Grasshopper is an Internet-based calling service that allows smaller businesses to harness all of the advantages of a professional-grade communications system capable of routing calls to an unlimited number of extensions. Customers of this service are not required to purchase hardware such as Analog Telephone Adapters or even IP Phones since Grasshopper is not a standard VOIP service. Users will, however, be required to have some form of existing telephone service for calls to be forwarded to.

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  • The Pros

    For all intents and purposes, Grasshopper can be described as a stand-alone auto attendant capable of receiving multiple incoming faxes and also allowing for multiple endpoint phone extensions. Users of the service will begin by selecting a phone number for their business and having the system programmed to forward all calls made to that number to any pre-existing phone (mobile, home, office, etc.)

    Since there are no requirements for the purchase of additional VOIP hardware or infrastructure, users can be up and running quickly and easily.

    Grasshopper offers four plan options, each backed by a 30-day money back guarantee and free from long term contracts. Each available plan offers, at minimum, one toll free calling number, unlimited extensions and every calling feature possible. The chief difference between the service plans is the number of available minutes.

    • Pay as you Grow, $12 per month, 6c/ minute
    • Ramp, $24 per month, includes 500 minutes
    • Grow, $49 per month, includes 2,000 minutes
    • Max, $199 per month, includes 10,000 minutes

    Users will benefit from the availability of most of the standard calling features, such as auto attendant, hold music, and toll-free calling. Additionally, an iPhone app can be downloaded to allow users to make outgoing calls with their calling number showing as the business number.

  • The Cons

    In order to make use of the service it is necessary to have a secondary telephone service. For many this is not viewed as a huge problem since the primary purpose of Grasshopper is to route incoming calls to mobile phone and other devices while gaining access to business enhancing phone features.

    In order to take advantage of the ‘Call Out’ feature users must use the iPhone App if they want their outgoing display to read their business information. To use this feature, outbound calling must be enabled and then they must dial a pre-specified access number. Outbound 911 dialling is not supported.

    It is possible to receive faxes, however, outbound faxes cannot be sent.

    The Pay as you Grow and Ramp plans only come with one local or one toll-free number and additional numbers come as a cost of $5 per month.

    Conference calling is limited to 10 participants and is charged on a per minute basis for each participant, this means that a 30 minute call with 10 participants is billed as 300 minutes.

  • The Plan

    Grasshopper is a stand alone service that allows smaller businesses, with pre-existing phone service, to have their incoming calls routed to any number of extensions.

    • It is recommended to do a thorough cost comparison from competitors like RingCentral. Many of the features are standard; however, the pricing can vary.
    • In order to enable routing of international calls, there is a required, upfront deposit of $500 which will be used as future credit.
    • If more numbers than are included in the chosen plan are needed, there will be a $5 per month per number charge.

Summary

While Grasshopper may not be perfect in all scenarios, it is a great option for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to gain the benefits of a rich calling system, while still leveraging their existing hardware and phone service.

Overall Rating 3.4

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