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How Conference Calls Work:

Conference calls set up by a conference call company are inherently different from the 3 or 4 person calls you might be able to set up from your in-house telephone system. When using your own phone system, you will experience an uneven balance in volume from one line to the next which will degrade as you add callers, finally making it impossible to conduct your meeting. This usually happens when you get to 4 or more participants.

With a professionally set up conference call, each participantís telephone line is routed through sophisticated equipment called a "bridge". This bridging equipment receives and enhances each line electronically, evening out the volume levels and then sends the electronic voice signal back out to each listening ear. This allows everyone participating to sound just like they would in a regular 1 to 1 call. This way even hundreds of people can be connected in a single call.

In order to achieve this, the participants first need to dial into the bridge. The conference call company gives the call host a special dial-in telephone number (usually toll-free) and a pass code. The host distributes those numbers to all intended participants. At the pre-arranged date and time, all participants dial that phone number, enter the pass code and are joined into their conference.

Difference Between Direct Dial and 800 Calls:

All conference calls have 2 components that can be paid for separately or together:

1 - The cost for the use of the bridge.
2 - The cost for the long distance phone call to the bridge.

The host of the call can choose to pay for both parts or for only the use of the bridge.

800 Calls:  The host chooses to pay for both the bridge and the participantís long distance call to the bridge. This call is more expensive because Domestic participants will dial an 800 number at no expense to themselves. The cost for their lines into the bridge, as well as the cost for the use of the bridge is borne entirely by the host.

Direct Dial Calls:   The host chooses to pay for only the bridge use. That reduces his/her cost because all participants are dialing a regular area code and are paying for their own long distance call to the bridge. The host pays for the bridge use portion and the participants will see the long distance portion on their own, regular phone bill. At CONTACT, the bridging equipment is in the 706, 720, 770 and 641 area codes.

Because 800 numbers do not work overseas, in the case of both domestic and international callers on the same conference call, Direct Dial and 800 lines can be mixed. The bridge places each participant into the same conference by pass code.

Types of Calls:

You will want to choose the type of call that is right for your particular application.

Reservationless:  The fastest growing application of conference call technology today. The host calls our              800 836-3920 Reservations Line and is given a permanent Dial-in Number as well as a Participant Pass Code. This special combination of Dial-in Number and Pass Code is available AT ALL TIMES. It is YOUR set of numbers. You never need to call us again. Anytime you want to have a conference, you only need to let the participants know the date and time. Participants will be automatically prompted to enter the Pass Code when they dial in. The Pass Code gives the bridge the direction to put each participant into the correct conference call. As with all CONTACT conference calls, there is always an operator available by pressing *0 (star-zero) anytime during the call.

Automated:  The host calls our 800 836-3920 Reservations Line and reserves each call ahead of time. We give the host a Permanent Dial-in Number and a Participant Access Code which is only valid for the requested date and time. Standing reservations can be made for recurring calls (weekly, monthly, etc.). Upon dialing in, participants are prompted by the automated bridge to enter their Pass Code and participants are automatically connected. As with all CONTACT conference calls, there is always an operator available by pressing *0 (star-zero) any time during the call.

Operator Assisted:  At times the personal touch of a live operator is required for special calls. They can check in each participant, taking down participant names and company names or can check callers off a participant list for security purposes. Operators can moderate question-and-answer sessions for large presentations; they can introduce individual speakers or moderate a panel discussion with world-wide participants.

How to Set Up a Conference Call:

You can call 800 836-3920 and  set up your account by phone.

Don't forget our 100 Free Minutes offer to first time users.


Need More Help?

Is this confusing?  Let us explain in person how any product or feature works.  Just contact our Customer Support  people:

(800) 837-3143