Llama Pen

There is a work around to the phone situation if you really are interested in pinching pennies until something else is finalized on. You can forward your call to the number you are trying to get a hold of via an internet solution such as Grand Central(google bought em out, and they are in a seemingly perpetual invitation only beta - so if you're curious, request access through http://grandcentral.com/home/reserve or if you think you might want and/or do need it for this weekend, I can send you an invite).

Its a bit clunky, but it works - even if you don't have long distance service. The basics are you would select a phone number that is going to be local to your phone service(its lets you pick by area code), and then set the number you are going to call out to as the number to forward your calls to. So you call your grand central number and it forwards it to the other number for free. After a couple of minutes to set things up, you got your self a makeshift long distance service for all US calls.

The downside is all of the settings are accessed via a browser, so you either need to plan ahead or you have to be at a computer with Internet access to place your calls this way. Also, if you do decide to do this, make sure the number you are calling from is in your contact list or the people on the other end will hear something that resembles a collect call.

Anyways, even if you don't need this for long distance service, it is pretty cool and amazingly useful - especially if you have more than one phone number people need to get a hold of you from or want to filter who can reach you on what phone. It also is great if you have family/friends that might need a way to get a hold of you that isn't long distance to them - just set your number up in their area code and they can call you for free(teen mobil's fav 5 is a knock out combo with this kind of exploit giving you potentially unlimited service so long as people call your grand central number to get a hold of you - works for now, they might catch on though). I've found this service to be a sweet solution to many phone annoyances and it has lots of features available to it that are missing from most all traditional services.

That was a bit lengthy, but I would highly recommend trying this service out if you do any amount of communicating via your telephone(s).

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