Tuesday, February 15, 2011, AM | 1 Comment
You can make free cellphone calls to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Here is how it works: Register for Google Voice. Get your own number from Google. Your own Google Voice number is always a local call. When you dial it and press 2, you are letting Google carry your call the rest of the way. Now there are two major carriers and their provided features – AT&T A-List and Verizon Friends & Family – that you can experiment with and see if you can get the hang of it.
Register your Google number as one of your A-List or Friends & Family numbers. Google number then becomes one of your most frequently called numbers. All calls to or from these numbers are free, 24/7. They can be landlines, cell phones, phones on other networks. “It don’t matter to the two carriers.”
Be willing to dial your own number
Of course, nothing is free. You have to let your fingers do extra walking. Dial Google number, wait for prompt and press 2. Then dial the number you really want. This way you get a free cellphone call. You will never be billed for any minutes whatsoever. Lifehacker.com was one of the first websites to detail this method.
Whatever and however minutes the carriers give you are not unlimited. In my family of four, we have 700 minutes. Last month what happened was one of us talked for more than 700 minutes. Verizon charged us 45 cents for the minutes beyond the limit. It came out to be $76 extra.
I visited the old country – a third world country – a couple of years ago. Back there, the carriers don’t charge you for receiving calls. That part is free. Here in the United States, because of the almost monopolistic nature of these companies, they charge both the sender and the recipient of each text message and cellphone calls when customers go overboard. They don’t lower our monthly bills once our subsidized phone is paid off (except I think for T-Mobile).
Some news websites would have you believe that it’s cheating. I don’t believe it is. It’s just a loophole in technology that we can take advantage of. If it is cheating, then what do you call the loopholes in taxes that Congress may have intentionally left in the law so that the rich individuals and big multi-national corporations can take advantage of.
In a Nutshell
I didn’t include the details for Google Voice and the two carriers’ way of giving you the option of letting them know about the most frequently called numbers. The process is simple to follow in each case.