RingCentral Review–The Good and Bad

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RingCentral is an industry leader for advanced business phone systems and contact center solutions.

It also offers standalone video conferencing, a webinar solution, an event management platform, online faxing, conference room setups, advanced sales intelligence, consulting, and other professional services.

Use the relevant links above to jump ahead or scroll down for a bird’s-eye view before we dive deeper into RingCentral’s wide range of products.

How RingCentral Compares to its Closest Competitors

Overall, RingCentral competes with a ton of VoIP phone system and contact center providers. It’s closest competitors include Nextiva, Zoom, GoTo, TalkDesk, and Dialpad.

Nextiva’s our favorite business communications suite because it offers flexible and affordable tools for businesses of all sizes. It’s also heavily focused on improving the products it already offers. RingCentral, on the other hand, is adding all sorts of new products (like webinars and events management) rather than focusing on its core systems. RingCentral tends to be more rigid with contracts and harder to implement. However, it offers global solutions and Nextiva’s only suitable for the US.

In terms of product range, Zoom and GoTo are the closest matches. Like RingCentral, they both offers events and webinar management, conference room solutions, contact center software, a phone system, and video conferencing. Zoom started with video conferencing, making it a better choice if that and webinars or online events are your main focus.

GoTo tends to be better for larger events and webinars with more premium features at a higher price point.

While the three seem to be merging closer to each other every day, RingCentral’s been in the voice space for a lot longer—it offers a superior phone and call center solutions. .

Dialpad offers a simpler and cheaper phone system than RingCentral, but has a comparable contact center solution for midsize teams. Unlike RingCentral, Dialpad offers sales-specific plans and focuses largely on AI-powered coaching, real-time assistance, AI insights, and automated analytics. TalkDesk only offers contact center software and delivers superior customization options for both developers and non-developers.

Check out out our detailed comparisons if you want to learn more:

You can also see our full list of RingCentral alternatives to see how it stacks up against other brands in the communications space.

RingCentral’s a Flexible Solution for Midsize Businesses and Those with Unique Communication Needs

As a whole, RingCentral is a strong choice for businesses with at least 100 users. While it can work for smaller businesses, it’s likely more robust than you need unless you require advanced customization or specialized capabilities. You should also get familiar with its rigid, long-term contracts before you sign up.

It’s not the simplest, most affordable, or easiest suite of products to use, but it does bring some unique aspects to the communications space.

It Supports Global Businesses

With PSTN support across 46 countries, a bring-your-own-carrier option in 69 locations, local inbound numbers in 99 countries, and affordable international calling rates, it’s one of the few that goes beyond international phone numbers and actually supports businesses on other continents.

Innovative Phone System Features

Because RingCentral’s always looking for new ways to innovate, it offers unique features you won’t find with many other standard phone systems. Things like eight-digit extensions, push-to-talk, and remote desktop control are all available.

Whether you have field agents who need walkie talkie capabilities, you perform remote IT support for your team, or you have strict extension requirements, it has what you need.

Aside from that, RingCentral offers several lightweight call center features with its phone plans, including IVR, call recording, call monitoring, and real-time analytics on select plans.

Its plans are more expensive than others, but include more functionality.

Innovative Suite of Sales, Marketing, and Service Tools

Most communications providers that offer call center software only cater to sales or support teams.

RingCentral takes it a step further with tools for marketing, too. Its webinar solution or event management platform can help you fill your sales pipeline with warm leads. You can then pass them on to your sales team directly (if they use RingCentral, too) for a seamless transition.

Infinite Customization Opportunities

If you have a developer or plan to hire one, there are very few limits with the RingCentral platform, whether you’re using its business phone system or contact center solution. There’s a full developer platform with SKDs, widgets, APIs, and a range of programmable communications tools on top of 300+ out-of-the-box integrations for complete customization.

RingCentral recently added audio AI, video AI, and social messaging APIs plus an intelligent workflow builder (in beta) to make development even easier.

Unlimited Scalability

From midsize to thousands (or tens of thousands) of users, RingCentral’s built to scale. You don’t have to worry about outgrowing it and having to switch to something else. It’s capable, powerful, and flexible enough to meet your needs for the long-term.

It’s Not Going Anywhere

RingCentral’s been acquiring business communications tools for a long time. It’s also been around for 25 years, has physical locations in 14 countries, and has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2013.

With more than 400,000 customers and $1 billion in funding over the years, it’s safe to say the company isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

RingEX: All-in-One Business Phone, Video, Fax, and Messaging

RingCentral’s high-end business phone system may be a good choice for you if you are willing to pay more for the extra features it comes with or have offices outside of the United States.

If you want something simple instead, Nextiva’s the way to go.

RingEX lets you experience effortless business communications. Calls, messages, and meetings unified to propel you forward. Intelligent. Secure. Unstoppable.

RingCentral’s Business Communications Platform: The Good

You can try it for free: RingCentral offers a free 14-day trial to see what the platform looks like. You can test up to 20 lines and you’ll get up to two physical desk phones if you want to try them out. You’ll be able to try nearly all of its features aside from SMS.

Full collaboration suite: All plans include team chat, file sharing, audio conferencing, video meetings (up to 100 participants), and breakout rooms for internal communication.

SMS and call recording on every plan: Unlike other providers, RingCentral offers business texting and call recording, no matter how much you pay. On the cheapest plan, you get on-demand recording—the rest offer automated recordings too.

Basic AI features: RingCentral recently introduced AI transcriptions, closed captions, video summaries, and video highlights on all plans. Select customers will also get easy access to real-time notetaking, generative AI interaction search, translations, grammar checking, missed and unread message summaries, and recording summaries.

Lightweight call center features: Every plan includes IVR and call queues, but higher tiers also come with live monitoring features (whisper and barge), and advanced queues. There’s also a queue management add-on.

Eight-digit extensions: Many providers limit you to three or four-digit extensions. RingCentral lets you use up to eight digits, including site codes if you have multiple locations.

Push-to-talk add-on: For $5 per user per month, you can add walkie talkie capabilities to iPhone, Android, and field devices. It works with wifi or your phone’s cellular network, making it an easy way to replace legacy radios and traditional walkie talkies for quick communication.

Remote desktop control: Every tier includes remote desktop control during video meetings. It’s handy for installing updates, troubleshooting, and deep collaboration that many providers don’t include.

Hot desking: If you plan to have physical desk phones, hot desking lets users log into shared devices where they can access their voicemail and settings plus make or receive calls. It’s available on the second tier or higher and great for open workspace environments or common area devices.

Receptionist console: With RingCentral, receptionists and assistants can see real-time user availability and easily manage multiple incoming calls at once. They’ll also be able to answer calls to specific extensions if they go unanswered or the user is busy.

It’s also easy to add new users to existing calls. The receptionist console lets its users manage and organize extensions however they’d like or search through the directory with ease.

Tons of add-ons: On its own, RingCentral’s phone system comes with a few unique features, but is essentially the same as others. However, you can customize it with premium add-ons like sales revenue and conversational intelligence, advanced business analytics, high-volume SMS, a webinar hosting platform, and an event management solution. Even if you have specific needs, you’ll be able to build a custom plan to match your business.

More than 300 integrations: From collaboration tools like Teams and Slack to CRMs, analytics, ERPs, legal, and productivity software, RingCentral has a massive library of pre-made integrations. It’s one of the largest we’ve seen in the communications space.

Vanity numbers: If you want a clever number for your business, RingCentral offers vanity numbers for $30. It’s a one-time fee. After that, you’ll pay $4.99 per month ongoing. A lot of providers don’t offer these.

Special plans for educational institutions: RingCentral’s education plans give parents, students, teachers, and administrators all the tools they need to communicate with each other. The standard plan is great for traditional school environments, while the more expensive option is better for hybrid learning. They cover voice, video, fax, and messaging all in one. They even help centralize additional channels like social media, SMS, and email. These plans are significantly cheaper than RingCentral’s standard plans.

Potential Drawbacks of RingCentral’s VoIP Phone System

Overkill for a lot of businesses: Even RingCentral’s cheapest plan comes with more features than some businesses need, like IVR, call recording, the receptionist console, and call queues. Since it has a higher price tag than a lot of other phone systems, you may end up paying more for a bunch of features you’ll never use.

No faxing or CRM integrations on the lowest tier: Despite those advances features, the entry-level plan doesn’t have faxing or CRM integrations. These may be more useful to smaller businesses and often come included with every plan from other providers.

Limited toll-free minutes: RingCentral gives you 100 toll-free minutes on the cheapest plan—Nextiva provides 1,500 (15x as many). There isn’t as stark of a difference on higher tiers, but Nextiva offers more at every level.

Very low SMS limits across the board: A lot of providers charge per message, so it’s nice that RingCentral gives you a set number for free every month. However, you only get 25, 100, or 200 per user per month—beyond that, you’ll pay $0.01 per message. When we’re talking about business texting for confirmations, follow-ups, and other types of communication, it’s easy to surpass those limits. Nextiva (and others) give you significantly more at no cost.

Challenging to implement:  Because there’s a lot to the system (even at the most basic level), RingCentral’s harder to set up than simpler phone system alternatives. There’s a reason they offer professional installation services—many folks need it.

More expensive than others: Dialpad is $5 cheaper per user per month and Zoom starts at $8 cheaper. While RingCentral offers a ton of functionality, a lot of businesses don’t need it and can’t justify the higher price tag.

RingCentral Business Phone Plans and Pricing

RingCentral’s pricing starts at $20 per user per month. It’s top tier is $35 per user per month. Compared to most other solutions, it’s on the expensive side. With that said, it includes features you won’t get with other introductory systems.

If you need those extra capabilities, it’s a good value.

But if you don’t, you’ll end up paying more for features that gather dust. There are also no volume discounts, but you may be able to negotiate a lower price.

RingCentral CX and Contact Center: A Global Omnichannel Solution for Teams of More than 100 Agents

RingCentral offers a highly customizable contact center solution with support for tons of add-ons, integrations, and channels. You can add as much (or as little) functionality as you need, use its developer platform to connect all of your systems, and layer its powerful features on top of your existing carrier’s services if you’re outside the US.

It’s in the middle of the road in terms of cost, but requires long-term contracts and tends to be more rigid in its policies, making it more suitable for midsize or larger businesses.

RingCentral offers a digital customer engagement platform. Connect with customers across 20+ digital touchpoints, like the web, social media, messaging apps, review platforms, and your custom channels.

RingCentral’s Contact Center Software: The Good

Centralizes more than 20 channels: There are a lot of call center solutions out there that only focus on voice and a few additional channels. RingCentral’s more affordable option brings together 20, including social media, review sites, your own applications, email, live chat, messaging apps, and more.

Automated call scoring, summaries, and transcripts: RingCentral includes basic AI functionality. While it’s integrated AI capabilities are nothing special in comparison to others, these features can help agents cut down post-call activities and free them up for more advanced problem solving.

Advanced routing options: As a higher-end solution, RingCentral includes a range of routing capabilities, including ACD, IVR, skills-based routing, intent-based, and data-driven options. It’s intent-based functionality is the most interesting—it uses machine learning to understand caller intent and in-depth semantics in 72 languages across voice and text channels. The data-driven method uses information stored in your CRM to look at previous purchases, the last agent they spoke to, and other key metrics to route callers to the right place.

Call deflection: This is an advanced queue feature that lets callers waiting in line switch to a different communication channel, like text, email, or messaging, instead of continuing to wait. Other tools offer a callback option, but RingCentral takes that to the next level.

Scripts and automated suggestions: You’ll be able to create pre-defined scripts with an intuitive drag-and-drop designer, ensuring agents stay on track and know how to handle common situations. Agents responding to chat or other text-based inquiries will also get automated suggestions based on a wide range of conditions to speed up responses and adhere to best practices. Aside from canned responses, they’ll have the option to use templates which include dynamic fields for automated personalization, too.

Survey management: The cheaper plan includes standard survey management and the more expensive plan offers more functionality. Either way, you’ll be able to create, distribute, and analyze the results in one place. You can initiate them across multiple channels, including in emails, via IVR, text, directly within your own applications, on your website, over the phone, and more. You’ll also be able to compare your data against standard NPS and CSAT performance metrics in your industry.

Scheduling and forecasting: RingCentral’s workforce management module includes AI-powered forecasting and even automatic scheduling. You’ll also be able to adjust those schedules to optimize around skills needed and agent availability. Agents will be able to request shifts and trade with other agents to ensure everyone gets the flexibility they need.

Quality monitoring: Tools like automated interaction scoring, behavioral coaching, sentiment analysis, screen recordings, and speech analytics make it easy to monitor long-term trends and agent performance. Supervisors can always choose to whisper, barge, or listen in on calls for real-time quality assurance, too.

Agent gamification: Many lower-end solutions don’t include agent engagement tools. However, RingCentral lets you set up a badge, challenge, and prize system to boost motivation and overall performance.

Knowledge management: RingCentral has a lot of premium add-ons to customize your contact center solution. One of the more unique options is its knowledge management module, which lets you build a full-fledged knowledge base for your agents to use whenever they need. You can set up categories, articles, and groups for easy navigation.

Three outbound dialers: Most call center solutions only offer one or two dialers—RingCentral gives you three, including preview, predictive, and progressive. They do cost extra, but its a step above what you’ll get elsewhere.

Potential Drawbacks of RingCentral’s Omnichannel Contact Center Solution

More expensive than others: RingCentral’s cheapest contact center plan starts at $65 per agent per month, which is more than 2x the cost of other entry-level alternatives. It also doesn’t include every feature we’ve talked about, so you’ll likely end up paying more than that if you need additional functionality.

High termination and overage fees: On top of higher monthly fees, RingCentral charges high termination fees and also charges if you go over the limits of your plan. While that’s not a problem specific to RingCentral, you’ll likely end up paying the total of all your remaining months if you want to cancel early—its a steep price to pay if it doesn’t work out.

Lots of add-ons: Outbound dialers, real-time agent assist, a customer journey builder, advanced interaction analytics, and knowledge management are a few of the add-ons you’ll have to pay extra for. Some may be included in the enterprise plan, but it’s not straightforward as to what’s included and what isn’t.

Steep learning curve: RingCentral offers a lot of functionality—it’s tough to get the hang of everything it offers, whether you’re the end-user or an administrator. It may require formal training for everyone to get up to speed, which can add even more to the cost of your system. Many users also say the interface feels cluttered and overwhelming because there’s so much going on.

Standard reporting is lacking: Many of the advanced analytics and reporting features RingCentral has aren’t included unless you purchase them as an add-on. The standard options are limited and not as customizable as you’ll get with other providers.

Workflow builder is in beta: RingCentral is just now adding a workflow and automation builder. It’s a bit weird that something considered standard in many other solutions is just now being added. On top of that, it’s not included in any of the plans—you’ll likely have to pay extra to use it, even though it’s in beta.

Odd customization limits: Despite the ability to customize the functionality you get, it’s not as customizable as other options. For example, you can’t update the interface and provide different experiences for different types of users like you can with TalkDesk. Additionally, some parts of the IVR feel half-baked and there are no custom fields for customer data within RingCentral.

Limited social media channels: RingCentral covers a ton of channels, but it’s missing TikTok, LinkedIn, Discord, and other newer social media and messaging platforms.

RingCentral Contact Center Plans and Pricing

RingCentral’s contact center plans are far from the most affordable out there. They start at $65 per agent per month plus outbound usage per-minute, not including add-ons. It also offers a more expensive enterprise plan with custom pricing.

It too has add-ons, so it’s likely you’ll end up paying upwards of $150 per agent or more if you go this route.

With that said, it’s phone system plans include lightweight call center features, like IVR and queueing, so you  may be able to start there.

However, RingCentral’s really designed for midsize and large businesses—and its higher price tag reflects that.

Compared to similar products, it’s actually reasonably priced until you account for add-ons. Nextiva’s intelligent contact center platform starts at $99 per agent per month, TalkDesk’s starts at $115 per agent per month, and Dialpad starts at $80 per agent per month. So, RingCentral can be a more affordable option for midsize businesses… as long as you don’t need anything aside from its base features.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, Nextiva’s small business call center software starts around $50 per agent per month, Cloudtalk starts at $25 per agent per month, and Aircall starts at $30 per agent per month.

Additional RingCentral Products and Services

Aside from its main products, RingCentral also offers a wide range of other business communications tools that you can purchase separately or in conjunction with its phone and contact center systems.

Domestic and International Faxing

RingCentral’s standalone faxing solution is $22.99 per user per month. It includes 3,000 total faxes per month with fax numbers available in more than 105 different countries.

If you go over, you’ll pay $0.049 per page.

It’s quite expensive—you can purchase the middle tier of RingCentral’s phone system for an extra $2 per user per month and get unlimited fax plus an entire phone system, team chat, SMS, and video meetings. If you send and receive anywhere close to 3,000 faxes per month, you’re better off getting an unlimited plan with your phone system rather than purchasing it separately.

RingCentral offers an easy-to-use online faxing solution

Handling a small number of faxes every month? You can get a more affordable deal with Nextiva’s online faxing plan, instead. It starts at $7.95 per month for 500 pages an only charges $0.03 per extra page.

Check out our full list of online faxing providers to learn more.

Standalone Video Conferencing

If you don’t need a full phone system, RingCentral offers a standalone video conferencing and team chat solution. The free plan lets you host up to 100 participants with a time limit of 50 minutes. It also includes messaging, whiteboards, meeting transcriptions, and collaborative notes.

Compared to Zoom’s 40 minute time limit and  Nextiva’s five participant limit with no time restrictions, the free plan is a good choice for shorter meetings with a lot of participants.

RingCentral offers AI-powered video meetings and conferencing. Video meetings made simple, with AI enhancing in-meeting interactions and providing comprehensive post-meeting recaps.

RingCentral’s paid plan is $10 per user per month and doubles the participant count with a time limit of 24 hours.

However, Nextiva’s premium plan is cheaper (at $6.99 per user per month) and allows up to 250 participants with no time limits, making it the better value if you don’t need the whiteboarding feature. Zoom’s premium plan is even more expensive than RingCentral and limits you to 100 participants.

Head to our guide on the best video conferencing software for more details.

A Webinar Hosting Platform

RingCentral’s webinar solution is one of the more affordable options on the market. It starts at $30 per organizer per month and includes unlimited storage for recordings, generative AI, translations, AI-generated answers to frequently asked questions you can use as a template when answering, polls, Q&A, a backstage area, and more.

You can also livestream to YouTube, integrate with marketing platforms, and set up automated reminders and email follow-ups. It’s packed with features at a very affordable price.

RingCentral offers a solution for smarter, effortless webinars. AI-powered webinars that are simple to set up and easy to run.

For comparison, GoTo Meeting starts at $49 per organizer per month and doesn’t include storage, integrations, recordings, or livestreaming. Zoom starts at $79 per organizer per month and doesn’t include a backstage area. However, it includes several features that RingCentral doesn’t offer, like ticketing, surveys, live transcriptions, and custom branding.

See our list of the best webinar platforms for more info.

Event Management

Event management is one of RingCentral’s newer products. Starting at $750 per license per year, you can host up to 100 attendees per event at half the price of Zoom’s entry-level plan. GoTo Meeting’s event management solution is even more expensive than Zoom.

On top of costing less, it also includes up to 10 organizers, so you don’t have to pay per organizer. This can add up to massive savings over time.

However, the price jumps up more than 3x to host up to 500 attendees—at this level, it’s identical in price to Zoom and GoTo becomes more affordable while also allowing twice as many attendees.

All your events, all on RingCentral. The all-in-one solution for virtual, onsite, or hybrid events where AI enhances every milestone, from planning to execution.

Aside from price, RingCentral offers a massive list of features, including the ability to host virtual, onsite, and hybrid events. You’ll get everything you need, from generative AI, CTAs, and polls to captions, analytics, recordings, floor plans, and a full virtual venue setup.

Conference Room Solutions

If you have physical conference rooms, RingCentral can help you equip them with all the tech and hardware they need to host hybrid video meetings or phone calls.

It starts at $35 per room and includes an admin dashboard for room scheduling and monitoring, the ability to share content via Bluetooth to nearby rooms, room controls from your phone, voice commands, and even digital signage options through the in-room devices you already have.

The system’s compatible with most hardware providers or you can purchase hardware directly.

RingCentral's conference room solution adds video meetings to any space. Seamlessly connect remote teams and on-site teams with RingCentral Rooms and let everyone be seen and heard from anywhere.

Advanced Intelligence and Analytics

RingCentral offers a customizable sales intelligence platform with AI insights, analytics, and reporting features if you need more than what RingCentral offers out of the box.

It includes advanced performance analytics, deal and call scoring, custom tracking capabilities, and in-depth filtering options. Overall, it lets managers and supervisors get deeper into the health and innerworkings of their sales teams.

Because it’s highly customized, price depends on what you need.

Professional Consulting Services

If you need help with IT, migrating your phone or contact center solution, configuring automations, building a communications strategy, or something else entirely, RingCentral’s professional services can help bridge the gap between your existing capabilities and where you want to go.

They can also help with onboarding and full lifecycle support for larger teams.

Cait is a banjo player, snowboarder, climber, cat mom, and (former) engineer who lives in Olympia, WA. She's been a professional writer for more than five years, specializing in B2B software with a technical yet empathetic approach that puts data and hands-on experience at the heart of every review.

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