I am looking for recommendations for telephonic conference calling services.
November 23, 2004 6:57 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for recommendations for telephonic conference calling services. [more]

I am looking for a service where a host can set up a telephonic conference call and any number of participants can be given a phone number and password to join the call. I'm not having trouble finding services. I am looking for recommendations about inexpensive or reliable vendors, and any experiences good or bad, that people might have had with such services.
posted by madamjujujive to Technology (4 answers total)
Best answer: I've used "www.freeconference.com" a fair amount, and been pretty happy. They've basically got two options: you can either give people non-toll phone numbers to use, and the conference is free, or you can have them give out toll-free numbers, and you pay a relatively inexpensive rate.

They haven't been perfect--my two main gripes have been that the welcoming message says "Welcome to Free Conferences", even if you're paying for the toll-free lines, and the occasional lack of access, but overall, I've been as happy with them as I've been with any other provider, and they're definitely a lot cheaper.

You can set up pre-defined groups if you've got recurring calls, etc., people get invitations that they can RSVP on, and they've got a couple other little bells and whistles, like you can pay $10 to get an MP3 recording of the call, or you can arrange to have a call transcribed afterward for a fee. (They also seem to have services in Europe, if that's what you need.)
posted by LairBob at 7:29 AM on November 23, 2004

[Whoops...you can either give people toll numbers to call, for no fee to you, or you can give out toll-free numbers for a certain rate per person per minute.]
posted by LairBob at 7:31 AM on November 23, 2004

Best answer: I've worked with a number of services as a clerical professional (I've been in this business around a decade). I've been most happy with Global Crossing's Ready Access service. It's a DIY kind of thing, you get an account and PIN, the PIN lets you initiate a call, anyone you give the account can dial in. My experience is that it has been very reliable and handled large numbers of callers with excellent fidelity. However, it's part of an enterprise solution for my employer, I don't know whether it would be accessible to the individual, and I don't handle the cost side. I know my employer switched to it because of comparison shopping for a better price.
posted by nanojath at 11:39 AM on November 23, 2004

Response by poster: LairBob and nanojath - I very much appreciate your taking the time to share your experiences - thank you!
posted by madamjujujive at 2:39 PM on November 24, 2004

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