Nationwide (800)811-2441

Sonora (209)532-3183   *  Angels Camp (209)736-2541  *  Jackson (209)223-2831  *  San Andreas (209)754-3365
Live operator telephone answering service questions and answers:

1. How many rings before an operator picks up the phone?
Almost all calls will be answered within 3 rings.  In the event of heavy call volume periods which happen less than 8% of the time (basically Mon-Fri at 8:30a-9:30a, 11:30a-12:30p. and 4:30p-5:30p), your line may ring more than 4 times before being answered by a Live Operator. Most services advertising 1 ring answering use a Recorded greeting to greet callers on all calls and some services use this during periods of high call volume. 
We choose not to use a recorded greeting in any case as it defeats the purpose of using "Live Operators".
We will only use a recorded greeting if you dictate to us that you want your account answered in such a manner. 

2. How long do you keep messages on file?
A copy of all messages are kept for 5 Years.

3. Do you record conversations?
Yes, we do record conversations. All conversations handled on our phone system are recorded for quality control, training, and for archiving in case you may need that information someday. It has been our experience that with medical accounts this is a fantastic insurance policy provided which may benefit you in the event of an unexpected lawsuit. Recordings of calls are kept for 5 years.

4.  Do you provide order taking or appointment booking?
Yes, we do. We currently do booking for Camp Grounds, Limo Services, and order taking for book companies and other online companies.

5.  Will I ever be charged extra for overcalls or other services or fees?
Yes, you will be charged for overcalls.  If you exceed the volume of transactions provided by your plan you will see an additional charge on your bill for those transactions. If we find you are going over the message allowance in your plan on a regular basis, we will notify you and give you the option of moving to a more suitable plan. You may have charges showing for our different optional services (you must choose them) for different message delivery options, 800# usage, etc. Our Medical Accounts will also see a $20 monthly charge for HIPPA for the additional work performed on medical accounts to keep the information confidential. The only other charge you will see is an annual account maintenance fee each January for $25.00 to subsidize the additional work performed to keep your account information updated and accurate.  

6.  Are there any other extra cost options that I may be interested in?
Yes, we have different message delivery options, daily fax, fax as messages are taken, email, text to pager, text to cell. We also offer wake up services, and reminder services.  You may choose these options at any time. You may also discontinue service options at the end of your prepaid service.

7.  Is there a credit check or long term contract required?
No and No.  You may discontinue service at any time and your service will discontinue at the end of your last month of prepaid service.  Since you are prepaying service for your first and last month in advance and we automatically draft your monthly service from a credit card or checking account, there is no need for a credit check.

8.  Why should I choose your service over another competitor?
MLAS researched the answering service industry as well as interviewed customers for their likes and dislikes of their existing answering services.  We found that there were two main areas that needed improvement.

1.  Unreliable services with operators that appeared disinterested, rude or inattentive making errors, using bad grammar or losing messages creating a negative image for the customer.  MLAS has trained professionals that are courteous and speak English.  We do not farm out the calls to overseas operators, or other answering services that may be unfamiliar with your account.

2.  Costs that get out of hand.  Some services charge by the minute and although start with a low base rate, costs can quickly spiral out of control.  Some services offer flat rate service as well, but if you exceed the maximum call limits set forth, they will opt to move you up to a much higher plan or terminate your service without providing you the option to just pay for overages. With our tiered rate plans and call count monitoring, we can catch a potential call volume problem before it becomes a financial problem for your company. We only charge based on the amount of work we perform on your account on a unit basis. A unit is an inbound call that we answered on your account (wrong numbers do not count), or a unit is an outbound call where we are trying to reach someone from your company. The length of time that is taken is irrelevant.

9.  What is the difference between the 24 hour live operator dispatch that you offer with your pagers and your 24 hour live operator answering service?

Example of Operator Dispatch:
Operator dispatch is when a caller calls a live operator and gives the operator the exact message they would like sent to a specific pager or cellphone as a text message.
For example caller's heater is not working and its 3am. Here is how an operator dispatch operator would take the call.
Operator:  Ritz Apartment Complex Message Center, may I take your message please?
Caller:  My heater is not working, please schedule an appointment to check it out, my name is Mr. Roberts and my number is 856-555-5555
Operator:  Thank you. Your message has been sent.
End of call.
Example of 24 hour Live Operator Answering Service:
Operator:  Thank you for calling The Ritz apartment complex 24 hour maintenance department answering service, how may I help you?
Caller: Hi, this is Mr. Roberts in apartment 708, I realize its 3am, but my heater is not working and it's freezing
Operator:  I'm sorry to hear about your heater Mr. Roberts, I will contact the emergency Heater repairman on call to stop by, may I have your phone number for the technician to call you back as soon as I have contacted the technician?
Caller: Yes, 856-555-5555, will the repairman be able to come out at this time of night?
Operator:  Yes, we have 24 hour on call emergency service; I will confirm and have a repair service technician call you right back.
Caller:  Thank you.
Operator:  Contacts emergency service contact #1:  not available, on another call
Operator:  Contacts emergency service contact #2:  available but not till 9am
Operator:  Contacts emergency service contact #3:  Is available, can be there within 30 minutes.
Repair Technician then contacts Mr. Roberts at 856-555-5555 and advises that the tech will be arriving within 30 minutes.
Caller:  Thank you, I appreciate your quick service
10.  How are call counts calculated against my monthly unit allowance?
Let's, use the example above.  Your caller calls into our service, which counts as unit 1.
The operator then calls 3 emergency repair services on file, that's unit 2, 3 and 4, for a total of 4 units off of your monthly allowance. 
Next Example: If a caller calls into the service, then we contact you and reach you on your first contact number, that's 2 units.
Next Example: If a caller calls into the service, then we fax you the message, that's 1 unit as the fax is included in the unlimited fax call delivery.
11.  How does your billing work?
MLAS will send you a bill via regular mail each month.  We bill monthly (12 times a year) not every 4 weeks as some other answering services bill creating 13 bills a year.
You will be billed the same rate each month unless you exceed your monthly unit allowance.  If we find your call volume is averaging higher than your plan allows on a regular basis, we will notify you and make arrangements to change rate plans if it will help save you money. 
All accounts must be set up so that we may automatically charge your services on the 1st to either your checking account through an automatic draft or we can draft your credit card.
12.  Can I try a quick test of your service to see if I think I would like it?
Yes, you may try it right now by clicking on the following link and downloading our 2 week trial application forms. Complete the forms and fax them to us at 209-533-0561 and start right away it won't cost you a thing.