Type: Office and Call Center
8×8 Review Summary
8×8 is a well-established, award-winning VoIP service provider with a focus on plans for businesses and enterprises. It has some quirks, like a wildly expensive web conferencing plan, but the unlimited plans are very competitively priced. 8×8 is also one of the only companies to offer some international calling with even basic plans.
Pros and Cons
- $21.99/month for 8×8 Virtual Office Pro when you speak to an agent
- 8×8 will match competitor pricing for some plans
- No porting fees
- US-based customer service available via e-chat or phone
- ACD Queuing
- International Virtual Numbers
- Free advanced features
- Conferencing for each extension owner
- Click2Connect (click-to-call)
- No vanity numbers
- Activation fees on every plan
- Large deactivation fees per extension
- Charges for shipping for most orders
- Internet faxing not included with basic business plan
- Monthly fee for toll free # and must purchase minutes
How Does 8×8 Compare?
8×8 Virtual Office and Virtual Office Pro
8×8 Virtual Office offers both unmetered and unlimited plans for domestic and international destinations. The unlimited basic plan is a particularly good deal, at $21.99/mo per extension. Each extension gets a direct phone number, caller ID, group intercom, mobile app, and click-to-call technology, as well as calls to an array of international destinations.
Virtual Office Pro plans offer the additional benefits of internet faxing, call recording, and 1GB storage for recorded calls and meetings.
8×8 Unlimited Extension Plans
Get unlimited inbound and outbound calling to the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. An unlimited extension includes unlimited worldwide network calls with any 8×8 customer, business-class voicemail and a unique direct inbound dial (DID) telephone number. Calls to mobile phones, premium, special, and information service numbers are not included in the unlimited international destinations.
8×8 Metered Extension Plans
Metered Exensions are a cost-effective choice for businesses or specific employees who make very few outbound calls. Metered Plans come with 250 minutes of calling to the US and Canada, + 2.9 cents a minute thereafter, and any international tolls.
8×8 Global Extension Plans
These plans are perfect for businesses or even specific employees who do a lot of international calling – offering over 40 international destinations. These plans are just like the unlimited plans except they offer the added benefit of international calling.
8×8 Call Center
8×8 Call Center offers sophisticated features for handling and distributing calls, as well as analyzing call center data. Capitalize on skills-based routing, multi-media management, web callback, and more with this plan, which is integrated with SalesForce and other popular software systems.
Detailed Features of 8×8
8×8 began in 1987 under the name IIT (Integrated Information Technology) as a semiconductor company. Ten years later, it transitioned into VoIP chips, and in 2002 it became providing VoIP service. As an established company in the market, 8×8 is known for its reliable service and user-friendly interface.
|Setup/Installation Fee||Yes – $9.99 to $39.99 one time fee on all plans|
|Cancellation/Deactivation Fee||Yes – $59 per extension for cancellations between first 1-12 months.
$200 per extension between first 1-24 months.
|Free Trial||Yes, 8×8 offers a 30 Day Free Trial|
|Customer Service||Good on live chat. Automated menus somewhat hard to navigate on phone|
|Included Minutes(Metered)||250 minutes to US and Canada (does not include toll charges)|
|Included Minutes(Unlimited)||Unlimited outbound + inbound to specified countries.
Watch out for mobile phones, premium, special, and information service numbers, which are not included.
|Included Phone Numbers(Professional)||1|
|Cost for Additional Phone Numbers||Virtual Number: $4.99/mo (US) or $6.99/mo (Canada) + $9.99 one-time activation fee
International Virtual Number: $14.99/mo + $9.99 one-time activation fee
U.S. Toll-Free Virtual Number: $4.99/mo + $9.99 one time activation fee plus you must purchase a minutes plan.
International Toll-Free Number: $14.99/mo + $24.99 one-time activation fee
|Extensions||Virtual Extensions (mailbox announcements, not associated with phone #):
$9.99/mo + $19.99 one-time activation fee.
Calls forwarded to U.S. and Canada are 2.9¢/min;
international calls are billed at 8×8 rates.
|Local and Toll Free Transfer Fee||Free|
|Vanity Number Fee||Not Available|
|True 800 Number Fee||Not Available|
What We Like About 8×8 Hosted VoIP
QUALITY AND RELIABILITY:
8×8 is known to be a solid, reliable service. With over 10 years as a VoIP provider under its belt, 8×8 has created an easy-to-use system with all of the automated phone features we have come to associate with large enterprises.
FREE INTERNATIONAL CALLS ON ALL PLANS:
ALL 8×8 plans offer calling to the U.K., Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, and U.S. territories, not to mention the U.S. and Canada. If you do business with the U.K. or another country on that list, you could be making all of your international calls for just over $20 per month! If you need more than that, the Global plan offers calling to various countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
ACD (Automatic Caller Distribution) Queuing distributes calls to available representatives in the order that they are received. This feature seems like it would be a no-brainer, but it is actually a rare find in VoIP providers. This is a huge advantage, since it provides optimal customers service and satisfactions. ACD queuing comes free with any 8×8 extension.
8×8 is integrated with Outlook, SalesForce, ACT!, Netsuite, SugarCRM, and eAgent for maximum efficiency and convenience. For example, if you use Outlook, all of your contacts will automatically be imported to 8×8.
8×8 does not charge porting fees. This can save you some cash when you start your service.
Call parking allows you to put someone on hold without picking up the call. It is a good way to finish up a conversation or take care of business before answering the phone.
VoiceMail to Email:
Convert voicemails to email for easier processing. Your voicemails will end in your inbox, where you can get them without having to call into your voice mailbox. This feature is excellent for providing fast customer service.
Click2Pop is a nifty plugin that helps you get as much information on your caller as possible. When someone calls, Click2Pop runs a web search on the person’s Caller ID name, pulling up results from various search engines or networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. That way, you can be as prepared as possible to help the caller.
Each extension gets a conference bridge where they can hold calls with up to 15 people at a time. Participants get email invitations to calls, and all calls are protected by a password.
Web conferencing for up to three participants, including screen sharing and webcams, is included for the pro plan. For those who want more, 8×8 Video Conferencing can be purchased separately (it works for up to 15 participants).
Customers using compatible phones can make intercom announcements to 25 separate intercom groups. You can control who gets to make announcements and who receives them. This feature is perfect for announcing meetings or other developments, and it comes free with the basic plan for Polycom VVX 300, 400, or 500 owners.
What We Don’t Like About 8×8
Toll Free Numbers are an Extra Monthly Fee
All plans come with a local phone number. If you want a Toll Free number it will cost you an extra $4.99/month, plus $9.99 one time activation fee, and you must purchase a minutes plan to use. Minutes start at 150 per month for $4.99/month up to 100,000 minutes per month for $1,700.00/month. That’s a minimum of an extra $10/month that their competitors do not charge.
Internet Fax only available on Pro Plans:
If you want internet fax capabilities, you will have to upgrade to 8×8 Virtual Office Pro for $49.99/mo (8×8 Virtual Office costs as little as $21.99/mo).
Every 8×8 plan comes with an activation fee. Some of these fees can be pricey, especially for call centers. In an industry where most of their competitors don’t have activation fees, this is a big down-side to their plans.
No Vanity Numbers:
8×8 does not supply vanity numbers. If you want one, you will have to buy it elsewhere and port it into the service. Luckily, 8×8 does not charge for porting.
If you decide to cancel your service with 8×8 this can get very expensive because unlike their competitors they will charge you anywhere from $59 to $200 per extension to cancel!
8×8 Review Summary
8×8 is a reliable and reputable VoIP service provider. Their advanced features and reasonable prices make them a good choice for small business owners. 8×8 is especially good for businesses that make or receive frequent calls to the international destinations that are included in the 8×8 Virtual Office plan, which can be had for as little as $21.99 per extension per month.