NumberGarage™ News

Category Archives: NumberGarage™ Trends

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

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.

How Do You Know If You Need NumberGarage™?

Do you have a phone number you wish you could have kept?  We hear it all the time — “I wish I knew about you when we moved!”

If you’re moving, living abroad or have too many phone numbers to manage, you might want to learn more about NumberGarage™. We port phone numbers in and forward phone calls out — that’s it!

So what’s the big benefit? You get to keep the same phone number regardless of where you live, avoiding all the hassles of changing your contact info. This could mean a short-term solution while you settle in or a long-term opportunity to keep a legacy phone number that’s important to you.

Another example of when NumberGarage™ will come in handy is if you decide to live internationally for an extended period of time. In this case, you might choose to reactivate your phone number with a cellular carrier when you return to the United States.

While traveling abroad, there are TONS of options to help manage your communications. In fact, here’s a recent Forbes article detailing a laundry list of ways to approach call forwarding when traveling: http://onforb.es/1tCUSB5.

At NumberGarage™, we like to keep things simple (and affordable!). So what’s our solution? Just forward your U.S. phone number through NumberGarage™ to your Skype® or Google Voice® phone number. It’s arguably one of the easiest and most affordable ways to stay in touch with your callers while you travel.

With this approach, your callers won’t know what country you’re in unless you tell them! This is because their call to you is still considered a local call. The down side….depending on where you’re living, you might be answering calls when you should be sleeping 🙂

You will know when you need to PARK a phone number.

“When do you PARK a phone number?”

Or, “Why would I want to have a phone number with NO phone service?!” You will know when AND why at the time you need it. The customers who use NumberGarage™ services are full of their own reasons. We have customers with large phone number inventory (call us if you have over 100 phone numbers – pricing is based on volume). We have customers with one phone number they PARK and we have no reason why! We just want to make sure they have what they need from using our service, and we are grateful to be of service.

The garage is always full of phone numbers coming and going, porting in, and watching numbers port out. We have some customers who will be with us for years (as they already have). We have some who port in and port out as quickly as we say, “port complete.”

PARK is a NumberGarage™ service that is needed by those who use it. If you don’t need it, we are not trying to sell you the PARK service. We are not trying to sell you anything! We ARE trying to let people know about NumberGarage™ for the specific reason of remembering who we are.

“It is time to NumberGarage™ it!” Is what we want you to say.

Park, Forward, Connect.™ NumberGarage.com

Reliability is crucial when dealing in phone numbers, and protecting phone number owners phone numbers.

Real Estate Professionals Save Money Forwarding Calls

NumberGarage has seen an influx of Real Estate Agents using our remote call forward service. The cost savings have been significant in most cases. Many of these new NumberGarage customers have been working to curb expenses for many reasons. They just want to save some money and keep their business systems as usual. Plus, what do you think the value of a telephone number is for a long time Real Estate agent? They must keep all phone numbers they have to stay accessible to their clients.

Real Estate agents are mobile, and in the field working harder than ever before. Even when they are in their office they are using their mobile phone.

All of the agents we have spoken to have always forwarded their calls from their office to their cell phone anyway. Call forwarding is certainly not a new concept, and they know the value of their telephone number. A couple of agents felt tethered to the office because of the phone system. We know they are always calling their office voicemail to check messages. Their telephone number is their identity, and they do their best to answer every single call.

NumberGarage has provided a cost savings with the same function they have grown accustomed to – forwarding calls, answering calls, and ensuring their clients have access to them for their real estate needs.

Instead of a $50 monthly telephone expense for an office line, and a cell phone expense that is easily $100 a month has taken its toll. Real Estate agents know the value of connectivity with email, their telephone number(s), and their office location. They cannot afford to completely remove any one of these expenses. Therefore, using NumberGarage for forwarding phone calls, or call forwarding is just one of many ways to save money.

NumberGarage represents a monthly expense for phone call forwarding of $9.95 per month (check out our pricing here). The average agent phone bill is $50 per month. These Real Estate agents are now saving on average $40 a month. That $480 annual SAVINGS NumberGarage has provided can now be allocated to other expenses associated with their profession.

Local number portability allows for the movement of your telephone number from one service provider to another. The Real Estate agents we have talked to have appreciated the simplicity of the NumberGarage service provides them. Calls forwarding from their office number to their cellular telephone number is seamless. The caller or client in most cases does not know the agent is on their cell phone, because the caller called the office number.

NumberGarage makes it easy to port a number to our service. As we submit the port request to the current telephone service provider. When the telephone number is released to NumberGarage our system is already programmed to forward the callers to the telephone number on record in the NumberGarage account. The agents we spoke with like the ease of updating their FORWARD to number in their NumberGarage account.

If you have interest in our service, let us know if we can answer any questions you may have. We are glad that we can provide such a valuable service to our many customers.

 

-The NumberGarage Team

Phoneius Landlineius

Phoneius Landlineius

 

Our Gannett owned local paper here in Nashville, Tennessee is the Tennessean. There was a recent letter to the editor on November 12, 2010, from Stephen Lewis of Murfreesboro, TN. He called his telephone “Phoneius Landlineius” which is a perfect name for the landline telephone. Cutting the cord is a trend that continues to gain momentum across the country, not just here in Middle Tennessee.

The current economic contraction has definitely increased the pace of landline loss and it does have major effects to telephone companies. Placing many telephone company balance sheets into a tailspin. Many people today are turning to SIP phone devices that plug into your computer or use your wifi connection for their phone needs in an effort to cut costs. NumberGarage’s customers want to keep their numbers, and then they just forward their callers to any number they choose. This is why we use the explanation of the “cloud” for where NumberGarage virtual numbers are. We have plenty of room for more numbers here in the garage.

The landline as Mr. Lewis says, is indeed a dinosaur. “Phoneius Landlineius” and the telcos that feed him have the same expression on their face as this dinosaur illustration above … fat and happy. It is a tragic situation indeed, because those who maintain the landlines today are in need of the subscribers to pay for their infrastructure.

NumberGarage advocates telephone number ownership. Our service provides confidence to number owners that their telephone number is safe, and the customer service is here to back it up.

America Unwired

The Economist’s recent article on the condition of the life remaining for landline telephone service is sad. The article starts off like this, “IF YOU want to save money, cut the cord. In these difficult times ever more Americans are heeding this advice and dropping their telephone landlines in favour of mobile phones.”

There are basically 16 years remaining for the landline telephone. The article states, “one in four households has now gone mobile-only. At current rates the last landline in America will be disconnected sometime in 2025.” If you ask anyone under thirty what their home telephone number is, you are most likely to get the answer, “this is my only number.”

Why would you pay for multiple telephone lines? One for your cellular, and one for your home phone. It does become a burden over time to check multiple voicemails. This is one of the benefits of using NumberGarage. The callers to your landline telephone number, (or cellular telephone number) have no clue that the physical phone does not exist anymore.

NumberGarage is seamless, affordable and functional.

Is Google Voice a Privacy Nightmare?

Internet Privacy

The internet has been buzzing in anticipation for the public release of Google Voice. The service never completely opened up last week but invites have begun to slowly trickle out.

There is no doubt that a service like Google Voice is a telecommunication game changer. It offers a menu of insanely useful features:

  • Advanced call and caller routing
  • Powerful call screening and the ability to listen to a voicemail as it’s being recorded
  • Transcribed voicemail that can be archived and shared
  • SMS Archiving
  • Call recording

Like all technology Google Voice is a double edged sword and not without inherent flaws and potential for abuse. As far as individual privacy is concerned, the service’s rich features are both it’s strength and vulnerability.

The features are a privacy strength for Google because they will have full access to a wealth of private user information by scanning users phone calls, voice mails, and text messages. They will use that data for a multitude of purposes but mainly to drive contextual advertising to a user.

Last week Mike Elgan wrote an excellent article for Computerworld, Why Google Voice is Free, where he correctly pointed out the following:

Google users are the “product” — users are not Google’s customers. By this I mean that Google is selling information about its users to advertisers, which are the company’s real customers.

Many have suggested that the level of voicemail transcription accuracy could mean that humans are manually transcribing complex messages while simple ones are handled by machines. How would you feel about someone, anyone, listening to a personal message left by a friend or loved one?

There will be also be thorny legal issues that arise from recorded conversations and transcribed voicemails. Sure, we have always had the ability to record a conversation. It will just be more convenient for more people in the future with the inevitable large amount of Google Voice users.

Many people continue to use Gmail fully aware that their data is always being scanned, used, and sold. Will Google Voice take our privacy concerns to a new level. Will you sign up for the service knowing the risks and privacy concerns?

Other interesting articles and resources: