February 27, 2018

Smith.ai vs. Gabbyville: Live Answering Service Comparison

It's not easy to decide on a live answering service. Do you need receptionists who make both inbound and outbound calls? Who schedule appointments? Who handle live transfers to you and your staff? Today, we compare Smith.ai virtual receptionists to Gabbyville.

Setup fees, trials & contracts


  • 30-day/10-call free trial (whichever comes first)

  • No set up fee
  • No contract


  • 21-day money-back guarantee

  • $99 setup fee for Starter and Basic plans

  • No contract for monthly plans; annual contracts also available

Discussion: Not only does Smith.ai offer a free 30-day trial period, but we also offer free setup. Gabbyville charges a setup fee for their two lower-tier plans, and does not provide a free trial period, only a money-back guarantee, which requires paying upfront before you've had a chance to test the service.

Monthly plans

Here’s how monthly plans from Smith.ai and Gabbyville compare:


  • $60 for 10 live receptionist calls and 1 live transfer number

  • $150 for 30 live receptionist calls and 2 live transfer numbers

  • $450 for 100 live receptionist calls and 5 live transfer numbers

  • Custom plans available


  • $229 for 100 minutes ($209 with annual contract)

  • $429 for 250 minutes ($389 with annual contract)

  • $799 for 600 minutes ($719 with annual contract)

  • $1,169 for 1,000 minutes ($1,059 with annual contract)

  • Custom plans available

Discussion: Even if you opt for the annual contract with Gabbyville, which means getting a discount monthly of up to 10%, monthly plans from Smith.ai are still far more affordable than those from Gabbyville, with the lowest plan starting at just $60/month.

Consider for a moment that an average business call is about five minutes, according to the Invoca Call Intelligence Report. Smith.ai's $150/month plan would allow for 30 five-minute calls, but Gabbyville's closest $229/month plan would only allow for 20 five-minute calls, with those 10 extra five-minute calls adding on another $62.50, bringing the total to $291.50/month (or $271.50 if you're on an annual contract). Smith.ai is nearly half the price of Gabbyville in this scenario.

If your calls are even just three minutes each on average, the Smith.ai plan can deliver 30 calls for $150 while Gabbyville can deliver 33 calls for $209, if you're on the annual plan with the discount. It'll cost you just $15 to have Smith.ai handle the three extra calls, bringing the monthly cost to $175. Over the course of a year, you'd save $408 with Smith.ai.

Looking at a bigger plan? Smith.ai's $450/month plan can deliver 100 five-minute calls, where as Gabbyville's $429/month plan delivers just 50. For an extra $21, you get an extra 50 calls! Even if it's just three minutes per call that you're averaging, Gabbyville gets you only 83 calls, and it would cost you $102 more ($531 total per month) for their receptionists to answer those 17 additional calls.

Only when your calls are incredibly short does Gabbyville have an advantage at cost-per-call, and we encourage you to consider what sort of calls these are. Are new leads and current clients only spending a minute or two on the phone? It often takes three to five minutes to complete a high-quality phone call (based on our data from hundreds of thousands of calls since 2015), yet Gabbyville states most of their calls last "1 minute to 1 minute and 50 seconds." At Smith.ai, we never use scripts, and our receptionists are trained to actively listen and respond individually to callers. This can lead to longer call times, but results in much happier callers.

Overage costs


  • $6.00/call on the $60/month plan

  • $5.00/call on the $150/month plan

  • $4.50/call on the $400/month plan


  • $2.50/minute on the $229/month plan
  • $2.00/minute on the $429/month plan
  • $1.75/minute on the $799/month plan
  • $1.50/minute on the $1,169/month plan

DiscussionSmith.ai never charges more per call if you go over your monthly plan allotment, but Gabbyville does. The Smith.ai overage charges are billed at the same exact rate as the calls included with your monthly plan. Gabbyville charges a premium for overage minutes. For example, on the lowest-price plan, "included" minutes are $2.29 each, but overage minutes are $2.50 each. This is the case for every one of their plans.

At Smitha.ai, we believe consistent prices are fair prices, and that you shouldn't be penalized for not correctly estimating the number of calls you'll receive each month. 

Now for the actual cost breakdown on overage. Continuing to assume an average call length of five minutes, you'd pay at least $7.50 per overage call with Gabbyville, compared to $6.00 per overage call with Smith.ai. Even if your average call length is a mere three minutes, Gabbyville would charge a minimum $4.50 to $7.50 each, whereas Smith.ai charges a much more predictable and less variable $4.00 to $6.00 per call (as long as you remain within reasonable use).


Smith.ai and Gabbyville both offer the following features:

  • Live call answering Monday to Friday
  • Live call transfers

  • Customized call answering procedures

  • Online appointment scheduling

  • Lead intake form completion

  • Messages forwarded via email and/or SMS

  • No charge for spam calls

  • U.S.-based receptionists
  • Initiating and bridging conference calls
  • Spanish-speaking receptionists


Smith.ai offers the following additional features:

  • Lead qualification
  • Payment collection

  • , like Clio, Lexicata, Capsule CRM, and more.

  • Integration with helpdesk ticketing software programs

  • Ability to map client history to the incoming number so clients receive personalized attention

  • Messages 

  • Custom greetings and

  • Daily call summary reports

  • Access to all receptionists


Gabbyville offers the following additional features:

  • Dedicated team of 4 to 5 receptionists

Discussion: Smith.ai and Gabbyville offer many of the same features with their live answering services. Smith.ai answers calls 9 AM to 9 PM EST while Gabbyville answers between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM EST. However, Smith.ai gives you access to all of our receptionists, and not just a dedicated team of 4 to 5 people familiar with your account. So, if someone is sick, you're never down a team member, and if your call volume skyrockets one day, Smith.ai can handle it with ease.

While Gabbyville and Smith.ai both handle lead intake forms for your business, Smith.ai is able to pipe this data directly into your CRM so it appears alongside your other client records. Gabbyville makes the data accessible in your dashboard, which you can then review and input into your CRM, resulting in more work for you. Smith.ai can also qualify leads, answering questions from callers about your practice areas, fees, and other aspects of your business to determine if they're a good fit for your business before an intake form is even completed, reducing the time you need to spend reviewing intake forms that may or may not represent good potential clients.


Overall, Smith.ai offers a robust set of live answering service features at much more accessible prices than Gabbyville. Just like Gabbyville, Smith.ai's receptionists are based in the U.S. and are well versed in American business practices and phone etiquette, so your callers get a great experience every time with Smith.ai, but at a fraction of the price.

Smith.ai client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it! Here’s what a client of ours had to say about making the switch from Gabbyville to Smith.ai:

“I've been using Gabbyville for about 9 months, and while I'm generally satisfied, I decided to make a switch to Smith.ai. I had filled out and then revised my ‘meet and greet’ with Gabbyville and they never seemed to follow it. I've used up my trial at Smith.ai and I really liked that they send me not only a message after any call, but also a daily summary. Gabbyville would send me a weekly spreadsheet (which they forgot to do for several weeks, so I missed billing for calls). The Smith.ai emails are much more visually pleasing, and I can just text them when I'm away or with a client, whereas with Gabbyville I would email it when I was in court or out for a long period of time.”

- Scott Nyman, Nyman IP

Learn more about Smith.ai

Smith.ai virtual receptionists are trained to learn your business and build a relationship with your customers. Discuss your options with us by calling (650) 727-6484 Monday through Friday between 5am – 6pm PT. You can also reach us by email at support@smith.ai. Signing up for our 30-day/10-call free trial is a great way to get started.

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