How Much Does an Answering Service Cost in 2023?

Depending on call duration, an answering service costs between $0.89 to $1.79 per call. The cost per minute will average $1.48 with prices being prorated in increments.

The price can be affected by some needs such as order-taking or appointment-setting services. Find out how much you will pay according to the type of services you need by starting here:

How Much Do Answering Services Cost?

See who offers the lowest price on answering services. An answering service costs an average of $0.93 per call depending on the plan you purchase. The price can be affected by some needs such as order-taking or appointment-setting services. A typical average answering service charges around $90 for 50-80 minutes of operator time; determining your monthly call traffic is essential before selecting a plan.

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An answering service provides an off-site team of receptionists, sales representatives, and/or customer service representatives who handle inbound business calls. Answering services offer businesses of all sizes greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness than keeping inbound call handling entirely in-house. Answering services cost a fraction of in-house staff and typically charge either for a discrete block volume of calls or a number of minutes per month. Average costs per call by industry will be:

  • Medical Answering Service Pricing Cost Around $0.89 – $1.63/call
  • Bilingual Answering Service Cost Around $0.69 – $1.20/call
  • Attorney Answering Service Cost Around $0.76 – $1.54/call
  • 24 Hour Answering Service Cost Around $0.70 – $1.46/call

Compare Answering Service Prices by Company

To help get you started in shopping around for an answering service, we’ve gathered some sample pricing structures from some of the top companies.

Answer America LogoAnswer America Prices

Located in Willow Grove, PA, Answer America offers a range of pay-as-you-go plans. They start at $30 worth of credits and go up to $400 credits.

With the $30 package, each call will cost you $1.20 each. While at the $400 package each call will cost you $.96 each because your payment of $400 is credited at $500.

There are a few things that are included in your plan:

  • no monthly fee
  • 24-hour answering
  • email messaging
  • text messaging
  • wrong number or hoax calls are free

Responsive Answering Service LogoResponsive Answering Service Prices

If you need an answering service for a specific industry then RAS can help. Their plans start at $99 a month for about 80 calls.

  • virtual receptionist
  • message delivery
  • dispatching
  • appointment scheduling
  • registration service
  • 24/7 answering services
  • Answering Service United Logocall screening

Expect the cost to rise as you select from the service offered.


Answering Service United Prices

Located in Lake Havasu, AZ, ASU can offer customized plans to fit your specific needs. The most basic plan will start at $50 a month. Included with all plans is a dedicated help desk and disaster recovery back up.

They will customize your plan so that it fits your business needs. This could include any of these services.

  • bilingual answering
  • 24-hour answering
  • dedicated agents
  • call overflow
  • appointment scheduling

AnswerConnect  LogoAnswerConnect Prices

There are six plans for you to choose from that start at $149 a month and go up to $1,199 a month. For all plans, any call under 30 seconds is free, after that calls get billed in one-minute increments.

The lowest-priced plan charged $1.49 per additional minute, and all other plans charge $.1.39 per additional minute. All plans require a $49.99 setup fee. Then you’ll get a suite of included services with your plan.

  • email & SMS messaging
  • message taking
  • 7 answering
  • appointment setting

SAS Answering Service LogoSpecialty Answering Service Prices

SAS is the most scalable answering service for your business. You can start with them at the most basic of plans at a low $31 a month at a rate of $1.19 per minute.

Then you can incrementally increase your plan all the way up to their top tier at $7,749 per month for 10,000 minutes. Then each additional minute is $.79.

All plans require a $50 setup fee. There are no holiday fees, weekend fees, or line fees. You will pay additional fees for other services though. They also offer a 2-week free trial.

  • sub-account $10 per month
  • IVR $.15 per minute
  • Voicemail $.15 per minute
  • Patching $.10 per minute

Cost Guide to Answering Service Prices

Cost For Answering ServicesYour 2021 Answering Service Cost Comparison Guide

Did you know that 80 percent of callers will just hang up if no one answers? These people assume that no one will ever listen to their message, so they don’t bother to leave one.

This is a large portion of potential and current customers that whom you are missing out on communication with. You want to have your incoming calls answered, but you don’t have enough need to justify hiring someone in-house.

When you think about it this way, the answering service cost is well worth it. Keep reading to find out how your business and your bottom line can benefit from an answering service.


Phone Answering Service Plan Types

You can expect your answering service to cost you anywhere from $0.63 to $1.49 a call. The price usually fluctuates depending on how many minutes you buy and the services you need.

Standardized Plans: 

There are five standard plans that you will see when comparing answering services. Keep in mind that these are very basic and that each answering service may or may not include specific services with its plan.

Custom Plans: 

If you have a high call volume of more than 500 minutes your best option is to get a custom plan. When you have a high call volume you have negotiating power to set a lower price per minute. Plans at this level can cost as little as $0.61 a call.

500 Minutes: 

If you are in this category you are considered a high-volume customer. You will probably use a lot of the additional services that are offered. So look for plans that include more additional services.

You can expect your cost to be anywhere from $499 to $700 a month. This can go up though if your additional services are add-ons.

200 to 250 Minutes: 

If you fall in this range, you’ll need to compare the plan carefully. You’ll find that many companies will charge you on a monthly basis. But you’ll find that you will spend less if you pay on a per-call basis.

This is also the usage range where additional fees for services will make a difference in your monthly cost. You can expect to pay in the range of $199 to $310 a month.

100 to 150 Minutes: 

This is a low-volume plan where the additional services fees will take up a large portion of your monthly bill. You can expect the monthly fee to be around $99 to $208.

Pay as You Go 

If you have a super low call volume this is your best option. You can expect to pay a low monthly service fee and then an additional fee per call. For example, $50 a month plus $1.32 per minute.

Suggested Sites For Answering Service Providers: Association of TeleServices InternationalAmtelco, CamX

Answering Service Pricing By Industry

Sometimes specific industries or needs have specialized pricing. This tends to happen when there are additional needs for that industry.

Medical Answering Service

Medical calls need to comply with HIPAA laws as they potentially involve sensitive information. Because of this, the answering service’s staff will need extra training. Medical answering services tend to be around $0.89 – $1.63/cal per call.

Bilingual Answering Services

The answering service will need to hire people who speak a foreign language competently to provide this service. Because of this, bilingual answering services tend to be around $0.69 – $1.20/call.

Attorney Call Answer Solutions 

This is another service that requires a certain amount of confidentiality. These attorney answering services tend to be around $0.76 – $1.54/call.

24 Hour Phone Answering

Expect to pay a premium for having your calls answered at all hours of the day. The average cost for a 24-hour call answering is about $0.70 – $1.46/call.


Fees to Avoid When Buying Answering Services

You need to pay attention when you start comparing different answering services. They do not use the same pricing structure or provide the same services per cost.

This can lead to extra fees that you may not have initially planned on. These fees can also result in the cheapest price service becoming one of the most expensive.

Buyers GuideStandard Additional Fees 

First let’s start with standard fees that all answering services charge, and ones that you can completely avoid. These are fees that will appear as an additional line item on your bill.

If you pay your bill late, you can expect there to be a late fee on your bill. Obviously, the way you avoid this fee is by simply paying your bill on time.

If you prefer to get paper bills instead of electronic you might be charged a fee. It’s cheaper for your service to send an email, so sign up for digital bills and save some money.

If you go over your agreed-upon used minutes you will pay elevated pricing. Avoid this by accurately predicting how many minutes your company will use, then pad that time so your plan allows for some fluctuation.

Short Billing Cycle

This one is just sneaky, and you may not even notice it costing you more money. But if your answering service charges you every 28 days instead of 30, they get in an extra invoice every year.

Don’t agree to a billing cycle that is less than 30 days. This will give you a bill every month, which will also match the rest of your standard invoicing.

Transfer Fees 

Do you want the answering service to take calls and record messages? Or do you want them to transfer certain calls to you or your employees?

All answering services are going to charge you a certain amount for transferring calls. The trick is to pay attention to how you get charged.

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The best method for you is a flat fee per call. This is a flat rate for each transfer. Usually, this fee will range from $.25 to $1.25.

The other common method is billing for the time on the phone. You will pay for the entire time that you are on the phone. This means that your bill can get astronomical if your call then lasts 45 minutes.

Incremental Billing 

This may not be a big deal if your individual call volume is low. The way incremental billing works is the service will round up your call time to the nearest minute.

So if a call lasts less than a minute, you are still charged for a full minute. If a call lasts 3.1 minutes, you get charged for 4 minutes.

This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if the answering service takes three calls in less than a minute, it will be a big deal. Now you are paying for 3 minutes of service, that only costs the answering service 1 minute.

This will be a nasty surprise when you get your bill and find that it is significantly higher than your actual use. So if you know your call volume is high, ask about incremental billing.

Holiday Pricing 

Depending on your business, this one may not affect you at all. Some answering services will charge special rates on national holidays.

You may not care about your phones getting answered during these days. But if you do, ask what the rate is. It could be anywhere from $5 to $15 per national holiday.

Think about your monthly call volume. If you get less than 20 or so calls a month, then that holiday fee will be a big chunk of your bill.

Especially when you think about the fact that there is a national holiday in 6 out of the 12 months.

Foreign Language Fees 

These are additional fees that are less common, but if they apply to your business, you’ll need to pay attention to them.

Do you need an answering service that speaks more than one language? Expect to pay extra for your foreign language calls. This could be charged as a per-call rate or as a flat monthly fee.

Simultaneous Call Answering 

This one is a big deal if your call volume is higher and you get more than one call at a time. The answering service will only answer one call at a time.

Then if you complain and want a higher answer rate, you’ll have to pay extra. This is ridiculous, you are paying for an answering service, you shouldn’t then have to pay extra for the service to answer the phone.

Random Fees 

There are a whole host of fees that will have random names.

  • Telecomm recoupment fee
  • Message retention fee
  • Universal service fund fee
  • Voice recording and logging fee
  • HIPAA compliance charge

While some of the fees are completely justifiable, you’ll need to confirm with the answering service what exactly you are getting for the extra fee.


What to Consider Before You Hire a Live Answering Service?

As a business owner, you know that providing excellent customer service is key to retaining customers and growing your business. One way to ensure your customers are always able to reach your business is by hiring a live answering service. However, before you make this important decision, there are several factors to consider. In this article, we will explore what to consider before you hire a live answering service.

  1. Cost: The cost of hiring a live answering service varies depending on the service provider and the level of service you require. It is important to determine your budget before you begin your search. Some providers charge per call, while others charge a flat rate. Consider how much you can afford to spend and choose a provider that meets your budget requirements.
  2. Services Offered: Different live answering services offer different levels of service. Some may only take messages, while others can schedule appointments, provide customer support, and handle sales inquiries. Determine what services your business needs and look for a provider that can meet those needs.
  3. Reputation: When choosing a live answering service, it is important to consider their reputation. Look for a provider with a solid track record of providing excellent customer service. Ask for references and read online reviews to get an idea of the provider’s reputation.
  4. Availability: Your customers may need to reach your business at any time of the day or night. Look for a provider that offers 24/7 availability to ensure your customers are always able to reach you.
  5. Technology: The technology used by the live answering service is also an important consideration. Look for a provider that uses modern technology to ensure your calls are handled quickly and efficiently. This may include features such as call routing, caller ID, and call recording.
  6. Training: The agents who will be answering your calls should be well-trained and knowledgeable about your business. Look for a provider that provides ongoing training to their agents to ensure they are up-to-date on your business and able to provide excellent customer service.
  7. Scalability: As your business grows, your needs may change. Look for a provider that can scale their services to meet your changing needs. This may include adding additional agents, offering additional services, or changing pricing plans.

In conclusion, hiring a live answering service can be a great way to provide excellent customer service and ensure your customers are always able to reach your business. By considering the factors outlined in this article, you can choose a provider that meets your needs and provides excellent service to your customers.

Phone Answering Service Sample Costs

Below are a few examples of price facts for answering services that will give you an idea of how much you will pay for your purchase.

  • A monthly call volume of up to 50 calls on average of under a minute will cost $60 – $99.
  • Inbound calls ranging from 100 calls to 200 will cost  $110 to $215.
  • Up to 500 calls (average length 1 minute) are usually priced between $490 to $750. If calls average 1.5 minutes add approximately $176.
  • On holidays plan to pay an extra  $12 per day regardless of call volume.
  • If operators are required to access a third-party website for order taking or appointments this will be priced from $57 to $110 a month for staff training.
  • Call Patching. While normally free, if your call center will be patching calls (as opposed to just messages sent by text) you might pay an average of $0.00 $0.10 per call transferred.

Related Industry Terms: 24 Hour, Call Center, Outsourcing, Live, Inbound, After Hours, 24×7, Small Business, Medical, Attorney, Bilingual, Remote Receptionist

National Average Answering Service Pricing

0-50 Minutes51-100
101- 200
Bate Rate$70$143$225$515$1100$4995Ask For Special Pricing
Overage Cost/Min$1.42$1.42$1.40$1.39$1.32$1.30$1.30
Billing Increments13 Seconds13 Seconds13 Seconds13 Seconds1 Second1 Second1 Second
Holiday Rate$50/Holiday$46/Holiday$35/Holiday$35/Holiday$25.00Yes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - Check
After Hours /
Weekend Fees
$0.10 / call$0.10 / callYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - Check
IVR Set Up$100 $100$100$100$85Yes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - Check
$0.14 / Minute$0.12 / Minute$0.12 / Minute$0.11 / Minute $0.11 / Minute $0.10 / Minute $0.10 / Minute
Call Transfer
Per Minute
$0.10 / Minute$0.10 / Minute $0.09 / Minute$0.09 / Minute $0.08 / Minute$0.08 / Minute$0.07 / Minute
Local Number Fee$15 / Month$15 / Month$15 / Month$15 / Month$10 / Month$10 / Month$7 / Month
800 # Fees$8 / Month$8 / Month$7 / MonthYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - Check
Appointment Setting$1.42 / Appointment$1.42 / Appointment$1.39 / Appointment$1.35 / Appointment$1.30 / Appointment$1.29 / Appointment$1.28 / Appointment
Bilingual AgentsYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - Check
Order Processing$1.92 / Order$1.91 / Order$1.90 / Order$1.89 / Order$1.87 / Order$1.76 / Order$1.74 / Order
Lead Capture$1.53 / Lead$1.52 / Lead$1.38 / Lead$1.29 / Lead$1.27 / Lead$1.19 / Lead$1.17 / Lead
Help Desk Support$3.00 / Call$3.00 / Call$3.00 / Call$2.95 / Call$2.90 / Call$2.85 / Call$2.70 / Call
SMS Text MessageYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - CheckYes Service Offered - Check
Medical Messages$1.68 / Call$1.59 / Call$1.49 / Call$1.40 / Call$1.39 / Call$1.35 / Call$1.33 / Call
Legal Messages$1.69 / Call$1.60 / Call$1.49 / Call$1.41 / Call$1.41 / Call$1.36 / Call$1.35 / Call

Find Answering Service Providers Near You and Compare Up To Five Money Saving Quotes


A Phone Answering Service is a great way to ensure that your business always has someone available to answer calls from customers and partners. This service provides a professional, friendly voice at the other end of the line when someone needs assistance or has an inquiry about your business.

A team of experienced operators will be there to help with whatever questions come in, and can also take messages when you’re not available. They generally guarantee quick response times, courteous staff, and an overall pleasant customer service experience. With our Phone Answering Service, you can rest assured that your customers will always get the help they need in a timely manner.

7 Reasons to Outsource Your Phone Answering Needs

1. Professionalism: A team of experienced operators is able to provide a pleasant customer service experience that reflects well on your business.

2. Cost Savings: Outsourcing your phone answering services can save you money in the long run by eliminating hiring and training costs for employees who would usually do this job.

3. Flexibility: Operators are available 24/7 to answer calls when you’re not available, freeing up your own time.

4. Expertise: Call center agents are knowledgeable and familiar with the industry-specific terms used in customer service interactions.

5. Availability: With a phone answering service, customers never have to wait on hold for long periods of time.

6. Scalability: Answering services are highly scalable, so you can adjust the number of operators to meet your business’s needs.

7. Convenience: You don’t have to worry about managing a team of operators in-house – they take care of that for you!

When it comes to providing excellent customer service, a call answering service is a perfect solution.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Phone Answering Provider

1. Make sure they offer a free trial or demo: This will help you make sure that the provider is the right fit for your business.

2. Check for industry-specific expertise: Look for operators who are well-versed in your particular industry so they can provide customers with more knowledgeable answers to their inquiries.

3. Check their credentials and experience: Make sure the provider has a good reputation in the industry.

4. Find out what services they offer: Ask about extra features, such as order taking or appointment scheduling, that can make your life easier.

5. Ask about customer support: Ensure that there are options for assistance if you have any questions or need help with the service.

By taking these steps, you can be sure that you’re choosing the right Phone Answering Service provider for your business. With their help, you can provide excellent customer service and ensure that all of your calls are handled in a professional manner.


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