Can this be done please?


I was hoping someone might be able to help me with a voip question please?

I need to know what the best way to earn money from connecting 2 phone calls together…

Bit of background…

I run a taxi fare calculator website in the uk. The idea is that people enter where the taxi is going from and going to. The system then calculates the distance and the cost of the fare.

It’s up and running at the moment (» and the traffic and feedback is going up month on month…

At the moment I am charging taxi companies a monthly subscription which enables their company to be listed on the results page when someone asks for a quote.

BUT, I want to move to a “pay-per-click” method of charging rather than a monthly subscription as at the moment taxi companies are not willing to pay monthly without some guarantee of how many bookings they will get… So, if i move to a pay-per-click method of charging they will only get charged for bookings they get…

So, what i want to be able to do is this…

  1. The user clicks a button on the website “call me back”.
  2. They enter the number they want to be called back on.
  3. The VOIP system calls the taxi company and plays a recorded message “Hello, this is taxiroute, we have a fare booking for you, press 1 to accept the call or hang up”
  4. If they press 1, the VOIP system then connects them to the customer.
  5. I get paid x pence by the taxi company.

So, basically, I want the VOIP system to be able to charge the taxi company the price of the call plus a predetermined cost that I get as commission for getting them the fare.

Does anyone know if this can be done please?

Many thanks


Yes, it can be done, but not without a bit of programming both on the website and in the Asterisk dialplan, probably with an AGI program. You need to think through the possible scenarios and I suggest you write a requirements specification document. There are a number of issues to consider: how does the call get matched to the correct company, what happens if the taxi company, or the website user, doesn’t answer the call, etc. You are probably going to need a database with companies and caller queues.


Hi Ian,

Thanks for the reply. I am pleased to hear this is possible!

The website programming won’t be a problem, all the taxi phone numbers are in a database and easily accessible.

My first thoughts are that I would like to be able to throw a call at the voip system in a format something like the following… … e=Message1

Then the voip system would call “Taxi1”, play them Message1 and if they answered with a “1” it would connect them to “CustomerNumber” and I would earn X pence. If Taxi1 didn’t answer or press 1 then it would then call Taxi2 and so on…

One bit I cannot get my head around is that if I have initiated the call how do i charge money against their phone bill?

Is there a way to, once the taxi has pressed 1, invisibly connect them to a chargeable phone number which would carry the call somehow?



You should think about how it will do it after you have fixed what it will do - that’s what the functional specification is for. Once you have settled on what it does, you can think about the implementation.

As for the billing, the fact that you are using a VOIP system is not really relevant, Asterisk could just as well route the calls through the a POTS line. The call log will give you details of the length and outcome of the calls, so why not charge based on the call duration?