«  View All Posts

How Much Does An Answering Service Cost?
Aaron Boatin

By: Aaron Boatin on April 25th, 2022

Print/Save as PDF

How Much Does An Answering Service Cost?

How Answering Services Work

This blog was originally published on 4/25/22 and has been updated on 3/28/24 for relevance.

Have you ever looked for the price of a business’ service or product and come up empty? We're so used to shopping on Amazon where the prices of everything are listed. So, when it comes to answering services, why is hiding the service prices the norm? And is it necessary?

Determining the cost of a call center’s service shouldn’t be much different than determining the cost of a pair of shoes, right? Yet, call centers have muddied the pricing waters.

Over the 90-ish years of answering calls and seeing the industry change firsthand, we know how many factors impact your bill. You might be looking for a service to provide your business after hours coverage. Or, you might want an employee call-off line for your business. Either way, you deserve just the facts about the pricing of these services.

In this blog, we’re going to tell you why prices can be hard to find and then we’re going to clear the confusion around prices for answering services in 2024. So, without further ado:

The average answering service cost in 2024 is between $295 - $395. However, that does not account for businesses that have lower call volumes, or ones with much higher call volumes. 

Let’s take a deeper look at what goes into the pricing and determine how much these services would cost for your business.

How Are Answering Service Plans Charged?

Though most call centers now charge based on a per-minute basis, you should still know the differences between per-minute and per-call billing.

Per-Call Pricing

Per-call pricing is exactly what it sounds like - you’re charged for every call you receive. But how your answering service company defines a “call” may be less straightforward.  Many charge the same rate for calls from wrong numbers as they would if your customer called in, for example. So, you’d be paying the same amount of money for a 5 second butt dial as you would a prospect calling in.

Some call centers even bill sending texts, emails, or faxes as “calls''. We suggest clarifying whether your answering service company includes message delivery options in your plan or not.

Per-minute Call Pricing

Per-minute pricing, on the other hand, better reflects the value your business receives. This pricing model is based on the time your call center actually spends supporting your business. This could be through answering or placing calls, sending texts or emails, or looking up information on your behalf. But keep in mind that their per-minute rate will likely be higher to accommodate the supplemental work they may also perform outside their standard service plans.

5 Standard Answering Service Plans

Though we have been able to curate pricing plans based on the size of a business’ workforce and the amount of calls they receive monthly, there isn’t a one-size fits all plan we can recommend to every business.

Every company is different.

Answering service plans cover a large spectrum, from small businesses to multinational corporations. So, you have the ability to choose a plan that’s in your sweet spot of call volume and needs.

The five plans outlined below are the standard plans for answering services in 2024. But keep in mind that every call center is different. This is simply a general breakdown to help you determine how much you may spend based on what we and our competitors charge.

100-minute plan

This plan is typically priced at a monthly rate, in addition to supplemental fees for extra services or minutes used. Cost ranges between $175 and $275/month, plus additional charges.

250-minute plan

This plan also is typically priced at a monthly rate with additional supplemental fees but is cheaper on a per-minute basis. It tends to be the most popular plan in terms of average usage. Cost ranges between $295 and $395/month, plus additional charges.

500-minute plan

The best value plan for companies with around 250 calls, this kind of plan can vary greatly in cost due to the many additional services you may want for your business. Cost ranges between $549 and $649/month, plus additional charges.

1000-minute plan

For companies with a large volume of calls - around 500. This plan would be a good starting point and varies in cost due to additional services necessary for a business this size. Cost ranges between $1,076 -$1,175/month, plus additional charges.

2500-minute plan

The best value plan for a company with a large influx of calls. If you know you receive around 1,200 calls a month, this plan is right for your business. Cost ranges between $2,675-$2,775/month, plus additional charges.


Sometimes it's easier to digest the information when it's in a table, so we made one for you:

Price ($/month) Plan (Minutes) Monthly Call Volume
$175 - $275 100 50
$295 - $395 250 125
$549 - $649 500 250
$1,075 - $1,175 1,000 500
$2,675 - $2,775 2,500 1,250

Now that you know what answering services cost, it’s time you know why it costs the way it does.

What Affects The Cost of Answering Services?

Here, we’re going to look into what drives the cost of these services. From what raises them, lowers them, and any hidden charges you might not have heard of.

What Increases An Answering Service’s Cost?

As mentioned in the previous section, there are a few supplemental services that you may want for your business.

Here are a few examples of what additional services your answering service might offer:

While they come with added cost, the question you should be asking is “will this feature add great value?”. If it’s a no, you can forgo it. If it becomes a need later on, you can always add it to your answering service plan to keep your costs low.

What Lowers An Answering Service’s Cost?

If cost is a concern, you should know that there are a few ways to lower the cost of your service. Service plans tend to come with a few bells and whistles, some of which we listed above. But, if you would want to lower the cost of your answering service, you should look into getting a voicemail prescreen, keeping your data updated, and matching your customer’s caller ID.

What Hidden Fees Do Call Centers Have?

Some call centers' charge is known as the “13th Invoice.” Their billing cycles are four weeks long, even though several months last longer than 28 days. If your answering service partner bills this way, you should expect to receive 13 invoices in a year. And, some call centers charge an additional fee for answering calls over the holidays. Make sure you review your call center’s pricing page, to ensure whether they’ll charge a holiday fee.

Which Answering Service Pricing Plan is Best for Your Business?

Like we said above, there isn’t a one-size fits all pricing plan. Pricing plans vary, some offer different features, and most importantly, not all of them provide the same level of service. This can make it a little harder when deciding what’s best for your business moving forward.

You might be thinking “Which answering service is right for me?” or “How do I select an answering service?

You may also be asking yourself “What else should I know about answering services before I get one?

Make sure you can find a plan that fits the needs of your business and delivers the best value for the money.

To learn more about Ambs Call Center’s answering service prices, you could request a quote from us today! We'd love to help you figure out which answering service plan is right for you. Even if you won't be doing business with us, we like to sleep at night knowing your business has the best solution for it. 

Request A Quote

About Aaron Boatin