One of the top virtual receptionist features available is answering collect calls. Conversational accepts collect calls on your behalf and gathers all the information you’ll need to get back in touch with the caller if you’re unable to answer the transferred call. We track the calls so you can bill your clients for those minutes.
Top Virtual Receptionist Features: Answering Collect Calls
What is a collect call?
A collect call is sometimes referred to as a reverse charge call. A collect call is a telephone call where the caller directs the charges for the call to go to the person receiving the call. An operator will first ask the person receiving the call if they’d like to accept the collect call and charges. If the person refuses the charges, the call is terminated at no cost to them.
We checked with our friends at ConsumerAffairs to share some additional information about collect calls with you. Here’s what they had to say:
“When a consumer answers the phone and an operator asks them if they will accept a collect call from an individual, they have no way of knowing the rate. It can vary wildly, especially if it is being made by someone held in a correctional facility. The Federal Communications Commission requires that, when an inmate places a collect call, each Operator Service Provider (OSP) must identify itself to the person receiving the call before connecting the call.”
“Each OSP must also disclose, before connecting the call, how the receiving party may obtain rate quotations. Additionally, the OSP must permit the receiving party to terminate the telephone call at no charge before the call is connected. These rules apply only to interstate OSP calls — meaning calls from one state to another. Collect calls are much rarer than they once were and usually carry a very high rate per minute. But the rate of a collect call from a correctional facility is usually even higher.”
Who still gets collect calls?
Attorneys and lawyers receive a majority of the collect calls being placed today. These collect calls usually come from incarcerated inmates at correctional facilities who are attempting to communicate with their legal representation.
As noted above, collect calls from correctional facilities come with unpredictable charges. That makes it difficult for attorneys to bill their clients for the different charges raised by various correctional facilities.
The value of answering collect calls
Our virtual receptionist service has an important feature that allows you to bypass the confusion of answering collect calls and tracking the cost and time spent on the call.
- We will accept collect calls on your behalf as well as gather all information you’ll need to contact the caller again if you’re unable to speak with them at that time.
- We deliver reports of every collect call received so you can easily bill your clients for the time spent on collect calls.
In the ConsumerAffairs article we cited above, one man was shocked to find a charge for $70+ on his Verizon bill for a 15 minute collect call made from a correctional facility. Don’t eat any of those charges – easily bill your clients for those minutes when you sign up for our virtual receptionist service. All our clients get free access to our collect call service!