4 MONTH UPDATE: I have been using Anveo.com for the past 6 months. Overall, I have been somewhat satisfied by the service. The phone answering and fax system works great. I have used both and been very happy with it. I get the MP3 of a voice mail and a pdf version of a fax emailed to me. I have not set up a VOIP service so I don’t know how this works. I just use it to forward calls to my cell phone as mentioned below. I like it because the time stamp means I only get calls forwarded during regular business hours. The one draw back with this is set up is the VOIP and Cell Phone combination can sometimes cause the connection can be choppy for people on the other end. One other thing to note, you do have to pay for outgoing calls. It is pretty cheap but still this wasn’t completely clear to me when i signed up.
At ChurchWebToolKit.com we are always looking for ways to save ministries money. We found a great one that you can use for phone service. It is called Anveo.com
This online company has two facets to it. I found it a little confusing at first. It took me two chats with their customer service to figure it out. I will try to explain it a bit clearer than their site.
Anveo provides who different services a VOIP (Voice over Internet Phone) and PBX (Private Branch Exchange).
This means that your monthly bill = VOIP (Call) Rates + PBX (Plan & Pricing)
VOIP Plan: Anveo refers to this a Call Rates
VOIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is hardware and software that basically allows you to use the internet as your local phone company. You need to have high speed (DSL or better) internet to make this work. Most companies (like Vontage) have a telephone adapter device that you connect to your modem and telephone. Anveo offers different VOIP plans. They call it Call Rates. You can get a Value Plan (40 minutes a day) for $1 a month, or business unlimited for $4 a month (free calls to USA and Canada). The best part is you can keep your existing phone number by porting it over to Anveo for a $15 fee. New numbers only cost $1 to set up.
PBX Plan: Anveo refers to this a Plans and Pricing
PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. In the olden days of telecommunications, this was all the internal infrastructure that a company would have inside their office space to connect multiple employees a phone line. You can now do this all online via Anveo IVR / Call Flow. Anveo calls the PBX part their plan and pricing. You can choose a plan depending on how many PBX features you need. If you already have a phone system, you might not need much. We use the FREE PBX plan. It works great for all our needs. Faxes are instantaneously emailed to an email address. You can check voice messages like a normal answering machine (with code to punch in) or have messages instantaneously transcribed or forwarded as MP3 audio files to an email address.