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Yay review: A keenly priced, feature-rich VoIP service

Our Rating :

Value for money adds significantly to the appeal of this flexible internet telephony service


  • Good value
  • Flexible telephony options
  • Logical control panel


  • No video calling on entry-level tier
  • Voicemail transcription only on Flying High and Enterprise plans

UK-based Yay runs a proprietary, in-house platform that was, it says, “designed from the ground up to be the most innovative, resilient and scalable cloud communications infrastructure available”. Founded in 2014, it now manages over 20m calls a month, and claims uptime of 100%.

Its platform is hosted on Google Cloud, where it’s spread across multiple data centres for resilience. Perhaps that’s why its customer list includes some big names, including Berlitz, Spotify and HSBC. Or it could be because of the clever integration options, not only via an API, but through lower bandwidth webhooks.

Or maybe it’s the price, which is very tempting indeed.

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Yay review: What do you get for your money?

Yay has three tiers: Starting Out at £5.39 per user per month; Flying High at £16.79 per user per month; and Enterprise at £27.59 per user per month. Each includes VAT and assumes you’ll be signing up three users. Sign up for just one user and the prices are slightly higher (£5.99 a month for Starting Out, for example), but they drop considerably when you enrol between 20 and 99, and further once you have 100 or more users on your account. As the names and prices suggest, each tier builds on the capabilities of those below it.

On the Starting Out plan, you get a single phone number and each user can make 100 minutes of calls a month before call charges kick in. Voicemail and hold music are included. Upgrade to Flying High and you get two bundled numbers for your organisation, and 750 minutes of calls per user. Once you reach the Enterprise tier, it’s three numbers and an unlimited number of calls to the UK and 54 other countries. Use more than your quota and UK calls cost 1p a minute to landlines and 9p a minute when calling a mobile. Across much of Europe, including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain, the figures are 2p and 11p per minute respectively, while calls to India, Canada and the US are a flat 2p per minute, whether terminating at a landline or mobile number.

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Calls are logged and can also be recorded on either a case-by-case basis or universally, with recordings kept for 30 days on the Starting Out and Flying High plan, and indefinitely if you sign up for Enterprise. Each plan includes SMS, with caps on the number of simultaneous recipients for each message standing at 10, 25 and 2,000 for Starting Out, Flying High and Enterprise users respectively. Each SMS costs 5p per recipient in the UK or US, or 12p when sent to the rest of the world, with the cost deducted from your call credit.

You can add more numbers to any plan from £2.15 per month, with memorable numbers also available at higher prices. Alternatively, you can port numbers you already own if they’re registered elsewhere.

Certainly, the Starting Out plan will be plenty for a small business that wants to replace its traditional telephony (and incoming fax) infrastructure with something more capable. However, it’s worth exploring Flying High for its additional features – especially if you’re able to make full use of the additional bundled calling minutes, which would offset £6.50 of the additional £11.40 per user per month right away. As well as the benefits outlined above, upgrading buys you video calling, IVR menus, call monitoring, voicemail transcription, CRM integration (including Zoho and Hubspot) and phone book integration with Office 365 and Google Contacts.

Yay review: How do you get started?

The simplest option is to sign up for a free trial, as we did. We didn’t need to provide any credit card details but were nonetheless assigned an 0330 number for 14 days, along with some call credit. Although you’ll be signed to a “Lite” tier, you’ll get access to almost all of the system’s features and can set it up on multiple devices simultaneously.

We both downloaded the Yay app and set up a SIP hardware telephone within the first few hours, and both of these worked the first time. It helps that the app is automatically provisioned when you enter the mobile number associated with your User account in the Yay dashboard, and that the SIP username, password and domain are shown beside each extension, again on the dashboard. You can also make calls through the browser if you log in at

Voicemail is already set up for each registered user, and sends recordings as attachments to associated email addresses. If you opt for the Flying High or Enterprise plans at the end of your trial, you can also have the email transcribed before being sent.

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Although feature availability is generally based on the tier to which you’ve signed up, one notable exception is video calling which, while not being exclusive to Flying High and Enterprise, also requires video-capable third-party VoIP hardware or softphone.

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Yay review: Is it easy to configure?

Yes. The dashboard is well thought out and logically organised, and everything is explained in plain English. If you have previous experience with an alternative system, you should have no trouble transferring what you know.

The first changes you make will most likely be to your account’s call-routing settings. By default, incoming calls are set to ring on whichever device you have registered to your account, but changing that is a simple case of dragging and dropping options onto a stage, in an appropriate sequence. If, for example, you wanted to give callers several options, whereby they could press one, two or three for different departments, you’d drag the appropriate routing module into your call route workflow and define the output of each button press by attaching them to three additional modules. On pressing one they might be passed on to the module for voicemail; for two it could be the module for a particular extension; and for three, to the module for a recording that would play out regularly updated information.

Similarly, you could set up several routes that will send callers to different extensions depending on the time of day. You can then associate each route with a time slot in your account’s Time Diary so that the system will automatically switch between them on a schedule. This is a neat way to handle your out-of-office needs, or a job share – particularly if the colleagues sharing the job each work remotely from different locations and thus use different devices and apps.

Call recording is set up through the history panel, and although there’s no option to automate any spoken notice that warns callers that their conversation will be recorded, you could add this to your call-routing options to make sure you comply with any relevant legislation.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a range of simple options for restricting both incoming and outgoing calls. You can block calls that cost more than a specified amount per minute, or all international calls, as well as blocking specified sequences, whether incoming or outgoing. The sequences can appear at the beginning, end or within a number, or be an entire number if you want to be specific. Similarly, you can block all anonymous inbound calls should you need.

Yay review: Should you buy it?

At this price, you’d be hard-pressed to find such a flexible VoIP service anywhere else. For just under £6 a month, solo users get their own number, 100 minutes of calls and voicemail. You can make calls through the browser, an iPhone or Android app, or a hardware SIP phone, and, whether you’re a home or office user, it’s cheaper than getting a second physical line installed, not to mention more capable than a traditional telephony service.

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There’s a clear differentiation between the three tiers in terms of both features and price, with Flying High considerably more expensive than Starting Out, and Enterprise again being a significant increase. However, this reflects the kind of customer likely to be attracted at each level and the features they’ll demand. Flying High and above integrates with your CRM, for example, while Enterprise offers inbound and outbound call reporting, and can drive a wallboard of the kind you’d see in call centres. Neither of these is the kind of thing a Starting Out user is likely to need.

Should you buy it? If you’re looking for a feature-rich, inexpensive and easy-to-administer system, yes. If you’re not sure, you can sign up for the trial and see how it fits with your way of working.

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