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Grasshopper Review

Best Virtual Phone System

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

For some small businesses, a traditional phone system offers more than they need. That's why virtual phone systems are the perfect fit for some businesses. Virtual phone systems give solopreneurs or businesses with a remote workforce the ability to use their mobile phones as their business phones and still present a professional image at all times. These businesses don't need a complete unified communications system. A virtual phone system allows these employers to provide their employees with a business phone line for a fraction of the cost of a traditional phone system. 

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend Grasshopper as the best virtual phone system for businesses with a mobile workforce in 2020. 

With Grasshopper, employees can set call-forwarding options that route their business calls to any other phone, such as their mobile or home phone, instead of just their business line. The system is available in three service plans that all include unlimited talking minutes. The plans differ in how many phone numbers and extensions they include. The virtual system also has valuable features, including a mobile app and an automated attendant. 

To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology, as well as a comprehensive list of business phone systems, on our best picks page

 

Editor's note: Looking for information on business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need. 

Grasshopper is available in three different service plans. Each plan includes unlimited minutes, every Grasshopper feature and a 30-day money-back guarantee, with no contract required. You can upgrade your plan at any time. 

  • Solo: The Solo plan costs $29 per month. It includes one number and three extensions.
  • Partner: The Partner plan costs $49 per month and includes three numbers and six extensions.
  • Small Business: The Small Business plan costs $89 per month and comes with five numbers and unlimited extensions. 

You can save 10% on each plan by paying annually instead of monthly. 

You might incur a few other costs. Additional phone numbers cost $10 per month each. Professional voice greetings are $75 each, and there is a one-time $30 cost for porting phone numbers into the system.

Grasshopper also offers Grasshopper Connect, which is designed for one user. It unifies all of your business calls, email and texts on one platform. Grasshopper Connect is $39 if you pay monthly, or $35 per month if you pay annually.

Part of what makes Grasshopper such an appealing option for businesses with a remote workforce is that it requires no equipment and is simple to use. 

Since Grasshopper is a virtual phone system, there is absolutely no hardware, equipment or wiring necessary to run it. It basically works as an extensive call-forwarding system. When a customer calls your business's main number, the calls are answered by an automated attendant and forwarded to the appropriate employee or department. The call then rings on the employee's preferred phone. Employees have the option of answering the call immediately, asking for caller information or transferring the call to voicemail. 

After you sign up for the service, the first step is to choose a phone number. Grasshopper gives your business a local, toll-free or vanity number, as well as virtual extensions for each employee. If you already have a phone number you want to use, Grasshopper lets you transfer it into the system. This process, called porting, can take anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks. There is a one-time $30 fee to transfer an established number into the Grasshopper system. 

Once you've selected your number, you can control the entire system through the Grasshopper online portal. Administrators can add users and extensions, create departments, listen to and organize voicemails, update your plan, change your phone number, and view call reports all from the portal. 

Employees can also access the system via the online portal, desktop app or mobile app to create their own ring trees. Employees can choose the numbers they want their calls forwarded to, the order in which those numbers ring and whether they want their calls forwarded to them during certain hours, such as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Grasshopper has an extensive set of features that allows businesses with a remote workforce to present themselves in a professional manner at all times. One critical feature is the automated attendant. This is what greets every caller who dials your main business line. The auto-attendant greets the callers and then forwards them to the person or department they are trying to reach. 

Available on both iOS and Android devices, the Grasshopper mobile app allows you to make and receive calls from your business line. Unlike with some other virtual services, when you make a call using the Grasshopper app, your business line number shows up on the caller ID of the person you are calling. 

Some other valuable features all Grasshopper users have access to are voicemail, voicemail-to-email, voicemail transcription, hold music, dial-by-name directory, conference calling for up to 10 participants, call screening, online fax and fax-to-email. 

One downside to Grasshopper is that it doesn't offer some features and tools that other virtual services do, such as call recording and integrations with programs like Microsoft Office. On the other hand, many other virtual systems don't offer such a powerful mobile app that allows you to make calls from your business line on your smartphone. 

Another potential negative is that Grasshopper only offers a virtual system. If your business were to outgrow a service like this and need a traditional phone system, you would have to find a new provider. Some providers offer both types of services. 

We were impressed with the customer service Grasshopper provided. We contacted the company numerous times, posing as a new business owner. Each time we reached out, our calls were immediately taken by representatives who provided clear and detailed answers to all our questions. The reps never tried to pressure us into signing up for the service. We were also pleased to see that the company offers 24/7 support to all customers.   

Grasshopper's parent company, LogMeIn, is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. Over the past three years, 117 complaints have been filed against the company. However, not all of those complaints were related to the Grasshopper service. 

Ready to choose a business phone system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

 

Editor's note: Looking for information on business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily and business.com, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.