Search thousands of topics on CostHelper

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports weddings
CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Phones & Communication > Online Chat

Online Chat Cost


How Much Does Online Chat Cost?

 
low costIn-Network: Freeaverage costMulti-User Video Chat: $9-$30 Per Monthhigh costBusiness Communication: $99-$149 Per Month
post Post    

With online chat, computer users conduct two-way conversations in real time using text, often accompanied by audio and video if the service allows and participants have web camera enabled computers with microphones and speakers. Interactive online conversations can also occur between two or dozens of people from around the world who are connected to the same server in virtual chat "rooms." Businesses of all sizes can use teleconferencing, a form of online chat, as part of their customer service efforts.

Typical costs:

  • Online chat services designed for consumers are usually free if they connect with other people in their network. Gmail[1] offers a free service that allows account holders to send instant person-to-person text messages to their contacts. Through social networking giant Facebook[2] , consumers can hold free instant messaging sessions with others from their contact list. Free person-to-person chats through downloaded computer applications are available from several other companies, including Trillian[3] , Digsby[4] and MySpace and Yahoo! Messenger[5] . ooVoo[6] allows up to six users to communicate via text chat at the same time. eBuddy[7] says its technology enables customers with existing AOL, Google Talk, MSN, MySpace, Facebook, ICQ and Yahoo Messenger accounts to chat free without having to download or install applications on their computers.
  • Tinychat.com[8] permits anyone to create a free video conference room that as many as 400 can join. Chat room creators often invite new participants through posts on Twitter and other social media sites.
  • Video chats are available to consumers with computers equipped with an internet connection, web camera and speakers. Skype[9] , which offers the service for free, is one of the largest providers. Skype also offers one-to-one video telephone calls to other Skype members.
  • Video chat is available to people with Gmail accounts who download a free plugin enabling telephone calling using Gmail. During 2011, Gmail Voice calls to mobile and landlines in the U.S. and Canada are free; calling rates to other countries range from 2 cents to $4.99 per minute.
  • Businesses can use online chat for employee communication or for customer service. Companies including LivePerson[10] enables corporate service agents to provide instant assistance via instant messaging text to customers visiting their websites to shop or get other information. The company charges $99 per month per agent for firms with websites that report fewer than 50,000 unique visitors each month and have 100 or fewer customer service agents. For larger companies supporting major call centers with heavy web traffic and many service agents, the cost rises to $149 per month per agent.
  • Skype's Premium service[11] , which costs $4.99 per day or $8.99 per month, enables three or more users to set up live telephone chats. While as many as 10 people can participate in a single video chat, the company says sound and visual quality are best with five or fewer people. In 2010, Inc. magazine[12] rated three low-cost video chat services including ooVoo. That firm charges $29.95 per month for a service enabling 6-way video calls, 10 chat rooms and 500 phone minutes. The company's $9.95 monthly service permits 5-way video calls and 200 phone minutes. Its free service permits 3-way video calls in one chat room and no accompanying phone minutes.
Related articles: Internet Phone Service, Online Dating, Video Conferencing, Conference Calls

What should be included:
  • Services should include contact information in case questions or problems arise. The level of customer service can depend on the price; at ooVoo[13] , users of the company's free video call service receive support via email, while companies paying for its most expensive plan geared to larger customers receive live help.
  • While some video services are free, premium video conferencing should be more versatile. For example, iVisit's free video conference service permits only two people to meet on their own. With the company's premium $45.95 annual premium service, up to eight people can meet and invite others to their meetings.
Additional costs:
  • LivePerson makes additional services available to its business customers for a fee, including matching visitors with a certain interest to specific customer service agents for $50 per month per customer service operator.
Shopping for online chat:
  • PC Magazine[14] examines ooVoo as a video conferencing tool.
  • Top10Reviews[15] also has an analysis of popular live chat support software suitable for business use.
  • While group internet chat rooms[16] can have moderators to enforce rules and codes of conduct and delete inappropriate content, in some chat rooms, anything goes.
  • Surfnetkids.com[17] offers safety tips for youngsters.
post Post    
CostHelper News


10 Quick and Inexpensive Home Makeover Projects To Do While At Home
You may not be able to host the large family gathering for the holidays, but there are still many ways to pick up items curbside to spruce up your indoor space for your everyday enjoyment and to bring a more festive spirit. || Posted December 30 2020


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Online Chat
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Type of Chat: Number of Users: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.google.com/hangouts/
  2.  www.facebook.com/help/332952696782239/
  3.  www.trillian-messenger.net/
  4.  www.digsby.com/download.php
  5.  messenger.yahoo.com/
  6.  www.oovoo.com/Features.aspx?pname=FeaturesInstantMessaging
  7.  www.ebuddy.com/about.html
  8.  tinychat.com/
  9.  www.skype.com/en/premium/
  10.  solutions.liveperson.com/landing-pages/live-chat/c1?utm_source=goog&utm_term=onlin...
  11.  www.skype.com/en/premium/
  12.  www.inc.com/magazine/20100701/3-low-cost-video-chat-services.html
  13.  www.oovoo.com/Buy.aspx?pname=Plans
  14.  www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2326764,00.asp
  15.  live-chat-support-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
  16.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chat_room
  17.  www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1155/top-five-rules-for-safe-online-chatting/
More Consumer Electronics Topics

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 
Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
shoulder mri
Paid: 8000.00
Seriously, 8K for an MRI before all the secret insurance kicks in. I was stuck with a 1200 bill and my insurance is pretty good. This is insane for a 20 minute procedure with no nurse assistance... [more]
-stevej45
MRI Cost
Garage conversion for larger Den. Old den will become Breakfast room
Paid: 21000.00
We removed garage door, put in a 107'X60" window and exterior door. We also framed/sheet rocked where the garage door had been and built a closet... [more]
-USAF Retiree's wife
Garage Conversion Cost
Traffic citation
Paid: 500.00
Flat rate... [more]
-OL
Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost
what should have cost under 100
Paid: 399.67
had my back wheel stuck on someone's driveway and I was pulled out as easily as a tractor could have done... [more]
-Morgan Moonscar
Towing a Car Cost
Why is dental insurance stuck in the 80's?
Paid: 55000.00
In 1986, I started my first full time Big Girl job, which came with options for medical insurance that ranged from "Volkswagon to Cadillac, and everything in between" which was up to me to choose based on my needs, what I could af... [more]
-Frogsoup09
Dental Implants Cost
Sticker shock
Paid: 389.00
I was totally shocked it came to 385 for one pair of glasses! Usually 220 at costco... [more]
-Diana Evans
Eyeglasses Cost