I was tasked recently to build a web site for a psychic, as a favor for the aunt of a friend. Initially thinking it would involve just some standard WordPress magic, I charged my base price. There is a little more to it than that, so I want to share here what I learned, with you. Perhaps you could earn a living as a psychic, but please, make sure you are actually gifted as one first 🙂 If so, you probably knew I was going to write this.
The Psychic Services
The services of the psychic are the real “meat” of the site. The rest is standard “web site stuff.” Depending on the services the psychic performs there are different ways to go about it.
Some services that could be lumped together because they are essentially the same in how to accept payments are: email readings, text chat readings, and text message via cell phone readings. You can set the “rules” in a sense that email readings will be x amount of words long and be ready within x amount of hours, etc.
For these services you can accept payments by PayPal easily enough. It wouldn’t hurt to have an online indicator of some kind so people can quickly find out your availability. Email/test message (on cell phone) readings can be paid for ahead of time naturally, but my guess is people would want to choose from a schedule, or learn in “real time” when they can get their “text chat” reading since it is interactive.
800 numbers versus 900 numbers
In terms of 800 and 900 numbers I uncovered a few pieces of information. While there are different features and vastly different prices across the board there are a few distinct similarities for the numbers.
For 900 numbers you would need one for each country (I’m talking U.S. and Canada) that you want to take calls from. While the number can be ported to any number in the U.S. or Canada, each country that you want to serve will need their own number. That can get pricy. Worse, many phones block 900 numbers by default. Also, the 900 calls are billed to the phone bills of the callers so they can rack up lots of charges and not realize it, and make attempts at disputing the calls later.
So, as many people do these days (from what I have been told), we are settling on just an 800 number it seems. The psychic in this case is in Canada, so we are getting a Canada 800 number to ring her Canadian line, but U.S. residents can also call the number. If the number is to be routed to a U.S. phone number, a U.S. 800 number is needed, but Canadians can still call it.
Customers are billed either by the minute or a flat rate (decided by the psychic when setting up the line), and must enter their credit card details before reaching the psychic.
Some companies, besides “live” lines, also offer the option to have pre-recorded messages that a person must pay to listen to.
There are 800 numbers that cost $20 per month with a per minute cost, but they do not accept credit cards on your behalf. That must be setup on your end with a merchant account. Others that carry an up front cost of around $800 and a $50 monthly cost will accept the credit cards on your behalf. There is still a “usage” charge, but that is never billed to you. It is simply removed from the revenue check that is sent every month.
As you can see, it is a little more involved, cost-wise at least, to get a toll free number, than it is to have a completely “online” service. I never looked too deep but I’m sure Skype could be a great tool for this for both “online” and “phone” services. It’s probably worth looking into deeper. But the thing with Skype, many features that “used to be” are no longer, but remnants of them still exist on the web. So you may fall victim to spending hours researching a feature only to find out it was discontinued years or months before. Or is that just me?
Another thing, some of these phone services will also let you have multiple extensions that ring different lines if you have a “network” of psychics. Callers may also ring a default number, with no extension, that checks lines for availablity in sequence.