20 September 2008
After using CallWave for about a year, the free beta test of its service is ending, so I'm reviewing other competing services.
CallWave handles mobile voicemail so that instead of leaving a message on my mobile carrier's provided voicemail, callers unknowingly are leaving their message with CallWave instead. I simply keyed in a simple code to tell my mobile carrier to use CallWave's voicemail instead. I started using this solution because I was missing too many calls from being out of range of mobile service. Not only does CallWave notify me via email and SMS when I get a voicemail, but it also handles voice-to-text (although not very well) and lets me listen to the message online via the CallWave website. To upgrade to a non-beta account is $5/month which isn't much but I'm also already paying $10/month for CallWave's fax to PDF service.
Grand Central offers a similar set of features and it's free but it makes you get a new phone number. I've had this same phone number for eight years and too many folks know it. I'm not getting a new phone number just for unified messaging. Grand Central should be able to use my existing phone number. Can anyone confirm that this is not a requirement?
Spinvox seems to be one alternative, but it seems to be focused on the voice-to-text conversion but I'm not so keen on that feature really. What I need is mainly voicemail notification.
Voicenation requires you to get a new number (or so it seems) and is much more about providing a PBX service. Again, not something I need.
Just recently I signed up with YouMail because it seems to focus on exactly what I need and it's basic service is free (and they claim it will remain free). I just keyed in a special code to tell my mobile carrier to use YouMail's voicemail instead of the carrier's provided voicemail and voila. I'm just starting to get used to it but it seems to provide what I need so far. YouMail offers pre-recorded messages that you can buy to use for your various greetings are funny. My favorite is titled, 'No one wants to buy your shit (for solicitors).'