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June 15, 2011 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a virtual pbx?

We are a small biz (2 people) with one being the primary for answering the phone. We currently use Google voice but if we are busy, they can only go to voice-mail.

We'd prefer something that puts callers in queue, gives them 30 seconds of music or whatever, then a chance to check out and leave a message or keep holding.

I'm trying to solve the problem where we are on long phone calls and people calling keep calling and hanging up on voice-mail, then calling back until we answer. It's annoying and isn't friendly to them to only get voice-mail.

Bonus point if we can continue to use Google voice with this solution, as we love it otherwise. If we can't, it should have Google voice-like features like where we can get voice-mails as email, make outgoing calls with the Google voice # showing for caller id, and allow customized recordings/greetings.

All my googling finds cheap ($10 / month) up to spendier ($50) - I'll pay whatever gets me the service that works best for me. I couldn't find many reviews on any of them.
posted by thilmony to Technology (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
VoIP.MS is highly configurable and definitely cheap.
posted by odinsdream at 6:06 PM on June 15, 2011

Hi there,

If you're filling a bit adventurous, you can program this yourself and gain a good measure of control, over both features and cost.

You can create something like this pretty easily with I am not a programmer and have been able to easily create some nifty voice / sms apps with help from the forums and documentation. This would cost you $0.03 / minute for voice calls. They can do voicemail like recordings and transcription of the voicemails and sending both the recording and the transcription to an email address.

For example, you could combine this touch tone menu that can transfer calls ( with this voice mail recording with transcription ( and basically get what you want.

In this case, Tropo can do all of the hosting itself, so there are no additional costs other than for the per-minute charges.

Alternatively, you could look at, which relies on a web host to install the package on and signing up for Twilio, a service which is similar to Tropo. This would cost you $10 / month for the dreamhost hosting and then $0.03 / minute for voice calls. I'm unsure if Twilio does transcriptions of voicemail messages. However, installing and configuring this service on dreamhost is really easy. OpenVBX allows you to graphically configure the PBX behaviors.

Tropo has a similar service called OpenVoice (
posted by reddot at 6:18 PM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]
posted by digividal at 10:15 PM on June 15, 2011

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