Friday, February 22, 2008

"911 Emergency..." "Screw Google!"

I logged-in to my blog today and I saw an offering to switch my phone service to "Grand Central." It's something that Google grabbed last year [like an Internet octopus growing more legs] and dubbed Grand Central Communications.
[Click on the post headline above to visit the GCC site.]

Among other things, I have the option to place a button on my blog that people can push and call me.

Readers can leave voicemail messages that I can even post on my blog. Gosh, how exciting.

In other words, Google wants to take over my telephone service.

[Image of people staring...Sound of crickets chirping]

I checked the website and decided that I had questions. So I clicked on the "Contact" button.

I was given the option of calling a number IF I am a member of the media. I'm not. But that was the only number listed. So, I figured if Google likes phone calls so much. I'd go ahead and make one. So I called the number.

A very stern voicemail told me to leave my name and number and he'd call me back.

I'm still waiting for that phone call.

I also noticed that Grand Central doesn't include 911 emergency service. Similar to Vonage.

The way I see it, my phone service works just fine. If I have a question, I just call my customer service and they answer me. No muss, no fuss.

If a reader wants to call me, he or she is welcome to send me an email and ask for my number. If I feel good about it, I'll send back the number. If I don't, oh well.

I can't share voicemail on my blog. I can live with that.

But I have full 911 emergency service. And I can't live without that.

Grand Central's still in the dreaded BETA-mode, anyway. And I won't even consider using it until: [1] It's out of the experimental stage. [2] It provides a direct point of contact for questions BEFORE signing-up. [3] It includes reliable, good-old-fashioned 911 emergency service.

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