Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Give me a call

With my First Born soon to be living in Canada, I started looking for some cheap ways to talk. Skype, free until the end of the year for calls to land lines in US and Canada, will have a flat annual fee for this after the first of the year (still a good deal). Still I trolled around to see what else was out there.

While checking out the options to call to land lines or have a land line number that pointed to a Voice Over IP (VOIP) account, I discovered AIM Phonelines -- yet another deal concocted by AOL. Essentially it's a voicemail account: someone calls, they leave voice mail and AOL emails you (to one of their free email accounts) an MP3 of the message. How cool is that?

The only hang is that you have to get at least 1 call a month to the number to keep it active.

Got the set up?

So, the other day I went to download some piece of evaluation software from Microsoft (it was for work). One of the required fields on the excruciatingly long form was for phone number. They had to have it.

It was then that I remembered my free AIM Phoneline number.

Jump to 3 days ago.

I went to get my password reset for one of the many AOL services I occasionally mess with. They sent my new password to my AOL mail account - one I hardly ever use. Lo and behold: voicemail. Two to be exact.

Both were from poor Microsoft drudges who'd been assigned the unfortunate task of following up sales leads with the people who'd downloaded the software. They were sad, really.

I had an epiphany that very moment. I would now never have to call myself again once a month just to keep this number.

And I would never again have to talk any salesperson.

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