Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free telephony through google maps

This is a real good post that I found today, haven't checked it out but it sure ought to be good.

I recently discovered a fantastic new feature in Google Maps that can actually save me a lot of money. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say hypothetically that I’m sitting at work in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area and I want to pick up a delicious pizza from Papa Murphy’s on my way home from work. Unfortunately, though, I can’t call out from work to non-business numbers, though I can receive phone calls. Ah-ha! I go to Google Maps, type in “Papa Murphys West Des Moines IA and see the following:

Google Maps to Papa Murphys

See the “call” link I have circled in red? If you click that link, you’ll be asked to enter your telephone number. As soon as you click submit, your telephone will ring. Pick it up, wait a few seconds, and you’re connected for free to the business. No charges to you at all, and no outgoing call charges. This is spectacularly useful if you have any sort of long distance charges or if you have outgoing call charges on your telephone, whether it be a land line or a cellular phone.

In general, this technique seems to work for most businesses - I have used it to call dozens of businesses in the last several months and I can only recall one that was not listed using this service. It has been very useful for making restaurant reservations, calling businesses to check on their hours, and so forth. It’s a great way to utilize whatever phone is handy to make calls without eating away at my cell phone minutes and without being dinged for outgoing call charges.

What’s the drawback? So far, I haven’t found a drawback - it’s not always useful, but quite often it can save me some cash.

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