TollFreeForwarding versus GlobalCallForwarding, how do these providers of USA toll free numbers and international toll free numbers and call forwarding service compare?
When it comes to call forwarding service providers, you have plenty of providers from which to choose. A quick Google search brings up dozens and dozens of companies offering toll free numbers and call forwarding service.
From this wide variety of toll free service providers, we selected two of the top providers TollFreeForwarding.com and GlobalCallForwarding.com to compare their service offerings. TollFreeForwarding is based out of Los Angeles, California. GlobalCallForwarding.com is a brand of UWT (United World Telecom). UWT is headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida.
How I Created This Comparison
I chose to compare these two providers as if I were shopping for United States toll free numbers. That is, toll free numbers that would work anywhere in the United States so that calls from customers in the USA to my USA toll free number would be forwarded to my office landline or mobile phone.
In addition, I wanted to ask these questions to determine how to set up my USA toll free numbers purchased from each provider.
- Is there a cost difference for forwarding my purchased USA toll free number to a landline or cell phone?
- Can I change, by myself, where the toll free number forwards? Like between my cell phone or home phone?
- Will the toll free number work with a softphone (like the Bria 3 softphone I bought from Counterpath)?
For the comparison, I collected data based on the following criteria:
- Website Visibility – Can We Find the Site
- Site Usability
- Services Offered
- Online Reviews
- Product Comparison
- Shopping Experience
It looks like both service providers have websites that are easy to find by any standard. Both companies spend heavily for PPC advertising, and both have many pages indexed by Google and Bing search engines.
If you search for providers, you’ll find that TollFreeForwarding ranks well for 10 popular keywords, and ranks overall 2,793 keywords including “toll free forwarding”, “usa phone numbers”, and “1800 numbers” as examples. There’s no chance you’ll search for a toll free number provider and miss them.
Nearly 74% of TollFreeForwarding customers like me arrive on the site by way of PPC ads clicked. Popular terms on which TollFreeForwarding advertises include “get a phone number”, “free forwarding number”, “toll free numbers”, and “call forwarding”.
If you search for a toll free number provider, you will certainly find GlobalCallForwarding.com. The site ranks well for 6 keywords including “global call forwarding” and “800 call forwarding”.
More than 60% of visitors like me arrive on GlobalCallForwarding.com arrive by way of PPC ads. Popular search terms on which GlobalCallForwarding.com advertises include “free us number”, “phone forwarding”, and “international toll free numbers”. For this study, I also noted that GlobalCallForwarding.com ads show up for my searches like “free us number” and “get free us phone number”.
Here I was interested in finding out how easy it is to find information about how USA toll free numbers work and how to buy them. And of course, I wanted to see how easy it would be to buy a USA toll free number on each web site. I had a decent experience on each site, but there were some interesting differences.
The homepage is simple, clean, and concise. The first thing I’m drawn to is the informative video about how international call forwarding works. The video is a short 60-seconds, but gives a complete idea of what a toll free number is and how I could benefit from buying a number here.
I noticed that, if you are ready to purchase a phone number, you can do so easily right from the front page.
What I think you will find most beneficial on the website, is the “How it Works” section that offers several interactive videos for each of the features.
When you visit TollFreeForwarding.com you can also check out some customer testimonials. Some of the testimonials come from well-known companies, like Sega, Linksys, and eHarmony. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is separated into five sections: Getting Started, Phone Numbers, Technical, Billing, and Glossary. Each question is answered without using too much technical jargon. Another nice feature is the Glossary page. The Glossary defines just about every term related to the telephone industry.
Overall, TollFreeForwarding.com makes it simple to find what you’re looking for, and provides additional helpful information in case you’re not sure what you need. There really is a lot to read. When you visit, you can find a significant amount of information to read through before deciding if the services offered fit your needs.
TollFreeForwarding.com offers a special but very limited mobile version of the site for smart phone users. The mobile site offers only the most crucial functions and features, like finding and purchasing a phone number. This is very convenient considering the “on-the-go” world we live in.
If you still aren’t quite ready to complete your purchase, you can browse the TollFreeForwarding.com blog, watch a “How it Works” video, or view the full website.
From an appearance perspective, the GlobalCallForwarding website is very clean and easy to navigate. You can select a phone number and view rates right on the homepage, or wander over to the tool bar to view more information like the Features, How it Works videos, FAQ’s, etc.
The Live Support icon is accessible on every page, so if you have a question about something you’ve read on the FAQ or Rates page, you can easily start chatting with a support representative.
Although the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section provides a lot of good questions and answers, I felt that the answers could be expanded upon a little more. The answers seemed to be factual but rather concise. As a shopper, I was looking for a little more narrative and background information.
Overall, the GlobalCallForwarding.com website is informative, straight-forward, and easy for you to navigate. And you always have the option of speaking with a support representative if you have any questions about their services.
The GlobalCallForwarding.com website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, but you can still access the full website through your tablet. Using a smart phone took more patience than I wanted to give it because I had to stretch the pages on my iPhone to magnify the tiny text.
Mobile load time on a smart phone is also very slow. On an iPhone 3GS, you can expect to wait as long as 13 to 15 seconds for the home page to finish loading.
TollFreeForwarding.com offers six different packages of bundled minutes, as well as customized packages for companies using over 5,000 minutes per month. You can compare the monthly fee, as well as the rate per minute for additional minutes (beyond those provided in the plan) used. There is a 30-day free trial, but potential customers have the option of skipping the trial and purchasing their toll free phone number on the spot.
I found that the monthly and per minute rates shown were updated instantly when I changed the destination (forward to location) of the incoming call. It’s a convenience I think most shoppers will like, especially first-time buyers.
Available packages for a USA toll free number that will ring to a US Landline are shown below. I emphasize “US landline” because the per minute cost depends on where you forward your toll free number – to a laptop, mobile phone, or landline. In my shopping comparison here, I looked at US toll free numbers forwarded to a landline.
Below are the available packages for a USA toll free number that will ring to VoIP/SiP Phone. As you can see, the number of included minutes increases, but cost stays the same for calls ringing to VoIP.
You can read VoIP versus Landline to learn more about how these two services differ.
Each package comes with many additional features that traditional telephone services don’t usually offer in a basic monthly service. You can learn more about the features listed below at TollFreeForwarding.com.
- Call Forwarding
- Time of Day Routing
- Auto Attendant
- Online Control Center
- Fax to Email
- Voicemail to Email
- Sequential and Simultaneous Ringing
- Local/International Ringback Tones
- Failover Routing
- Unlimited Extensions
- Dynamic Caller ID
GlobalCallForwarding offers five packages of bundled minutes, as well as a pay-as-you-go option (pay for only what you use). Just like TollFreeForwarding, the rates are updated instantly when the destination of the call (location where the call will be forwarded) is changed.
Below are the packages and rates for a United States toll free number that will ring to a landline:
Below are the packages and rates for a United States toll free number that will ring to VoIP/SIP Phone:
Each package comes with additional features. You can learn more about these features on the GlobalCallForwarding website.
- Rollover Minutes
- Call Forwarding
- Local Ringtones
- Sequential Forwarding
- Simultaneous Ringing
- Black & White Lists
- Fax to Email
- Voicemail to Email
- Customized Greeting
- Select Country Forwarding
- Account Management
Most of the online customer reviews for TollFreeForwarding.com are positive and speak highly of their local and international services, speedy set-up time, and low monthly cost. Here’s an example I found helpful.
Of course, as with any business, there are bound to be a few negative reviews. From the reviews I read, it looks like the most frequently listed complaints were about the TollFreeForwarding.com customer support representatives, not about the actual services.
An additional helpful tollfreeforwarding.com review on About.com describes user experience with the control panel, including changing the ring-to number and other usual tasks.
I could not find any real customer reviews for GlobalCallForwarding.com online. The website itself has 100% ratings for safety and content, so it’s at least being well-maintained. Existing reviews, like this sample review for parent company UWT (at uwtcallback.com) were generally favorable.
Product Comparison – TollFreeForwarding.com verus GlobalCallForwarding.com
TollFreeForwarding and GlobalCallForwarding offer key features when you purchase a local or international toll free numbers. Many of these features are also offered by other toll free number providers. However, both TollFreeForwarding and GlobalCallForwarding have additional features that might be more beneficial to your company.
Plan Price Points
TollFreeForwarding.com and GlobalCallForwarding.com offer many price points – packages of bundled minutes for a fixed price per month, along with flat rate for minutes used beyond those covered in the plan.
A side by side comparison shows that the two providers have similar plans at about the same rate, with GlobalCallForwarding.com offering a slightly higher discount at the enterprise level.
Plan Cost Comparisons
Here I imagined a small IT consulting firm that provides about 15 minutes per day, on average, of telephone support for each customer. As the company grows from 2 customers to 4 and then 8 customers, the toll free minutes per month needed grows from 660 minutes to 1,320 minutes, then 2,640 minutes. (Price comparison based on calls forwarded to a US landline.)
I wanted to ask my three questions about configuring and using my USA toll free number.
TollFreeForwarding doesn’t have a Live Chat option, so I decided to send an email to one of their sales representatives. An email was sent to their sales team on a Friday, but I was never contacted by anyone. After reaching out to them again the following Monday, I was still unable to speak to anyone. I decided to go ahead and purchase a United States toll free number online at the TollFreeForwarding.com website.
The site offered me a 30-day free trial, but also offered to let me skip the trial and complete the purchase immediately.
I decided to just go ahead with the 30-day Free Trial. After filling out the Free Trial form on the homepage, I received an email with a link to complete my activation. This then provided more details, showing that the 30 Day Free Trial is limited to a $10 credit on calling minutes, and also showing that a $30 credit is available if I were to buy right away.
In other words, if I chose the free trial, it would only last for 30 days or $10 worth of calls, whichever comes first. One advantage of skipping the free trial is that I’d receive a $30 credit towards my account.
Unlike GobalCallForwarding that I tested later, I was able to choose from among the following US toll free prefixes: 844, 855, 866, and 877. GlobalCallForwarding.com offers just 877 USA toll free numbers.
If you are shopping TollFreeForwarding.com, to instantly activate your number you must provide a valid credit card. Otherwise a sales representative will contact you shortly to collect your information. In my case, after I filled out the credit card form, I received an activation email with my account username and password. I then called my new USA toll free number and it was indeed active as promised. No problems.
To ask my three questions, I initiated a Live Chat with a sales representative. Unfortunately, we were disconnected after 4 brief minutes. When we finally re-connected, the sales rep offered to give me a call so that he could answer my questions more thoroughly.
This worked out very well. He was very friendly and patient, incredibly knowledgeable, well-spoken, and easy to understand. My questions were a little vague, but he was able to provide detailed answers that went beyond what I asked, and which were very informative.
After the call, I proceeded to the “View My Rates” section of GlobalCallForwarding to purchase a USA Toll Free Number. I decided to go with the standard (pay-as-you-go) plan, as opposed to a bundled package of minutes. The Service Features that come with the Standard Plan are conveniently located directly beneath the pricing.
GlobalCallForwarding only offers 877 US toll free numbers at this time. It’s not a huge problem, but it could affect your decision to purchase a number from this company in the unlikely case in which you were required to get a certain prefix to match a marketing campaign. OK, I said it was unlikely.
Upon checkout, I was informed that my application had been received and that it would take approximately one business day to be processed. My account details and user instructions were sent to me via email within 30 minutes. My new USA toll free number was actually ready to use within the hour with no problems.
Both TollFreeForwarding.com and GlobalCallForwarding.com websites are very usable and easy to navigate. The buying process at GlobalCallForwarding with the live chat was a little easier to use. All of my questions were answered quickly and thoroughly
Both services provided working toll free numbers very quickly and without problems for the basic USA toll free number I purchased.
Overall, I’d say the friendly customer service agent who called back from GlobalCallForwarding influenced me to give GlobalCallForwarding.com the edge on overall experience. At the same time, TollFreeForwarding.com offered lower costs for the three monthly minutes used examples I tested and reported above.
To summarize, GlobalCallForwarding.com feels like a good fit for startups and entrepreneurs with smaller businesses. With unlimited extensions and larger calling packages, and a lower price for larger monthly calling needs, TollFreeForwarding.com may be a better choice for mid size to larger businesses.