If you’re looking for a thorough RingCentral review, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll be discussing the pros, cons, and alternatives to RingCentral, so you can clearly evaluate whether this is a good phone service for you.
IJust a few decades ago, phone systems were hard wired. You’d pay a monthly subscription to have a landline phone, but the problem was…
You could only answer the landline phone if you were in the location where the connection was! For example, if the phone line is wired at your house, and you get a call while you’re taking your kids to school, you’d miss the call. For years, the best solution for missed calls from a landline was voicemail, but now, technology has evolved even further!
For businesses, the landline era was even worse! In order to funnel calls to the appropriate personnel, businesses were buying these expensive PBX devices to play the call holding music, perform call routing, record calls, and have auto-receptionists. For other functionality, like faxes or conferencing, they were paying for completely different services. Business communication solutions were costing small businesses hundreds of dollars every month, and big businesses were paying thousands or more! Even after paying all of that money, they still were very limited.
If you wanted to work from home, it was almost impossible because you’re phone line would be left unattended. If you left the phone unattended, you’d have customers and prospects who would get subpar service, and if the calls were time-sensitive, you could end up with serious customer complaints.
Thanks to great innovators, the old solutions may be coming to a close as the internet is making a more robust business climate. RingCentral is one option for those who want more flexible communication, and in this review, I plan to show you why.
In this RingCentral review, I will give you:
- What it is
- How it works
- Pros and Cons
- What it does well and what it does not
- What others are saying (good and bad)
- My Recommendation
- And, Alternatives (in case you want to do some comparison shopping)
If you decide at any point you want to skip the remainder of the review and try RingCentral for yourself, scroll to the bottom to create your free trial account.
- 1 What is RingCentral? An Overview
- 2 How Does RingCentral Work?
- 3 How Do I Get Started with RingCentral?
- 4 Who is RingCentral For?
- 5 RingCentral Tools & Training
- 6 RingCentral Support
- 7 What Does RingCentral Do Well
- 8 What Doesn’t RingCentral Do Well
- 9 RingCentral Review Roundup
- 10 RingCentral Price
- 11 My Final Opinion of RingCentral
- 12 Top Alternatives
- 13 VERDICT: Recommend (as an upgrade for PBX users or landline users)
- 14 RingCentral VOIP Business Phone Service
- 15 Pros
- 16 Cons
What is RingCentral? An Overview
RingCentral is a company founded by Vlad Shmunis in 1999. When landline phone services were most common, RingCentral brought a cloud-based solution to the market that’s disrupted the business communication space. They offer:
- Cloud phone systems
- Team messaging
- Video conferencing (with up to 1000 attendees)
- Mobile communication apps
- and, Online fax
With RingCentral, your communication isn’t limited to your mobile phone or landline, but instead, one phone number can be seamlessly integrated onto every device you own. Added to that, the features of the “old school” PBX systems can be integrated into your business VOIP phone system. Features like:
- Automated call recording
- Call forwarding
- Video conferencing
- Audio conferencing
- Online meetings
- Internet fax (from any device with RingCentral access)
- Answering rules (to stop calls outside of office hours, etc.)
- Voicemail to email
- Dial by name directory
- Dial by number directory
- Music on hold
- and more
Here’s a video that explains a little more:
How Does RingCentral Work?
Most people know you can get a free phone number with Google Voice and forward it to other phones, right? The free service is a major perk for those who want to separate personal from business communication.
- At some point, even the free phone service may not be sufficient. Once you decide you want:
- A vanity phone number (like 1-800-VANITY3)
- A call tree where people can be routed from one phone number to an extension
- Automated call recording
- Video conferences
- Hold time music, or other premium features…
Then, you’ll need an alternative solution. You can port your phone number from Google Voice or GET A NEW NUMBER FROM RINGCENTRAL. With your new phone number, you can set up a plethora of new features. Here’s a video walkthru of how to set everything up:
How Does Ringcentral Compare to Others (GrassHopper, FreedomVoice, Phone.com)?
If you’re wondering how RingCentral compares to their competitors, here’s a video with some of the differences:
How Do I Get Started with RingCentral?
To get started with RingCentral, you:
1. Choose Your Number
You can choose from a local number, vanity number, or 1-800 number.
2. Choose Your Plan
RingCentral has 4 plans: essentials, standard, premium, and ultimate. Each plan has different features, and you’ll have to decide which ones are most suitable for your business. CHECK OUT THE RINGCENTRAL FEATURES HERE.
3. Add Users
If you’re a solopreneur and you only have one user, you’d add that here. However, if you have a team, in this step would be where you’d add your team.
Then, you’ll checkout by entering your personal information and billing details.
Who is RingCentral For?
RingCentral is for:
- Businesses who use the phone for regular business communication
- Those who would use the advanced features of RingCentral like call rules,auto-attendant, or on-hold-music
- Those who would appreciate video conferencing, email-to-fax, or other communication features you can’t get on a mobile phone plan or free phone option (like Google Voice)
- PBX users who want to trasition to a more affordable plan that offers a similar service
- Also it’s best for mobile users who have access to a 3G or 4G mobile network
RingCentral Tools & Training
When you’re logged onto RingCentral, they offer several tutorials so you can use the features of their service.
They offer phone, email, and live chat support to existing and potential customers.
What Does RingCentral Do Well
- RingCentral has disrupted a service that used to be quite cumbersome for many people
- They have made it possible for users to answer their phones from whichever device they like
- They integrate several features
- You can scale from using a forwarded phone number up to full offline VOIP phones
- They work well for small businesses and enterprises
- They have more positive customer reviews than negative
What Doesn’t RingCentral Do Well
- They don’t have the lowest prices –There are competitors in the space who compete with price
- They have quite a few negative reviews
- They don’t let customers cancel when they want. Instead, you have to finish out a contract.
- Customer complaints suggest the customer service isn’t helpful and they have long hold times
RingCentral Review Roundup
Here’s a compilation of reviews I’ve found on RingCentral to help you to have a realistic perspective of their strengths and weaknesses…
Common Positive Feedback
- RingCentral satisfied the needs of several customers
- Customers who previously had landlines or PBX services were especially happy with the service
Common Negative Feedback
- Smaller businesses that need more flexibility to upgrade or downgrade without penalties were especially unhappy with RingCentral
- Customers complained that they’d added lines they didn’t need, then were required to finish out the contract–losing lots of money
- Some customers have complained that the customer support isn’t helpful
- Customers who use the fax services have said they send faxes and only a partial goes thru
- Customers said they’re overpriced
- Poor call quality
- Customers dislike the early termination fees
- They don’t like being under a contract
RingCentral offers several options including plans with forwarding-only capabilities, however, the primary four plans break down like this…
My Final Opinion of RingCentral
Overall, RingCentral isn’t for everyone. They’re the industry leader of the business VOIP services, however, some things about them make them not a good recommendation for agile, growing companies. I wouldn’t recommend RingCentral unless you’re confident you won’t need to transition because customer reviews suggest their not lenient about downgrades. Also, if you decide to go with RingCentral, be mindful that customers complained quite a bit about bad customer service. If you’re okay with all of the cons, and you’d like to GET STARTED WITH RINGCENTRAL. START HERE.
According to Google Trends, RingCentral is definitely a market leader, however, if you’re not convinced that RingCentral will work for your business, and you’d like to comparison shop, here are my top recommendations:
eVoice offers VOIP phone service, scalable plans, conference calling, call recording, and a very nice user interface. If you’d like to see my full review and video tour, check out my full eVoice review here or set up a 30-day free trial account here.
A business VOIP service provider that lets you customize the services included in your plan, offers comparable services to RingCentral, no contracts, and gives more affordable pricing. Check out my full FreedomVoice review to learn more.
A VOIP phone service provider that offers comparable services to RingCentral. The video above explains there differences. See more here.
With Google’s business plan, you can have video conferencing, team messaging, seamless use of the Google apps for your team, a @mybusiness email account for each user, and a Google Voice number for each user. Learn more.
A Virtual office provider that offers physical mailing addresses, mail forwarding, mail scanning, and a business phone number. See more here.
A web hosting service owned by Deluxe that offers services like toll free lines for email-to-fax and fax-to-email. See more here.
VERDICT: Recommend (as an upgrade for PBX users or landline users)
RingCentral VOIP Business Phone Service
- More flexible than landlines or PBX services
- They're an industry leader
- They offer lots of features
- Customers say the service is easy to use
- Customers complain about bad customer support
- They also have contracts and early termination fees
- Customers who are agile and growing complain about getting stuck with lines they don't need