Conference calls can be a pain, and getting charged by the minute doesn’t help. But these days, there’s really no reason to pay for them. There’s FreeConfereceCall.com, FreeConference.com, Lypp, and a bunch of other small startups giving away the service.
But while there’s no difference in the cost, Rondee’s Evite-like web interface makes it the simplest conference calling system I’ve seen. The service lets you schedule calls with several little features that make it easier to use.
All you need to do is pick a date, fill out an invitation, and Rondee will email the participants with the number and a pin. Like Evite you can pick a theme, participants can invite others, times can be readjusted by participants, and the service sends an email reminder of the meeting. You can also add meetings to your Outlook calendar in one click.
Participants call into 619-2-RONDEE (619-276-6333) and enter a PIN number (You can pick your own). If you give Rondee your phone number, it automatically logs you in to your conference when you call. Rondee remembers your previous calls and contacts for future reference. Soon they’ll be adding free call recording.
Rondee has plans for putting premium services on top of the platform, such as transcription or WebEx-like screen casting. Competition is fierce, though, with a lot of startups looking to make Cisco regret that $3.2 billion they paid for WebEx. DimDim, Zoho, SightSpeed, Vyew, and Google (acquired Marratech) are all nibbling at their customer base.