Ruby®‘s Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between an answering service and a Virtual Receptionist service?

A:  Answering services are often easily recognizable as a “service.” They typically perform only the simplest tasks, such as forwarding messages, and tend to be impersonal. Virtual Receptionists, on the other hand, sound as if they’re right in your office, transferring calls live and relaying vital information to callers.

Q: Who is answering my phone?

A: The Receptionists at Ruby are the best in the business. We hire exceptional service professionals who delight in making others happy. Ruby provides training and tech tools to handle your calls with the perfect mix of friendliness and professionalism.

Q: Where are you located?

A: All of our bright, happy Virtual Receptionists work in our offices in Portland, Oregon and Kansas City, Missouri.

Q: What can my Receptionists do?

A: Ruby’s Virtual Receptionist service is dedicated to creating real, meaningful connections with your callers. Your Receptionist team at Ruby can answer and connect calls to you, take messages, answer common caller questions, schedule appointments, delight callers in English and Spanish, return calls on your behalf, screen for solicitors, and more. It’s like having a full-time, on-site Receptionist at a fraction of the cost.

Q: Do you answer all my calls live?

A: Yes, during our business hours. Our cheerful Receptionists can cover basic business hours, as well as extended evening and weekend hours. The full range of our live answering capabilities is Monday thru Friday 5am–9pm Pacific Time (8am–midnight Eastern Time) and 6am–6pm Pacific Time on weekends (9am–9pm Eastern Time).

Live Virtual Receptionist service is unavailable outside of those hours and during the following U.S. holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. We also close at 3pm Pacific Time on Christmas Eve. Outside of our live answering hours, we provide a number of automated options, at no additional charge.

Q: Can I keep my phone number?

A: Absolutely! You can simply forward your existing phone number to Ruby whenever you need coverage: all the time, part of the time, or on a delayed basis. Oftentimes you can even port your number to Ruby, and we can host it for you.

Q: What if I don’t have a phone number—will you provide me with one?

A: Certainly! We assign each customer a number that you are free to publish and take with you at the end of service. You can select a number in the area code of your choice (depending on availability). Please refer to our Terms of Use for more details.

Q: How do you transfer a caller to me?

A: Below is a typical example of call-handling for our Virtual Receptionists:

  • The call is answered live by a Virtual Receptionist with your custom greeting.
  • After asking the caller’s name, the Receptionist briefly places the caller on hold.
  • The Receptionist contacts you and asks whether you wish to accept the call.
  • If accepted, the call is transferred immediately.
  • If declined, the Receptionist either connects the call to voicemail or takes a written message, either of which appears in the Ruby App and at Voicemails and messages may be emailed or texted to you (or both).

*Please note: We are happy to adapt our call-handling to your unique business, including only taking messages, collecting specific information from callers, trying multiple lines, and more.

Q: Can you transfer calls to my cell phone or to my home?

A: Our virtual receptionists can transfer calls to any phone number you wish, whether it’s an office line, home line, or cell phone (other than the one forwarded to Ruby). Additional fees may apply for numbers outside of North America. Many customers give us multiple phone numbers so that we have a variety of ways to reach them. 

Q: How do you know if I’m available to take calls?

A: You can update your status as frequently as you like. For example, you can request to have calls transferred to your cell phone, calls held for an allotted amount of time, or have detailed information relayed to your callers. Update your status with our mobile app or You can email us or give us a call too!

Q: What happens when I’m unavailable to take calls?

A: When you’re unavailable, our Virtual Receptionists can take a message, transfer to voicemail, or offer the caller the choice between the two—whichever you prefer. They can even transfer the call to someone else if you’d like.

Q: How do I receive my messages?

A: Your messages will always be available in the Ruby App and at Messages may be emailed or texted to you (or both). If you opt to have Ruby use the voicemail at your office or on your mobile phone, those messages will be found locally on those devices.

Q: Do you offer service in Spanish?

A: We certainly do! Spanish bilingual service is included with every account at no additional cost. Whether Spanish-speaking callers are common or occasional to your business, we provide customizable options to ensure exceptional experiences for your Spanish and English-speaking callers alike. Give us a call to learn more.

Q: What if I don’t want Spanish service?

A: No problem. We’ll set up your account the way you want it. Our service is always tailored to your needs.

Q: What is a “receptionist minute”?

A: Receptionist minutes are billed in 30-second increments, and calls are rounded up to the nearest 30-second mark. As an example, if a call is ten-seconds long, it will be billed as 30-seconds (or half of a receptionist minute).

For inbound calls, receptionist time is calculated starting from the time the receptionist receives the call and ends when a receptionist transfers the call (either to someone, to voicemail, or otherwise disconnects because the call is over). We include hold time, and exclude the talk time once a call is transferred to you or your voicemail box.

For outbound calls, receptionist minutes are calculated by counting the time the Outbound Call Specialist is on the call, as well as the time they spend sending a follow-up email to fill you in on the results of the call.

Q: What happens if I go over the minutes on my plan?

A: Additional minutes are simply prorated, and you’re welcome to change your plan at any time.

Q: Can I monitor my usage?

A: Absolutely! Our mobile app and feature an up-to-the-minute record of your monthly usage, so you can easily track your receptionist minutes.

Q: Can I adjust my billing plan at any time?

A: Our Customer Happiness team is always available to adjust your billing plan for the current billing cycle —just give us a call or send us an email.

Q: How do I forward my lines?

A: For most businesses, it’s as simple as dialing a code from your office phone. Our Customer Happiness team will gladly walk you through the process.

Q: Can you make outgoing calls on my behalf?

A: We certainly can! Our virtual receptionists are happy to place calls to gather or relay information, or to confirm appointments on your behalf.

Q: I have more than one business, can they share an account?

A: Absolutely. Two companies can pool minutes. If you’d like to learn more, give us a call at (866) 611-7829.

Q: Where do you provide service?

A: Anywhere in the United States, Canada, and the US Caribbean.

Q: Do I need to sign a long-term contract?

A: No way! At Ruby, we take pride in earning your business month-after-month by delivering exceptional service. To cancel, simply call or email.  If you cancel during an introductory period (wherein Ruby provides you a money-back guarantee), your cancellation is effective immediately. Otherwise, your cancellation is effective at the end of the then-current monthly billing period. 

Q: Can I test drive the service before I sign up?

A: Absolutely! With Experience Ruby, you can hear what it’s like to have our talented Receptionists answer a live call for your business. Click here to give it a try!

Q: How can I get started?

A: Simply complete the online service agreement to get started. A friendly member of our team will contact you to get up and running.

Q: Do you offer chat services for my website?

A: We do! Ruby offers 24/7 live, professional chat services for your website visitors. You’ll find helpful information about the service at You can sign up for the service or ask questions by calling 866-611-7829 or emailing the sales team at