Grasshopper vs RingCentral

Comparing RingCentral and Grasshopper Virtual Phone Systems

An accurate comparison of Grasshopper and RingCentral needs to begin with an understanding of the two products. Grasshopper, a service that is geared toward SMB, is an incoming call management solution that helps to manage incoming calls. Unlike Grasshopper, RingCentral has two key products, Office and Professional. Their Professional product is similar to Grasshopper, as it is also a call management solution.

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RingCentral Professional

RingCentral's Professional service call management service that is geared toward small businesses on the go. RingCentral emphasizes mobility in the marketing of its product, so it makes sense that it would serve as an improvement on how people use their personal cell phones for business purposes. RingCentral's Professional service is modeled after their Office product's incoming call management service, a virtual IP/PBX system that handles both incoming and outgoing calls. Learn more about RingCentral, including reviews and sign up.


Grasshopper's virtual phone system manages incoming calls. What makes their system different from other systems is that's it's an overlay that works on top of a standard telephone network (PTSN). Grasshopper is a managed call forwarding and answering system, not an IP/PBX or VoIP. Learn more about Grasshopper including reviews and sign up.

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How Do RingCentral and Grasshopper Work?

RingCentral and Grasshopper function in the same manner; both services are incoming call management systems. So, when referring to how the two services operate, the companies will be mentioned by name when focusing on the methods or features that the two services do not have in common. When there is no difference, the services will be called the service provider.

There are only a few steps involved in incoming call management and the steps center around having a real phone number that is transferred or supplied, to or by the service provider. The business or individual gives the phone number to their customers as a way to market their business on promotional materials. The purpose of this phone number is to give clients a centralized contact point for telephone communications. Having a single point of contact eliminates that need to hand out personal phone numbers. Having a single point of contact is the cornerstone of an incoming call management system.

When the caller contacts the business using the new phone number, the call is automatically answered. Businesses no longer need to worry about busy signals or lengthy delays resulting in missed calls. No phone call goes unanswered. A pre-configured custom message will greet each caller. Utilizing incoming call management adds a sense of professionalism and creates a standard method for answering incoming business calls.

Conveying to customers that the business is efficient and professional manner is just one of the benefits of using incoming call management. What really defines this service is the fact that business does not need to have a permanent location. When the service answers the call, the provider plays a customized greeting and presents the caller with a menu of extensions. For example, a caller might get prompted to Press 2 for Billing or Press 1 for Sales. The caller uses a telephone keypad to make their selection. The service provider then directs the phone call to the right extension. The term "extension" is used, but in reality, the service provider dials an external phone that forwards the call. Because any phone number that is capable of receiving standard phone calls is usable, like a landline or mobile phone, the receiver can be anywhere in the world. Receiving a call is no longer limited to being in a physical location. This concept is ideal for startups that are seeking to reduce costs. Employees who spend a lot of time out of the office will also benefit from using an incoming call management system.

Along with call forwarding, the service provider offers voice mail and sends a transcript of the message to your email. It also uses a web-based administration panel that lets users configure call answering rules and extensions with ease. The call answering rules apply when more than one phone is connected to an extension. For example, when the menu prompts users to Press 2 for Billing, and there is more than one phone listed against the option. The user can pick the order in which the calls get forwarded and how long it waits in the que before it is forwarded to another phone. The user can even choose to have all of the phones ring at the same time.

How Are They Different?

RingCentral, a virtual IP/PBX system, uses its incoming call management system as the foundation for the functionality of its Professional products. Grasshopper is a PSTN overlay that uses the regular telephone system as a means to forward and transfer calls. Both of these service providers a virtually hosted and cloud-based systems, all of which is known to the customer. The only time this becomes evident is when using RingCentral's fax capabilities. Specifically, when the IP-based technology is utilized to receive and send faxes. This contrasts with Grasshopper and the provider's inbound only service. Placing the fact that Grasshopper does not have an outgoing fax service aside, RingCentral and Grasshopper are quite similar.

Product Pricing and Plans

The underlying technology and methods of RingCentral and Grasshopper are very similar. So, when looking at the main differences between the two services, it really comes down to the vendors' product pricing and plans. A side-by-side comparison is difficult to make because of the different pricing structures.

Grasshopper offers four plans, Pay As You Grow Plan ($12 per month), Ramp ($24 a month), GROW ($49 a month), and MAX ($199 a month). RingCentral Professional has a three-tiered pricing plan: Pro ($12 a month), ProPlus ($19.99 a month), and ProPower ($24.99 a month).

Examining each vendor's most popular plan, RingCentral's ProPlus plan and Grasshopper's GROW plan, can give some insight into the structure of these services.

Grasshopper's GROW plan does not have an activation fee. The $49 a month fee gives clients access to 2,000 free minutes. Any minutes used in excess of the 2,000 minutes is billed at 6 cents a minute. The GROW plan includes two toll-free local phone numbers with unlimited extensions. The plan also has full features.

RingCentral's ProPlus plan also has no activation costs. The service is $19 per month and includes 1,000 free minutes. Any minutes over the initial free minutues are billed at 4.4 cents a month. The plan includes one toll-free local phone number that supports up to five extensions. The ProPlus plan also has RingCentral's full feature set.

While these plans may look good, there are some hidden fees. RingCentral's ProPlus plan does have toll free local number transfer, local number transfer and a free true 800 number. Grasshopper's GROW plan charges $30 to use their number transfer service. Getting a true 800 number costs $15.

Responsive Customer Service

Grasshopper tends to offer their clients a better customer service experience. One of the benefits of Grasshopper is the fact that their customer service representatives are U.S.-based. Unfortunately, the 24-hour customer service assistance is not available to users outside of the United States. Also, the 24-hour customer service feature is limited to toll-free telephone support. An odd feature to have on a system that only has incoming calls. RingCentral has both telephone and web support. The website features a Click-to-Call button. Some clients take issue with the fact that RingCentral outsources their customer service to locations outside of the United States. From a general standpoint, RingCentral and Grasshopper both have positive reviews, so customers of both services seem to be happy.

Which Service is Easiest to Use?

Grasshopper and RingCentral have web administration that gives clients quick and easy configuration. Grasshopper has a more intuitive platform. RingCentral's ProPlus plan is a version of their Office product, a full featured IP/PBX, with fewer features. It is not as intuitive to use as Grasshopper's portal. However, configuring call answer rules and extensions is easy to do on both systems.


RingCentral and Grasshopper have similar products that forward and answer calls to pre-configured phone extensions. Two vendors are comparable as far their services and features are concerned. When deciding which service to use, it's important to consider both the future and current needs. Grasshopper's standalone call system cannot make outbound calls. RingCentral ProPlus also only takes incoming calls. However, there is a path to upgrade to RingCentral's Office, the enterprise-level virtual IP/PBX service.

RingCentral and Grasshopper are great services for startups and entrepreneurs whose business does not have a permanent location. However, RingCentral allows users to upgrade their plan when the business starts to experience substantial growth. RingCentral's greatest weakness is that employees need to use their home or mobile phones to return, or make, business calls. Making phone calls from a mobile or cell phone is manageable for small companies. This won't work when the business starts to expand. At that point, the business may require desk phones.

So, here's the dilemma. Choose Grasshopper, a vendor that does not have upgrade capabilities, with no lock-in. Or use RingCentral, a vendor that offers an upgradeable service, but no risk of lock-in.

See also

Created by: admin, Last modification: Sun 05 of Nov, 2017 (18:39 UTC)
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