Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grand Central Problems

I've been using Google's voicemail service Grand Central since September. The service lets you aggregate all your phone numbers (home, work, cell, etc) under one master number. When somebody calls you the service routes the call (or screens it) based on your preferences. It is a great concept that has a few bugs.

First, in an age where everyone has caller ID on their cell phones or at work, people get very confused when you call them back on a different number. Then the next time they call you they call back the other number and not your Grand Central number. For whatever reason, people just can't deal with the concept of a number with no home (i.e. the Grand Central number).

Second, all of the call routing preferences are based on your phonebook. However, Grand Central's importing tool is very clumsy and does not de dupe.

Finally, as of late Grand Central is unreliable. Now I know this is only a beta product but you just can't mess with people's messages. On Feb 4th Grand Central lost stored contacts and voicemails. Today is Feb 14th and the voicemails still haven't been restored. Unfortunately for me, I'm in the middle of search for a job and I can't listen to any of the messages that were left for me in the last 10 days. Needless to say I'm not very happy about this.
Grand Central has had a few other high profile problems. Check out this post from Tech Crunch.

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