ViaTalk Business Phone Review
ViaTalk Business offers cost-effective phone solutions to businesses in the United States. They give business users the option of using their own device, controlling how many minutes they want and more. While they do offer vanity numbers and a few other unique features, they may not offer as robust of a service businesses need. But, despite that, they offer reliable service and affordable prices.
A cost-effective VoIP solution for businesses operating domestically.
- Tons of free features
- Easy-to-use online panel
- Second line included free
- Toll-free numbers available
- Bring your own device options
- No vanity numbers
- Some plans come with minute restrictions
- Poor call quality
- Poor customer service and tech support
- No mobile apps
- Expensive for the quality/features
Pricing/Minutes/Contract: (Rating: 3/10)
ViaTalk Business offers three plans for business users: a plan with 1500 minutes, unlimited plan and the unlimited plan where you can bring your own device. When you sign up, you get a second line for free, plus 40 unique features.
Unfortunately, contracts are required with ViaTalk business. If you choose to cancel, you will be charged a $49.95 disconnect fee – but only if you cancel while under contract. There is a 14-day money back guarantee period to try them risk free. The company also charges numerous fees to return equipment, the condition of the equipment, etc.
For the unlimited plan, minutes include local and long-distance (including Canada). But, ViaTalk business forgets to mention that business users have unlimited minutes up to 5100 minutes. While t is not truly unlimited, this is more than some competitors cap their users at, which is usually 3,000 minutes. Overage fees for businesses start at 1.9 cent per minute over.
The bring your own device plan still costs just as much as the plan with a company-provided device. While you still get unlimited minutes, some users may expect a discount of some sort for having their own equipment.
Call Management: (Rating: 6/10)
ViaTalk business users do have access to a very user-friendly control panel. From this panel they can access phone numbers and billing, turn on or off the features they need, etc. While they do have an iPhone app, it has not been updated since 2009 and most users complain it does not work or is not functional with the latest iOS software. There are no other mobile apps. Administrators do have a lot of control over their account, and they can route calls, add users, add lines, and purchase equipment as it is needed through the online portal.
Available Numbers: (Rating: 6/10)
ViaTalk does offer toll-free numbers, local numbers, fax numbers, and extensions. Local numbers have an activation fee, but after that you only pay per line, per month. Toll-free numbers and faxing features cost extra per month. There are no vanity numbers at this time.
Advanced Features: (Rating: 2/10)
The features that come with ViaTalk are fairly basic. They do not offer any call center capabilities, call queues, innovative caller ID programs, etc. You can three-way call, but you cannot conference call and there are no HD calling or video conferencing options. But, because of their affordable price, you still get a good deal of features for the money each month.
Usability/Ease of Use: (Rating: 7/10)
ViaTalk is very easy to use and setup. Their control panel is user-friendly, they have very active forums where business users can ask questions and receive answers, and the software is simple. Account and call management is a breeze with the company.
Help & Support: (Rating: 7/10)
Unfortunately, while they have 24/7 tech support, it is slow, unhelpful and a lot of users felt the support was lacking. The help guides online do have a good deal of information, but for those that want to contact tech support via phone, they are limited to hours. And the 24/7 email/ticket submission system does not respond as quickly as users would expect.
ViaTalk Pricing and Plans
There are three plans with ViaTalk Business and all require a contract, but come with a second line for free:
VT Business 1500: Up to 1500 domestic minutes, voicemail, call waiting and caller ID included. Equipment is included as part of the contract as well as a fax line. Starts at $34.95 per month.
VT Business Unlimited: Unlimited domestic minutes (up to 5100 minutes), voicemail,caller ID, call waiting, fax line, equipment included. Starts at $42.95 per month.
VT Business BYOD: This plan requires you to bring your own device. Comes with unlimited minutes (up to 5100 minutes), voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, fax line. Starts at $42.95 per month.
What We Like About ViaTalk
Free Features: ViaTalk Business does offer their users plenty of free features. From voicemail to caller ID, call waiting and a fax line as well as equipment – all for the same low monthly rate.
User-Friendly Online Panel: You do not have to be tech-savvy to operate ViaTalk. Their control panel is user-friendly and easy even for those who have never used VoIP services. They have detailed instructions online for setup too, so a user shouldn't take more than a few minutes to set it all up and start using it.
Help Guides and More: ViaTalk does have a searchable knowledgebase, FAQs section and support. Direct help is available with a ViaTalk representative via telephone, live chat and email too.
Unlimited Plans: ViaTalk does offer an unlimited business plan with unlimited domestic calls to Canada and the U.S. The equipment is included along with other unique features (as well as enhanced voicemail).
Bring Your Own Device: Some businesses shopping for VoIP will already have adapters and IP phones. It is refreshing that ViaTalk can offer a bring-your-own device plan for those who do.
What We Didn't Like About ViaTalk
No Mobile App: Most VoIP services have some sort of mobile app that either lets you control your service or operate as a softphone. ViaTalk does not have a mobile app. For businesses that operate on-the-go, this is a major disadvantage.
No Discounts for BYOD Plans: While they allow you to bring your own device, they do not offer a discount for doing so. The BYOD Unlimited plan is exactly same as the one where ViaTalk offers an adapter – giving no incentive to those who have their own device.
Cannot Call Transfer: Despite the plethora of free features they offer, ViaTalk cannot transfer calls. That means you are literally restricted to only the phone you've connected to the adapter and the phone number associated with it.
Cannot Conference Call: ViaTalk lacks the ability to do conference calls. For most businesses, this is a drawback, because most will want to host conference calls with vendors, employees, or management.
Steep Pricing for Services: Considering the call quality and lack of advanced features, ViaTalk comes at a steep price compared to other VoIP providers. There are some that offer lower monthly rates, equipment and better features.
Tech Support Unresponsive: Despite the fact they offer 24/7 tech support, it is sluggish and plenty of users have reported them being unresponsive. For users that are new to VoIP, having a stellar reputation for quick response is important.
ViaTalk Business is a good choice for companies that want domestic calling, cheaper rates and vanity numbers, but may not be ideal for large companies or companies with an international client base.