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Written by
Katy Ratican
1 Feb 2022
3 minutes

Free phone number vs paid phone number: The pros and cons

Looking for a free phone number for your business? It's wise to understand the pros and cons before you make a final decision
Free phone number vs paid phone number

One of the most remarkable aspects of digitalisation is how many companies offer free versions of their products or services in order to get users. With the number of free phone apps in the market, you might be tempted to get a free phone number. But as with all things that are ‘free’, it’s often a case of you get what you pay for.

Why are there so many free phone apps?

Or more broadly, how come companies offer so many free products and services online?

They simply want to add users: The companies that offer a free phone number are merely looking to get more customers. They do it because a larger user base increases their perceived valuation. It also signals to investors and the media that some of them might become paid users later.

They offer basic features: Most people who get a free phone app aren’t looking for advanced features. The companies know that most of these users would be happy with the basic features.

They have little support: As you can expect, whenever a product or service is free, users jump on board. This tends to compromise the customer support you can get with a free phone number.

They have revenue streams: Some of the free phone apps are ad-supported. So, they display targeted ads and make money from advertisers.

They compromise security: As they say about the online world: if the service is free, you’re the product. Some companies that offer free products online have been known to sell your data to marketers.

Free phone number vs. paid phone number: You get what you pay for

Free phone number apps such as WhatsApp and Google Voice aren’t interested in offering enhanced features that businesses need. If you decide to get a free phone number for business purposes, know while the service may be free, you are likely to end up paying a lot more than nothing.

Difficult to scale

As a business owner or freelancer, you can expect your phone usage to grow as your business grows. The free phone app won’t have the capabilities or bandwidth to accommodate your growing needs.

If you get a paid phone number such as Chalkboard, you’ll be able to upgrade your subscription based on your business requirements.

Connectivity issues

The sheer number of free phone users makes the connection unreliable. You could be in the middle of an important business call and it can get interrupted or disconnected.

This forces several users of free phone apps to regularly buy a data plan or hotspot. In other words, the service ceases to be free even if the product is.

Porting troubles

When you get a second phone number for work, you’ll end up sharing it with your customers, clients and business associates. In case you’re not satisfied with the free phone number, you would want to port your number.

Users who have tried to port their number from a free phone app have raised several issues including unexpected fees and delays.

Poor customer support

Unlike most of the top-rated second phone apps, WhatsApp and Google have hundreds of millions of free users the world over. You can imagine the condition of their customer support.

If you have a problem with either of them, you will have to turn to their online forums or go through the extremely tedious process of getting in touch with them directly.

Chalkboard: The best alternative to a free phone number

If you run a business whether as an individual or as a team, you need a separate phone for work. Instead of going with a free phone number, here’s why you should opt for the business-friendly Chalkboard:

Easy to set up: No lengthy contracts, no complicated exits. Download the app and you can get started in minutes. It’s that easy to use this work phone number.

Extended free period: You have a free trial to test the product and discover how it can optimise your business communication.

Auto-reply: Chalkboard gives you enhanced tools such as an auto-reply feature. Now you can set messages to calls that you might miss.

Group broadcasts: Organise customers into groups and send the same message to everyone. This increases your reach and saves you time and effort.

Get Chalkboard now

Sign up for a free trial and discover how Chalkboard can help grow your business.

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