Q:

What are ringback tones, and are they free?

A:

Quick Answer

A ringback tone is a musical tune, personal greeting, or audio clip that is played instead of a generic ring when an individual is calling another person. Ringback tone subscription costs vary by provider, but as of January 2015, the average cost is $1.99 per clip plus a monthly subscription.

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Full Answer

The ring that is heard when an individual places a call to another is called a ringback signal. This signal informs the individual that the other line is not busy and that the call is being placed. Ringback tones are a unique way to personalize this calling experience, but it comes at a cost.

As ringback tones are managed from the service provider's end, a subscription fee is usually enforced to enable this feature. Besides a subscription fee, each individual ringback tone may come with a charge of its own. For example, as of January 2015, Verizon Wireless charges $0.99 per month for the ringback tone service and $1.99 for each individual ringback tone purchased.

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