Your business needs a dedicated phone number for managing incoming calls, so you’ve looked into Grasshopper to help you manage the load. You know you want to trial a number for a few days to see how the platform works, but you’re not sure how to get started with the signup process — or if Grasshopper is the right choice for your business.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the four steps of signing up for a Grasshopper phone system below. You’ll also learn:
- The limitations you might run into if you decide to purchase a Grasshopper plan
- Everything you need to know about its price, features, and some hidden costs that you won’t immediately see reviewing their website
- About a better phone option for your growing business
How to get a Grasshopper phone number for business in 4 steps
Let’s walk through how to sign up for a Grasshopper phone number and take a closer look at what you can expect.
1. Select a plan
You’ll need to select a Grasshopper plan before buying a new phone number or porting in your current number. That means familiarizing yourself with Grasshopper’s three price plans:
- $28 per month
- Get one phone number and three extensions
- $46 per month
- Get three phone numbers and six extensions
- $80 per month
- Get five phone numbers and unlimited extensions
An important note about Grasshopper’s pricing: Most virtual phone systems bill by the number of users on your plan (think $13 per user per month). However, Grasshopper charges by the amount of phone numbers and extensions you want for your business — the number of users you add won’t affect the price.
Grasshopper’s approach to billing is unique, but that doesn’t make it any cheaper compared to other providers. For many businesses, it’s more expensive.
The basic plan ($28 per month) only comes with one Grasshopper phone number. You can’t get unlimited extensions without upgrading to the most expensive plan ($80 per month). Even this only includes five phone numbers. If you want more, you’ll have to pay an extra $10 per month per number. Yikes!
Each Grasshopper plan comes with a basic set of features:
- Voicemail transcription
- Call forwarding service
- Business texting
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Business hours
These come along with some older features you might find in other legacy business phone systems, including virtual fax. This means they don’t offer much more than a traditional cell phone provider, as most of their unique features cost extra per month.
Speaking of add-ons — once you’ve selected a Grasshopper plan, you’ll be presented with a few to choose from:
- Call blasting: $10 per month to ring multiple team members from the same number
- Voice studio: $75 gets you a professionally recorded custom greeting (up to 250 words)
- Ruby Receptionists: $199+ per month gets you human receptionists who will respond to your business calls
Grasshopper’s business plans are also missing key features. Many of which are dealbreakers for most small businesses. For example:
- No integrations: You won’t be able to automatically log your call and text conversation history in your CRM. There are no useful third-party integrations that connect with your Grasshopper number. You can forward calls from your Grasshopper number to Skype or Google Voice, but that’s as far as it goes.
- No automations: Grasshopper doesn’t have any options to automate specific touchpoints with your customers. For example, you can’t immediately send appointment confirmation texts after someone books time on your business’ calendar.
- No call recordings: There are no call recordings available on Grasshopper. Even your voicemail storage will expire after 30 days, making it harder to keep up with or review existing customer communication.
- No shared numbers: It isn’t possible to have shared phone numbers with your team where you have shared visibility and ability to call and text from a business number. As mentioned above, you can’t even ring multiple team members unless you’re willing to pay for call blasting (an extra $10 per month).
2. Choose the type of number you wish to have
Once you’ve selected your Grasshopper plan, you’ll be presented with three phone number options:
- Toll-free numbers: North American toll-free only (texts cannot be sent from a toll-free number to a Canadian number)
- Local numbers: Pick numbers with a local area code in the US and Canada; Texting pictures, videos, and other multimedia and group texting are available for local numbers only
- Ported numbers: Move your existing business phone number to Grasshopper
Grasshopper’s phone numbers let you make and receive business texts and phone calls with unlimited minutes.
However, it’s only ‘unlimited’ to a certain point.
There’s a 6¢ per minute overage fee charged to your account if you exceed your monthly minutes. How do you know what your limit is? You’ll need to log into your dashboard or contact customer support to find out.
And good luck keeping track if you have more than one Grasshopper phone number because your numbers share the same pool of minutes — meaning one number may chew through your monthly minutes faster than you might realize.
Though your minutes are shared, you can’t work together from the same inbox with the rest of your team.
3. Sign up for a trial
You have the option to pay for a Grasshopper plan upfront — but you can always opt for their seven-day trial instead.
Grasshopper’s free trial, however, is limited. You’ll have a chance to try out their standard features without locking yourself into a contract, but you won’t be able to trial their add-on features (like international calling).
These limitations are only the beginning. During a trial with Grasshopper, you’ll only have access to one Grasshopper phone number and three extensions, with no ability to upgrade.
You’re also limited to just 50 minutes of call time and 100 business texts. Since the average business phone call lasts roughly four minutes, you’ll only have about 12 calls to try before you buy. If you’re a team that wants a few other colleagues to test the platform, that’s a dealbreaker. Once you’ve used your minutes up, you’re essentially done with the trial unless you want to pay for a plan.
Grasshopper also prevents you from using certain numbers deemed to have premium area codes during your trial. These include:
The only way to get around these limitations is to skip the trial and pay for a plan upfront.
4. Download the desktop and mobile apps
If you still take the free trial or buy right away, you can then download the Grasshopper desktop app and mobile app.
Grasshopper doesn’t have a browser app, so you can’t use any device to make phone calls. This could get in the way of your productivity if you travel a lot or don’t always have access to the same devices.
Plus, the mobile Grasshopper app doesn’t automatically default to WiFi calling; it’s not a true VoIP. Instead, Grasshopper uses your traditional carrier network to make and receive calls, which may be problematic if your network is limited (or if you don’t have a carrier at all).
Contacts can also only be saved and updated in Grasshopper’s mobile app.
If you still decide to activate your Grasshopper account, you’ll have to wait until your account is 60 days old and pay a $500 deposit to use international calling (if you’re in Alaska or Hawaii, your account only needs to be five days old). Even if you do pay the fee, text messages will still be limited — you won’t be able to text any international numbers.
Concerned that Grasshopper’s setup and limitations are too much for your business? It might be best to look for an alternative that lets you communicate more efficiently with others — and takes less than 15 minutes to set up.
A better option compared to Grasshopper phone numbers: OpenPhone
Grasshopper service has many limitations and a higher price tag than other phone solutions.
If you’re underwhelmed by what you see, evaluate some Grasshopper alternatives or go with the #1 business phone solution on G2 — OpenPhone.
All you have to do is:
- Visit my.openphone.com/signup to signup for our seven-day free trial
- Verify your email address with a six-digit code sent to your email
- Pick a local US, Canadian, or toll-free number for your business (Once you have an account, you can easily port an existing local or toll-free number to OpenPhone through our app)
- Enter your billing info. This is just so we can put a $1 security check on your card and remove it in a couple of days. You won’t be billed at all if you cancel before day seven of your free trial — we’ll even give you a heads-up via email when your trial is set to expire.
Unlike Grasshopper’s free trial, we won’t bottleneck certain numbers that have ‘premium’ area codes. You can also access our platform on devices you use every day — including cell phones, tablets, desktops, and yes, your browser.
You’ll even have access to powerful features like:
- Free calls and texts to the US and Canada from a US, Canadian, or North American toll-free number: OpenPhone includes SMS and MMS support so you can easily text photos, videos, and other files to your customers.
- One free phone number per user on your plan (US, Canadian, or toll-free number): Easily scale your business’ operations to multiple cities or create direct numbers for each of your teammates.
- Conversation threads: Following up with customers in OpenPhone is flat out faster with all their texts, call recordings, and voice messages associated with that contact in a single thread.
- Shared numbers: Let teams share responsibility for incoming calls with simultaneous ringing. Plus, work together to provide the best customer experience possible with internal threads and mentions.
- Integrations: Save time on tedious but necessary tasks by integrating tools including Gmail, Slack, HubSpot, Salesforce, Gong, and Zapier.
- Phone menus: Automatically direct callers to the right department, team, or individual with customizable main greetings.
- Call forwarding: Direct customer calls to the right teammate or department by routing calls to another phone number with VoIP call forwarding.
- Call recordings: With OpenPhone, you can either record and save specific calls or automatically record all calls with a phone number in your workspace (if you have several).
- Texting automations: Automate specific touchpoints that help your customers or easily respond using snippets, auto-replies, and scheduled messages.
Still not sure about giving OpenPhone a try? Here are what a few former Grasshopper customers shared with us about their experience moving to OpenPhone:
“We love the simple and beautiful interface of OpenPhone. There is nothing wrong with Grasshopper, we used it for years and it worked, but in comparison to OpenPhone, it feels decades out of date. In the short time, we have been with OpenPhone it’s awesome to see how many new features they are continuing to add to an already robust offering. And price-wise it’s a no-brainer.” – David Radparvar, Co-Founder at Holstee.
“I tried a few different VOIP products including Grasshopper and found the software to feel very outdated – kind of like a webpage from the late 1990s or early 2000s. I switched to OpenPhone because the user experience is super clean and easy to use. I have all the tools I need and new features are being released all the time.” – Kelly Saunders, Founder at Abstract Energy.
As you can see, OpenPhone is the better business phone solution for growing teams. Sign up for a seven-day free trial to see for yourself why many former Grasshopper customers make the switch.
Meagan is a professional writer in VA that has covered business phone communication since 2021. If she’s not helping companies navigate VoIP technology, she’s helping companies craft their own stories.