NumberGarage™ News

Landline Phones Going Away in Homes, But Businesses Too?!

You may be reading this post because you are searching for alternate solutions for your phone number. The NumberGarage™ virtual phone number, remote call forward service is intentionally simple. PARK is for phone numbers you do not want to use today, but might want to activate again later. FORWARD is for sending callers to any other U.S. based phone number.

We read an article recently (here) where retail businesses are dropping their landline too! This is surprising to us because the caller can be the lifeline to revenue for many businesses. It is a pleasant surprise to see retail businesses say, “No” to phone calls by removing the phone service from their businesses. This action tells the customer that they are MORE important than callers. We think businesses who drop their landline are missing out on marketing opportunities. It might be better to send callers to canned advertising messages.

The trends with virtual phone numbers are always growing. Machines talking to machines, smartphone Apps masking caller identities like Über does with “dummy numbers” (article about Über’s use of virtual phone numbers here), and we could go on-and-on with various use case scenarios.  We have learned from our customers how our simple NumberGarage™ FORWARD service helps simplify their lives saving them money too. We have seen growing trends of virtual phone number use as Americans continue to “cut the cord” by dropping their landline phone. They are letting their number go away forever (until reactivated by the phone company). Our customer’s who choose to lose the landline, but maintain callers choose NumberGarage™ FORWARD service.

Here is a good article about what to know before cutting the cord, here.

If you need to speak with us, give us a call, (866) 965-PARK and we will talk through your specific situation if you need to understand more about dropping your landline and keeping your number.

 

 

Phone Fraud in the Workplace

While we’re all aware of the need to protect our personal passwords and credit card information, did you know that your phone system at work could also serve as a potential risk for fraud?

A recent article from RCR Wireless News highlights the threat black hat hacker’s pose when it comes to your voicemail and VoIP account service.

Here’s the quick and dirty…most malfeasance in telecom is made to make a profit off international phone calls by targeting small-to-medium sized businesses with plans outside of major carrier networks (think AT&T, etc.). Once they tap in, they can co-currently make hundreds of international calls and take a cut of the charges collected. Yikes!

The good news is, there are ways to protect your business –

  1. Enforce minimum 6-digit voicemail passcodes with stringent default requirements
  2. Do not allow call forwarding to international numbers
  3. Block calling to the countries that are the biggest offenders
  4. Lock out voicemail after multiple invalid attempts
  5. Disable international calling by default

Another idea is to have a NumberGarage™ technician take a close look at your phone number inventory to identify phone numbers that are rarely in use (as these numbers might pose the greatest threat for undetected fraudulent activity). From there, you can pinpoint numbers to either Park or Forward to another, more active phone line.

Not only will this help, but NumberGarage™ might be able to reduce your telecom expense, it’ll also give you more control over your phone number inventory and lower the vulnerability for a fraudulent breach as outlined by RCR Wireless News. Because we don’t forward international calls here at NumberGarage™, any lines hosted with our service would be further protected.

As always, happy (and safe) dialing!

- The NumberGarage Team

NumberGarage™ Offers Free Phone Number Origination

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – NumberGarage™, a web-based service provider that converts landline and cellular phone numbers into virtual telephone numbers, announces a new feature for customers wanting to generate a new (or temporary) virtual phone number through the service.

By offering Free Phone Number Origination, NumberGarage™ customers can now create a virtual phone number at no cost.

For the past six years, NumberGarage™ has provided their PARK and FORWARD services exclusively to customers who port phone numbers in from another provider. The NumberGarage™ PARK service allows customers to maintain ownership of their phone number for future use at the very low cost of $4 per month. Staring at $9.95 per month, the NumberGarage™ FORWARD service allows customers to forward incoming callers to any U.S. phone number for much less than the average cost of phone service.

The new NumberGarage™ Phone Number Origination feature enables customers to:

  • Create a new phone number at no cost by waiving the activation fee
  • Use that phone number to forward incoming callers to any U.S. phone number
  • Port the phone number out to another provider at anytime

“We’re focused on keeping the NumberGarage™ platform simple,” said Jeff Heeren, founder and chief mechanic for NumberGarage™. “We based our number origination feature around existing customer feedback after finding that many people aren’t fond of giving out their real phone number for fear of receiving future telemarketing calls.

“Additionally, we’ve enhanced our web-based platform to help deliver a seamless, efficient user experience,” added Heeren.

Introduced in 2008, NumberGarage™ provides its PARK and FORWARD services for existing phone numbers. While continuing to offer a simple suite of services, the company is evolving to meet the changing needs of its current and future customers. The new NumberGarage™ Phone Number Origination feature is available now at www.NumberGarage.com.

RESOURCES:

About NumberGarage™ 
Based in Nashville, Tenn., NumberGarage™ is a web-based service provider for virtual telephone numbers. Founded in 2008, the company offers two primary levels of service – PARK and FORWARD. With NumberGarage™ PARK your phone number to keep it for later or FORWARD your callers to stay connected for less. To learn more, visit www.NumberGarage.com.

Video:  NumberGarage™ Virtual Phone Numbers

March 4, 2015 Press Release (Same info as above):

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/numbergarage-offers-free-phone-number-origination-300044932.html

Phone Connected Tech From CES 2015 (That We Like!)

We really enjoy ALL of the technology available to us today from the companies that manufacture (or place their name in an OEM relationship) making life more fun. One of the reasons we use our NumberGarage™ service is that we have phones, and many phone numbers. Sometimes we buy new phones, and all we have to do is update the “Forward to number” from inside our NumberGarage™ account and calls are seamlessly answered right away on the new phone — no need to wait to port phone numbers as we just use whatever phone number is given to us from the phone company. You might have your own reasons to use NumberGarage™ and you should email us and tell us how you use our service .

In the meantime … we thought you might like these NEW technologies we found at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 …

Celluon Epic

A matchbox-sized cube that projects a laser keyboard displayed on a flat surface connected via Bluetooth. Check out this video to see a lifestyle use case scenario. The Celluon Epic device would come in handy when you are on the road and need to communicate via email over your phone. How many typos have you typed with your thumbs? If you are ready to buy this little device, it looks like a $149.99 plus shipping and tax will do it.

 

Hyundai Blue Link

Hyundai vehicle owners whose cars are equipped with Blue Link can use Android Wear (app from Google Play starting Q1 2015), or a Samsung, Motorola, Sony and/or LG smartwatches to talk to their car. Really, the driver can bark orders; “Start my car” or, “Lock my car” or, “Find my car!” This is a step in the right direction, and bravo to Hyundai for being a pioneer in the convergence space of tech and automobiles. If you want to read Hyundai’s Press Release – here it is.  

 

Ventev Regen iPhone Case

The Ventev regen self healing iPhone case might be what Hyundai needs to look into for door dings! The technology here is a micro-filling technology that removes scratches with an invisible barrier within hours of any scratch being made. I’m sure there is a difference from a scratch and a gouge. Reasonable scratches are on the case on my phone right now, and a self healing case might be the right solution for me. If you are ready to buy one, they are only $25 (tax and shipping are extra).  

 

ReSound Smart app™ for Android

If you think you are not hearing well, well … you must get yourself some ReSound smart hearing aid technology to make your life easier. The technology found with this company are amazing for those with hearing loss, and iPhone users were the only ones who could experience this technology. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is currently one of the most popular Android platform devices, and the first Android device to launch with the ReSound technology. Check out ReSound Unite™ TV Streamer too — really cool! Also be mindful of those with ReSound devices who leave their phone on the table when they leave the room — they can still hear you!  Checkout the Re3Sound Press Release here.

 

Lenovo P90

Lenovo has done a great job with the laptop. Now they have entered the mobile phone, and mobile device space! The Lenovo P90 is powered by the 64-bit Intel® Atom™ processor and Intel XMM™ 7260 LTE-Advanced modem for one heck of an experience (I’m sure)! This basically means … no load times! Enter a web url and you will see what you were looking for, and I bet the the same is true for your communications! The P90 has a 5.5-inch FHD display, and that is 400 pixels per inch (or ppi). The 13MB rear camera will also ensure your pictures are sharp and worthy of immediate sharing. The P90 is available in February 2015. Check it out here.

 

Misfit Swarovski Shine

The solar powered internet of things with the Misfit Shine activity tracker is one amazing piece of technology. Mainly because there is NO BATTERY! This is a worlds first, and if you are not tracking your activity — get a Misfit Shine and start! Misfit wearables track, sleep quality and duration, steps, distance and calories burned. We might have to look into Misfit Shine competitions if the battery never runs out. Check out the crystal bling here.

We hope you like what we like from the 2015 CES roundup here. We will be looking at more technology tomorrow (January 6, 2015) and report back to you what we like. CES is an amazing trade show, and as consumers — we love technologies that help make life easy.

So…What Exactly is a Short Code?

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A Common Short Code (CSC) or “short code” is a special number that’s significantly shorter than a full telephone number and can be used to make calls or send and receive SMS messages.

All CSC’s are 5-6 digits in length and can come in one of two forms — either abbreviated dialing or messaging. They can also be customized and used in place of a long-tail vanity phone number just like the Law Firm bus ad on this blog post (just dial #LAW (529) to call their offices). So cool, right?!

Designed to be easier to read and remember, short codes are most often used for texting for value-add services like charity donations and TV-based voting (think “The Voice”). But be careful when sending short codes too! CSC’s can come with a hefty price just to send one message. If you send the word “STOP” in response to a short code, it will stop sending you information.

How to Get Your Own Short Code

If you want to obtain a dedicated short code in the U.S., you have to choose between vanity and random codes. It’s sort of like like picking a license plate.

With the vanity code, you get to choose the specific number and it cost around $1,000 per month to register per code (random short codes cost about half that). Keep in mind, the approval process for a custom short code can take anywhere from 12-16 weeks.

5 Resources & Marketing Ideas For Real Estate Professionals

Home Questions

1.     NumberGarage™ Coupon Code (our favorite and #1 biased choice) - REALTORS® today have to step out in front of their peers to make things happen. To add value to their client relationships, we have REALTORS® that give NumberGarage™ COUPON CODES to their clients before their move. In addition to forwarding their mailing address, movers can forward callers to their new phone number or transfer their existing phone number with NumberGarage™.  To request a custom coupon code, send us an email at contact@numbergarage.com from your Real Estate Group and tell us about your business.

2.     Twitter Vine Videos - Six-second videos have the ability to “tease” the buying agents, and buyers to generate interest in the property they have listed. Yes, a six second video can capture the interest of a buyer. Check this Twitter® Vine™ video out (it is for a rental property, but think about the use for a property for sale): https://vine.co/v/bXPgdXZPF3D

3.     Landing Pages - Populr.me is an amazingly simple tool for building landing pages. With this resource, REALTORS® can build a custom URL for every listing, then replicate or customize the page for each person they send the link to. We know Real Estate Pros who are able to watch the analytics on their Populr.me pages to see which buyer, or buyer agent is delivering value for their time invested in selling that home. Check this example out here.

4.     School Fundraisers - REALTORS® support local schools all the time and schools need the money for their education initiatives. Real estate pros don’t have to have kids in that school they choose to support, or even have kids at all.  The parents’ auxiliary President at each school in their local market is a great place to start. From there, REALTORS® can invest into that school by consistently supporting their fundraising events.

5.     EMAIL - Yes, email remains a great way to consistently connect with prospects. TouchStream is an awesome tool for sending automated bulk emails with a personal touch.

Want To Make a Smart Business Decision? Cut the Cord!

Today, most businesses have their workforce on mobile phones that the business pays for. These companies often pay for landline phone service on their workforce desks too!

We’ve found that our business clients have a difficult time making the decision to “cut the cord” with regard to their old landline phone systems due to a fear of lost revenue from phone numbers on business cards, listing services (i.e. yellow pages), advertisements, etc. While we understand their concerns, we feel that the benefits greatly outweigh the risk.

So what are the benefits? In most cases, the primary reason to cut the cord is the related expense. Savings of $600 annually ($50/mo. on average) is a great reason to let the landline phone service go! On the business side, savings can be exponential. For example, we recently helped one of our business clients save more than $45,000 annually by pulling their office phones into NumberGarage™ and forwarding those calls to company-paid cell phones.

Do you still have a landline phone at home or at work? If so, it might be time to cut the cord…

Office worker with two phones

IN on NumberGarage™ / OUT on Viber®

Here at NumberGarage™, we’re an inbound call service. There are some customers that have asked how they can make outbound calls using their NumberGarage™ phone number.

One easy way to do this is to register your NumberGarage™ phone number with Viber®—awesome app that lets its users text, talk and video chat for free anywhere in the world.

Once you register with Viber® using your NumberGarage™ phone number, Viber® will call with an authentication code. After your account is confirmed, you can make outbound calls through Viber® so that your NumberGarage™ phone number will appear on the caller ID of the person you’re calling.

Using Viber® with your NumberGarage™ phone number is just a bonus when you want to make calls using your NumberGarage™ phone number.

NG - Calls Out using NumberGarage phone number

(click image above for LARGE view)

Top 5 Reasons to Think: NumberGarage™

We launched NumberGarage™ with PARK and FORWARD services in 2008 — well before we all spoke of “the cloud” (virtual hosting) with regard to hosted services.  Our Chief Mechanic couldn’t find a service to simply forward phone calls without a physical phone. So, he created NumberGarage™ because he just wanted calls to his home phone number to send to his wife’s cell phone.

We’re amazed by the many different reasons people need to manage their phone numbers. Consumers and businesses have very unique phone number management needs directly related to voice communication.

Here’s a list of the 5 most common reasons people use NumberGarage™ as a solution –

1)   Moving – Is there a landline or cell phone number you want to keep for life or just for now? Whether you decide to PARK a number or FORWARD your calls, never have to give out a new number again.

2)   Downsizing – From small business owners to major corporations, we help consolidate phone numbers so you won’t miss a single call, even as your telecom-related needs scale down.

3)   Investing – Did you know that phone numbers can have value? If you own a valuable area code such as a 212 NYC number, hold onto it!

4)   New Business – When competitors go out of business, buying up their old phone numbers is a great lead generation opportunity. When old customers call in, they still receive great service and you get a new customer at little to no cost! Or, before you close your business, call you competitor and sell them leads, or the number itself.

5)   International Travel – If you’re planning to travel for an extended amount of time, it can be challenging to stay in touch with loved ones affordably. With NumberGarage™, we offer a simple AND affordable solution—just port your number over to us and forward it to a free phone number service (Whats App, or Skype®, etc.). This makes it easy for friends and family to continue calling your local number to reach you anywhere in the world! When you get back home, just port away from NumberGarage™ to your carrier of choice.

Why Is a Phone Number 10-Digits?

A phone number is similar to a social security number in that both can identify U.S. citizens. This is because the United States is located within the North American Numbering Plan system, which uses ten digits per phone number.

There are lots of other numbering plans in the world and each plan is different in its pattern of numbers. Unlike our closed system here in the U.S., an open system has more or less than ten digits.

Despite all the advances in telecommunication-related devices (landlines to super smart phones), a phone number is still needed to call someone, or for others to call you. Just like Morse code, each number represents a pattern. For example, “three, two, three” looks like this: “••• – •• – •••”.

Here in the U.S., there are three parts to a ten-digit phone number – area code, prefix, and house (station) number.

The area code and prefix are the most important parts of your phone number. Think of it as: area code = area of North America, prefix = the city, the last four digits = your station (i.e. home).

Make sense? If you have any questions, just call us – 866-965-PARK.