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  Post #1 (permalink)   03-13-2008, 11:35 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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A lot of smaller online businesses don't seem to have a phone line for customers to call. Maybe it's just me, but unless they're larger, they seem to stick to support through email or sometimes chat and forums.

I was reading an article on Google's blog about them taking over Grand Central, though, which they described as:

If you have multiple phone numbers (e.g., home, work, cell), you get one phone number that you can set to ring all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. This way, your phone number is tied to you, and not your location or job. The service also gives you one central voice mailbox. You can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone, forward them to anybody, add the caller to your address book, block a caller as spam, and a lot more. You can even listen in on voicemail messages from your phone while they are being recorded, or switch a call from your cell phone to your desk phone and back again. All in all, you'll have a lot more control over your phones.
I saw it mentioned on Blogger's updates first with these details:

WebCall Button
When you add GrandCentralís WebCall button to your blog, your readers can easily call your phone or leave voicemails without ever seeing your telephone number.

You can screen calls, either accepting them or sending them to voicemail, and you can even block unwanted callers altogether. Learn how to add a WebCall button to your blog, and try it out for yourself below:
It seems really interesting to me. Maybe I'm behind times, but I've never seen something quite like this. I've seen anonymous phone numbers, temporary numbers, or blocked numbers, but never an easy long term phone system for smaller businesses or personal users for safe use via the internet. What do you think about it?

  Post #2 (permalink)   03-14-2008, 06:06 AM
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I have used it before and very seldom is it really used. It will ring to my cell, office line at the office and my home office along with my home phone number (distinctive). It works pretty good when you need it to, but sometimes it gets confusing. I am not sure for some but I have a caller ID issue with it.

My home line is Vonage, my cell is Cingular and my work VOIP is P8. The caller ID works on none when coming through the GC line.

  Post #3 (permalink)   03-17-2008, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 36

Status: ReliableServers is offline
I think how grandcentral works is great. Now only if they could get sms to work like it does on a normal cell without having to format it as an email
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  Post #4 (permalink)   03-19-2008, 08:19 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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There are quite a few services that provide similar features, with the exception of the call button on a web site.

Skype offers call-in and call-out services which provides you with a phone number (your choice of area codes and countries) and the ability to call from your computer to a regular phone. Also provided, is voice mail and call forwarding. The plans available can cost as little as $5 USD per month. With an adapter which costs $40 or so you can connect your current house phones to the system.

There are others out there as well, including SipPhone and Yahoo. Some even offer toll-free numbers with FAX and voice mail capability.

All of these services can forward to any land-line or cellular phone number or voice mail, keeping your personal numbers hidden.

Web hosts as well as other small business's should take advantage of these services to provide their customers with a contact number for use if their site is unavailable.

What do you mean by "safe use via the internet".
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  Post #5 (permalink)   03-19-2008, 04:46 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eastern Ontario
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Grandcentral sounds interesting. I pretty much committed to working with Skype myself. I got used to working with that on the job and found it practical and quite affordable. I don't know if I'm quite ready to jump into something new. When I have time I will look into it further. Curiosity is getting to me and I can see some of the advantages of switching to a system with those capabilities.

  Post #6 (permalink)   03-24-2008, 07:39 PM
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Google is so close to being able to give a full featured virtual office they should take the next step and monitize it. Give the service that has and its all they own it I think. Combined with Android mobile phone system and your at a office anytime your at your laptop or PPC phone. Just need a protable printer and scanner to upload signed docs. ?

That and a online office and contact suite like or yahoo's new email contact page. Seems to me there all set.

Anyone agree or disgaree?

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