feature if you are unable to listen to your messages, however for most people this may be more of a nicety than a must-have.
Video Introduction to Grasshopper's Hosted Phone System
Grasshopper Hosted VOIP PBX System Plan Comparison
|Pay As You Grow||Ramp||Grow||Max|
|Monthly Price (if paid monthly) No long-term commitment - cancel anytime!||$9.95||$24||$49||$199|
|Monthly Price (if paid annually)|
|30-day Money Back Guarantee|
|Free Setup & Activation|
|Included Monthly Minutes||0||500||2000||10000|
|Hosted PBX Extension||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Toll-Free or Local Number||1||1||2||3|
|Transfer Existing Numbers||$30||$30||2||Unlimited|
|Additional Local Numbers||$5/month||$5/month||$5/month||$5/month|
|True 800 Number (Starts with 800)||$30 Activation||$30 Activation||$30 Activation||$30 Activation|
|Dedicated Fax Number||$5/month||$5/month||$5/month||$5/month|
|Business Voicemail with eMail Delivery|
|**NEW** Voicemail-to-Text Transcription||$10/month||$10/month||$10/month||$10/month|
|Internet Fax||Inbound Only||Inbound Only||Inbound Only||Inbound Only|
|Call Forwarding Service|
|ACD Call Queuing|