JAM Telephone Answering vs Pocket Receptionist

Who are JAM and what do they do?

JAM is a telephone answering company established 40 years ago. Their services range from simply taking messages to more advanced call handling.

Types of services and pricing

There are three types of phone answering services offered by JAM – Answer, pureJAM and JAM


Answer is JAM’s most basic plan. It is a simple pay as you go 24-hour message taking service. Once there is a call to you, the caller’s details and message will be passed to you via SMS, email or the JAM online portal.

If using the Answer service, you can only receive a message without getting the chance to deal with the call on the spot.

Calls cost £1 / call and if you buy credit in a larger bundle, the prices fall to £0.75 / call. The minimum credit purchase is £25, which effectively covers 25 calls.

Other packages are priced at £50; £100; £200; £400 and £750, and with each you get a bonus that adds to your call credit. Bonuses start from £5 and can reach up to £250 depending on the tariff you have chosen.

The Answer service does not have a monthly fee and email notifications come for free, while the SMS delivery is charged additional 10p / SMS.


pureJAM is JAM’s virtual receptionist service. The difference between pureJAM and Answer is that the former allows the caller to be put through to you.

pureJAM has 6 pricing packages to choose from, which are displayed in the table below:

Monthly cost Minutes included per month Cost for excess calls
Gooseberry £30 n/a 85p / min for all calls
Marmalade £69 50 80p / min
Strawberry £106 100 80p / min
Blackcurrant £174 200 75p / min
Apricot £380 500 75p / min
Peach £710 1,000 75p / min

Again, there is no setup fee, the service is 24/7 and messages could be delivered via SMS or email. The SMS delivery incurs another 5p / text.

If you want your caller to be connected to your landline, you will be charged additional 5p / minute, and 10 p / minute if connected to your mobile line.


JAM is the most advanced of the three services. By choosing it, you can benefit from a more dedicated virtual receptionist who can provide customer service and take orders from your clients.

Packages for the JAM service start from £75 / month. The minimum number of minutes they cover is 50 and there is an additional cost of 85 p / minute.

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How do Pocket Receptionist compare with JAM?

While JAM have broken down their pricing in three different categories dependent on the level of service, we offer all the Pocket Receptionist features in every package.

You still get a dedicated team of virtual receptionists who can take orders for you and offer first-class customer service to your callers, regardless of the Pocket Receptionist package you have chosen. The only exception to this rule is the SMS alerts which are free for our packages over PR300, otherwise they’re charged at an additional 5p per SMS.

However, we strongly recommend using our smartphone app as your primary source of call notifications. It is easy to work with and you can answer calls with a single swipe of your finger.

There is a considerable difference in the way JAM and Pocket Receptionist charge their clients. JAM have adopted the approach of charging per minute, while we, at Pocket Receptionist, charge per bundles of calls.

It would be useful to convert how many calls can one have for a set number of minutes involved, to give a perspicuous view of the different pricing options.

On average, the business calls we take last just under 2 minutes. This means that 50 minutes of the JAM service should equal about 25 calls and costs £42.50. In comparison, our PR30 package covers 30 calls and costs £45. However, the JAM service also has a fixed monthly cost starting from £75. Pocket Receptionist does not require any monthly fees. You pay only for the bundle of calls you are expected to take throughout the month.

Similarly, the pureJAM service that offers virtual receptionists capable of putting the caller through to your line, start from £30 per month. However, the additional cost per minute for all calls is 85p, so if you are taking, say, 15 calls a month which in total last around 30 minutes, you will have to pay another £25.50.

These two examples demonstrate just how much more affordable Pocket Receptionist is.

What's more, we believe that the value we offer for your money is much higher, as your virtual receptionists will do whatever you want them to do, and not charge you extra for that.

Do you need more reasons to choose Pocket Receptionist?

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