May 11, 2018 vs. Answer 1: Live Answering Service Comparison

Are you missing calls and letting your leads and clients reach your voicemail? Don't miss out on new business or the opportunity to give your current clients a great experience with your business. It may be time to consider a virtual receptionist service. Discover the differences in features and pricing between and Answer 1 virtual receptionists.

Setup fees, contracts & trials

  • No setup fee
  • No contracts
  • 30-day/10-call free trial (whichever comes first)

Answer 1

  • $90 setup fee
  • No contracts
  • 21-day money-back guarantee

Discussion: is the better option when it comes to getting started. With us, you never have to pay a setup fee, and we also let you try our services for up to a month for free. Answer 1 does not have a free trial period, and each of their plans requires a $90 upfront activation fee.

Monthly plans

Here’s how's and Answer 1’s monthly plans 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

Answer 1

  • $239 for 100 minutes
  • $399 for 200 minutes
  • $749 for 500 minutes
  • Customs plans available

Discussion: offers plans that are a lot more affordable for both small and large businesses. If an average business call is five minutes (according to the 2015 Invoca Call Intelligence Report), then Answer 1's 100-minute plan allows for only 20 calls; with, you can get 10 more of those five-minute calls for $89 less per month. Even if your calls are just three minutes each on average, that will get you 33 calls for $239. 33 calls with would be $150 for the 30-call plan, plus $5 for each of the additional three calls, amounting to an extra cost of $15 and a total cost of $165 per month, still far less costly than Answer 1.

Moreover, blocks spam, sales, and wrong-number calls for free, while Answer 1 charges for all calls, including spam. This is yet another way you will save money with

Overage costs

  • $6.00/call on the $60/month plan
  • $5.00/call on the $150/month plan
  • $4.50/call on the $450/month plan

Answer 1

  • $2.39/minute on the $239/month plan
  • $1.99/minute on the $399/month plan
  • $1.49/minute on the $749/month plan

Discussion: Both and Answer 1 charge the same per-call and per-minute rates for overage as they do on the base plan, so you'll never be penalized with higher unit costs if you exceed your monthly plan allottment.

Features and Answer 1 both provide the following features:

  • Lead qualification & client intake
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Integration with popular CRMs
  • Bilingual receptionists available
  • U.S.-based receptionists
  • Custom call handling procedures has the following additional features:

  • Payment collection
  • Integration with helpdesk ticketing software programs
  • Client history mapping to ensure callers receive personalized attention
  • Messages texted to you or forwarded to a Slack channel
  • Custom greetings and after-hours voicemail
  • Daily call summary reports
  • No charge for spam, unsolicited sales, or wrong-number calls


Answer 1 offers the following additional features:

  • 24/7 live answering services
  • Industry-specific virtual receptionists
  • Mobile app and desktop portal


Discussion: and Answer 1 both offer a robust set of services for businesses and solo professionals, but there are a few features that don't fit neatly within bullet points. One example: When you choose, we give you access to our whole team of virtual receptionists. At Answer 1 your business will be assigned to a team of dedicated receptionists depending on your industry. While this initially appears to be a benefit to your customers, it is not always advantageous during busy seasons or when you start receiving more calls as your business grows or you launch a new marketing campaign, as you must allow time for new team members to be trained to handle your calls. At, because any receptionist can answer your calls (thanks to our proprietary software presenting them with key information on your business at the right time during each call), we can scale up instantly to handle your higher call volume.

Additionally, with's per-call pricing, you get a predictable bill every month that is far easier to tie to your operations than per-minute pricing. For example, you can see how many calls you paid for, how many of those were from new leads or existing clients, and the result of those calls, whether that's new clients, appointments, or happier customers who have sent you more referrals. 

Consider also whether you really need 24/7 phone coverage, or if you could save money by opting only for's Monday through Friday coverage, which includes calls made between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm PST (9:00 am and 9:00 pm EST). It may be more prudent to set a custom after-hours voicemail, which provides, and have your receptionists return missed calls in the morning during business hours.

Note: Some features offered by Answer 1 (like CRM support, calendaring, and secure text messaging) have added fees. With, optional add-ons incur extra fees, as well (see our Pricing page for details), and you may pay extra for calls if you exceed the Reasonable Use policy. During onboarding, we will clearly identify any additional costs so you know exactly how much you will be paying each month.


Nearly every business owner who is in the market for a virtual receptionist service wants to give callers the experience of an in-house receptionist at a fraction of the cost. That’s why and Answer 1 provide such a full range of services that support all of the receptionist functions that a business needs, like lead intake and qualification, appointment scheduling, and integration with the tools you use every day, like your CRM. 

While there are feature-based differences that distinguish as a more robust service, such as outbound calling, there is also a major price difference.'s services are cheaper on a per-call basis, and also offers a lower starting price, which is ideal for small businesses and solo professionals who simply want overflow call handling to avoid callers reaching voicemail. For the most advanced yet affordable solution, is the clear choice. client testimonial

Don't just take our word for it. Read what a long-time customer had to say:

“I've been using them for awhile and they invaluable to my law practice. Everyone says how great my receptionists are and I'm paying a fraction of the cost of an in house receptionist.”

- Regina Edwards, Edwards Family Law

Try for free

The team at is dedicated to helping your business run smoothly, enabling you to capture more leads, and making your existing clients even happier. To learn more about our virtual receptionist services, contact us Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm PST at (650) 727-6484, or email us at The best way to get started is with our 30-day/10-call free trial.

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