I’ve signed up for a new service called PrivatePhone.com. This is a free service provided by Netzero. I’m assuming they’re offering this to draw attention to their NetZero Voice over IP packages as well as their other offered internet packages. Whatever their reasons it appears to be a great product. Read a Press Release (PDF)
I have two phone lines. I have a landline through AT&T and a cell phone through T-Mobile. I mainly just use my landline number for the purpose of having a number to give to people and businesses without giving out my cell phone. I have call forwarding set up so when someone calls that number it sends it to my cell phone. I also have a distinctive ring number so when that’s dialed my fax machine will pick up. (Which I’m replacing with a free eFax number)
The downside of leaving this setup and setting up PrivatePhone is that I won’t have the benefit of calls coming directly to my cell phone without giving out my cell phone number. On the flipside . . . As voicemails are left they’re immediately emailed to me in .wav format which my T-Mobile Sidekick II can play from right within the email application. I REALLY like this way of doing things!
Once I finished configuring PrivatePhone.com the way I wanted it I thought to myself how much I liked not having to deal with calling a number to retrieve voicemail messages (anyone who knows me knows I hate dialing in to receive voicemails, give me an email or a text message any day!) So I begin to wonder if I can tie this to my cell phone.
I call T-Mobile and my first question is if the voicemail system that T-Mobile uses can send emails with your voicemail attached. The answer was no. My second question was if I can set it up to forward to a different voicemail system than the one they use. The answer was yes! The rep walked me through doing it. (On the Sidekick II just go to the Phone application > Menu > Settings > Call Forwarding & Voicemail. From there select the forwarding option “Forward to Custom Number” and change all the options to forward to the number you wish to use for voicemail. Write down what you had before just in case you want to go back!)
Now that I’ve set it up it’s completely transparent and all my voicemails go to one place, my email. One annoyance is the announcement states that they’ve dialed a PrivatePhone number. That I can deal with. Another annoyance is it’s limited to 10 voicemails at a time and even if it’s forwarded to your email account straight away it doesn’t automatically remove it from the online voicemail box. That generally won’t be a problem for me but I wish it wasn’t that limiting.
It would appear that since this sends the voicemails in a standard (.wav) format it would work for anyone who has a cell phone capable of receiving Multimedia Text Messages (otherwise known as MMS) as well.
I love technology. For once it’s made my life easier. 🙂