So awhile back, I hit onto this page while searching for VoIP info: Zero Cost Voip Calls. The blog really only has 2 entries:
This gave me an idea on how to make free outgoing calls with my current setup: VoiceStick Replacement – IPKall with GrandCentral
I basically have unlimited incoming calls now due to IPKall + FWD + PAP2. But to make outgoing phone calls, I still had to use my cell phone, and what sucks about making phone calls to customer service and technical support is that you’re on hold typically for over 30 minutes and that drains your minutes quite fast.
Anyway, it turns out GrandCentral connects you with anyone in your address book on their dime. It’s similar to the function on Google Maps when you find the business you want to contact, and they have the “call” button which prompts you for your phone number and connects you directly to them.
So you just need to create an entry in your GrandCentral address book and then click call. What happens then is they’ll call you directly on your line and since you don’t pay for incoming calls, it’s a free call to you. Once they confirmed that there’s someone on your side, they’ll connect you to the other party. Simple as that.
What’s neat about this is that you can basically make any phone calls within the United States for FREE! I’m not sure about Canada, but it’d be sweet if you can make calls to Canada for free too.
These past few days I’ve been playing with GrandCentral a bit since I’ve set it up for my parents and there are some very neat things. One really neat thing is the ability to record a conversation. Even if you selected to not record initially, you can hit “4” in the middle of the conversation and it’ll begin to record immediately. However, they appear to have only enabled that for calls you receive and not calls you’ve initiated from their web UI.
Another interesting thing is RingShare, where you can customize the ring people hear when calling you. By default, it’s set to the American ring, but you also have the British ring and the Japanese ring. You can also go through the gallery and choose from a small selection of chimes and even people talking.
One thing I really want is the option to turn off the screening process completely. Even with Call Screening off, it still prompts me to push 1 to start chatting. I can definitely see it as a useful feature, but to my parents, it just complicates the process.