Here are a few of the Frequently Asked Questions we get about using our after hours phone service. You can also see our After Hours Answering Service page for more info.
How much does it cost?
Sorry, you have to call or e-mail us for a quote! Although the prices are almost always the same, there are some exceptions for special cases. And there are some types of accounts we choose not to serve — so we want to talk or correspond with you first to make sure we can meet your needs.
How do calls get to you? Do I have to give clients your number?
Normally, clients simply use call-forwarding to redirect calls to their main number to us. Although you can give out your unique telephone number assigned to your account, it is not necessary. Most any provider (AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum, Comcast, Vonage, 8×8, etc.) can forward calls. One exception is Google Voice — their forwarding does not work well with answering services, such as us (it will only work intermittently, which is useless).
What do you do once you’ve taken a message? Is it e-mailed, texted, or what?
The answer to this is really “that part is up to you”. We have many different tools we can use to address your needs.
A common protocol for critical after hours phone service calls might be something like this: Text the message to the on-call person with request for confirmation; if no confirmation, call the on-call; if no answer, leave a message to call us; wait 10 minutes; call again, then call through an escalation list of these other three people until someone is reached. Another possibility for critical and extremely time-sensitive calls might be: Attempt to patch (aka, transfer) the call directly to the on-call person (and if the on-call doesn’t answer, follow something like the above).
A common protocol for someone with slightly less critical calls might be as follows: Text and e-mail the message to the on-call person without confirmation.
Do you have back up power? What happens if there’s a hurricane or something?
Although we are based in Houston, our server resides in a data center in California. The data center is secured, manned 24/7, has backup power and redundant fiber optic internet. During hurricane Harvey, probably the worst hurricane to hit the Houston area since 1900, we never went down and continued to answer while many of our competitors went offline.
Contact us with any other questions you might have. We want your business and we are happy to answer!