RingCentral VoIP Review
RingCentral is a company that specializes in providing business VoIP services, fax services and mobile communication solutions. With plans ranging from a single user to over 20 users, RingCentral makes it clear that they can cater to both small businesses and large corporations. With a cloud-based virtual office system, RingCentral eliminates the need for technical knowledge or bulky hardware and makes it possible to enjoy your virtual office from virtually anywhere.
Founded in: 1998
Headquarters: San Mateo, CA
Professionals looking for a VoIP business solution will be drawn to the RingCentral Office plan, which combines calling and online fax features. The pricing structure works as follows:
|Plan||Price Per Month Per User|
|1 User Unlimited||$49.99|
|4 User Unlimited||$24.99|
|20+ User Unlimited||$24.99|
If you need a number of lines that doesn't come standard with one of RingCentral's plans, you can add an additional line to any plan for $24.99 a month. For example - the price for a 2 line system would be $49.99 + $24.99 = $74.98 (plus tax) each month.
In addition to the monthly fee of each line, the default phone that comes with each RingCentral above the 1 user plan is the Polycom IP 335, which you will need to purchase for $129 per phone. An analog adapter which can be used with a standard telephone in place of a business VoIP phone costs $49.99. You can upgrade or downgrade the recommended phone to another phone for other options ranging in price from $99 to $329. The RingCentral Office 1 user plan uses a softphone, which can be downloaded for free and adapted to any headset or USB phone you already have. RingCentral also offers a conference phone, the Polycom 6000 for $599.00.
RingCentral offers a range of professional-grade VoIP features. Surprisingly, RingCentral is one of the few to business VoIP providers that offer a free 1800 toll free number that includes 1,000 minutes of talk per month in the price of the plan. Overage charges for the toll free line cost 3.9 cents per minute. RingCentral's other features include:
- Voicemail to email (aka Visual Voicemail)
- Missed call notification
- Outlook integration
- Call screening
- Call forwarding
- Call logs
- Call conferencing
- Caller ID
- Calling card (use your RingCentral account to make free calls from anywhere)
- Dial-by-name extensions
- Online fax service
- Free softphone
We tested RingCentral's service by making calls to and receiving calls from landlines, cell phones and other VoIP phones. We found the call quality to be very good between landlines and cell phones and the RingCentral phone, but some connections to VoIP phones were a bit less clear. The recorded call that you can hear below was placed from RingCentral's softphone, placed on speaker. As you will hear, the call recipient complained of an echo, though we could hear her clearly. We did not have this problem when using a physical phone instead of the speakerphone. Overall, we were impressed by RingCentral's sound quality and we're confident that RingCentral will be reliable and comfortable to use for extended phone conversations.
RingCentral is one of the few business VoIP providers that offers 24/7 technical support by phone. The billing department is available by phone between 8am-10pm EST on Monday through Friday, 10am-7pm EST on Saturday, and 11am-8pm EST on Sundays. We called RingCentral at various times throughout the day, and never waited on hold for more than 2 minutes for sales or technical support.
RingCentral also offers chat support, though this feature is not prominently displayed on their website. Chat support is available between 9am and 9pm Monday through Friday, and is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
A search button that is found on most of the site's pages makes it easy to get answers to questions at any time, and we were happy to see that the search feature yielded relevant, useful results in the majority of our searches. RingCentral answers questions via email only for paying customers, and therefore, the company's email information is not easily identifiable on the site. Still, we managed to email RingCentral and to receive a same-day response.
Ease of Use
Although it is not immediately obvious from the RingCentral website, it is important to note that the company's 1 user business VoIP plan uses a softphone only, which means that you will need to connect a headset or USB phone to your computer and to make calls directly from your computer. Although some users may find this a bit unorthodox as the only option for a business VoIP plan, it does save the user from having to purchase any additional hardware, and makes the system entirely portable.
Once the RingCentral system is set up, the control panel is rather intuitive, and it is easy to change the call settings as necessary. One thing that we found frustrating was that the system was setup to send calls straight to voicemail, so after we requested calls, we could not immediately understand why they were not coming through. However, once we were alerted to the problem, we were quickly able to undo this setting in the control panel.
Unlike Nextiva's business VoIP service, RingCentral's business VoIP plan offers multiple built-in music on hold options as well as multiple music on hold interruption texts. We were impressed that RingCentral offers two ways to create your auto-attendant and voicemail greetings. You can choose to create an audio file and upload it, or you can call into your phone system and record the message directly into your phone. We tested the system by calling in. The directions seemed straightforward, but they neglected to mention that you need to enter your extension number in order to create the welcome message. A quick call to customer service lead us to create the greeting surprisingly easily. The customer service representative even waited on the line while we recorded, to ensure that we'd done it successfully.
Money Back Guarantee
RingCentral's business VoIP plans come with a full 30 day money back guarantee. If you decide to cancel within the first month, you must return your hardware and contact the company, and you will receive a full refund, minus the cost of shipping and handling. Alternatively, you may choose to keep the phone, and you will be charged an equipment fee, which is the list price minus the actual price paid for the phone, excluding taxes. All RingCentral hardware must be returned within 90 days in order to be eligible for a refund. RingCentral annual plans must be cancelled within 6 months in order to be eligible for a refund on the time remaining, but plans that are billed on a monthly basis can be cancelled at any time, and the user will receive a pro-rated refund for the time remaining in the month. It is worth noting that the company's online fax plans do not come with a money back guarantee.
- 24/7 technical support
- Short phone support hold times at all hours of the day
- Intuitive control panel
- Ample options for greetings and call handling rules
- Mediocre call quality when speaking with other VoIP phones
- 1 user plan is expensive as compared with similar plans