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I need a landline telephone — but just for 9 hours

Like many people, I am totally fine living without a landline. Between my cell phone and Google Voice, I'm covered. Mostly. But now I need a landline for nine hours. [more inside]
posted by veggieboy on Jul 17, 2014 - 27 answers

Phone etiquette experts: How to be polite when sound quality sucks?

When I'm on the (cell) phone with another person, and I'm not able to hear what they are saying clearly, I get stuck. For persistent low-quality voice calls (i.e. when "can you talk a little louder" isn't the solution and "can you repeat that?" doesn't help), what can I do or say that doesn't make me look like an incompetent, impatient jerk? [more inside]
posted by RaRa-SpaceRobot on Jul 16, 2014 - 14 answers

How can I safely use my iPhone 5 when I'm driving?

I want to make and receive calls when I'm driving, but I want to do it as safely as possible. I've tried two different Bluetooth devices, and they were both terrible. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 on May 24, 2014 - 16 answers

How best to get rid of office landline?

I work from home and have an established business phone number that I need to keep. I'd like to port the number somewhere that sends the call to voicemail and return the call with my cell phone. I don't need to call from the office number, just receive voicemails. Do you have any recommendations for services you like that are cheap? I found "parkmyphone.com" which says what I need would be $5/mo plus $20 transfer fee to port the number, but don't know if it is reliable. I don't know anything about Skype or voip solutions. GoogleVoice doesn't allow landlines to be ported into it. If it matters, I have an Android Galaxy S4 with T-mobile for my cell service. Thanks!
posted by DB Cooper on May 17, 2014 - 6 answers

S'cuse me, but you've got your FIOS in my analog.

When telephone companies replace copper analog phone lines with FIOS, what happens to what was supposed to be analog function? [more inside]
posted by mcbeth on May 12, 2014 - 7 answers

How to block outgoing calls

My Grandmother has dementia. She calls her old phone number 20+ times a day to ask for a ride home. Unfortunately, this number is now used by a business, the owner of which is not too pleased with the multiple phone calls a day. [more inside]
posted by backwords on Mar 6, 2014 - 30 answers

Less talkie, more workie.

I work in a small office environment: there's me, two other people who do the same job that I do, my boss, and his administrative person. I genuinely like everyone that I work with, which is wonderful. However, I'm encountering a problem with my boss's administrative person, who I'll call Cathy. Cathy has an irritating habit of cornering me and my co-workers into long "conversations" that eat up a lot of my workday, and I don't know what to do about it. [more inside]
posted by sevensnowflakes on Feb 21, 2014 - 25 answers

Am I always going to be asking permission for Internet?

I bought a house, yay. The cable company won't serve me, boo. Why not? They say I have no legal path to get from their utility pole to my lot. The property owner next door is willing to give me permission to cross his lot but balked at an easement. What can I do? (Picture contained within.) [more inside]
posted by fireoyster on Feb 15, 2014 - 16 answers

Ableton Live experts: how do you "sharpen" voices

How can I make slightly muffled voices on audio conference calls sound sharper or crisper using Ableton? Is their an audio equivalent of "unsharpen mask"? Bonus points if I can do it over a specific frequency range. [more inside]
posted by stp123 on Jan 17, 2014 - 6 answers

Phoney Baloney

Is there a device of some kind that will allow me to listen to music on my ear buds and still hear my desk telephone ringing? [more inside]
posted by BrianJ on Jan 17, 2014 - 11 answers

Old-school conference calling?

Hi, looking for a reliable service to set up cheap, flat-rate conference calls on a semi-regular basis (non-internet based). [more inside]
posted by Laura in Canada on Dec 16, 2013 - 1 answer

"RA-1, Channel One. Special Service Air Channel."

Rockford, IL: So, I made this recording of a mysterious telephone loop in 1991... [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Dec 1, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me find a big-button phone for my elderly father

My father has been using a plain old phone for decades. He's been somewhat visually impaired for a long time, but recently he started receiving an eye treatment in his one good eye that has reduced his vision even further. He also has low dexterity (though his mind's still totally sharp) due to a stroke earlier this year. He needs a new phone. Help! [more inside]
posted by limeonaire on Nov 21, 2013 - 7 answers

How to troubleshoot the phones in my house.

I'm looking for pointers for troubleshooting the phones in our house. They seem to have been installed by Cheech and Chong and appear to be wired in series: one to the next. However, some work and some do not. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Nov 16, 2013 - 4 answers

Best way for New Yorker to have a cell phone when in London for a week?

I'm going to London from November 1st to November 7th and I want to be able to make and receive a few phone calls... [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Oct 7, 2013 - 6 answers

Yo Vlad wassup it's Barry. Hit me on the hip.

How do presidents call other presidents? With last week's phone call between President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, it got me wondering how do heads of state call other heads of state? I imagine that one executive suite's switchboard calls the other's, but what's the diplomatic protocol for who picks up the phone first? Do they have super-secret phone numbers, or even phone numbers in the way we think of them? Are the calls private, or are is there an entire entourage listening in? Do they just hang up when they're finished, or is their an entire protocol for ending the conversation? What are some of the other "hidden" aspects of executive diplomatic communication and behind-the-scenes goings-on are there that the rest of us commoners never see?
posted by slogger on Oct 1, 2013 - 5 answers

SMS to phone call. Is a call center the best option?

I'm looking for a service or program that will convert a SMS/text message into a phone call, approximately 100 times per month. When making the phone call, the service or program needs to navigate through a simple "press 2 for support, press 3 for sales" before relaying the contents of the SMS to person that answers the phone. [more inside]
posted by Hermanos on Aug 14, 2013 - 5 answers

Movies with telephone or phone booth scenes

Help me find movies with telephone or phone booth scenes! (even if said scene is only 10 seconds long). [more inside]
posted by mugitusqueboom on Jan 29, 2013 - 65 answers

Have you used a good temporary answering service?

Asking for recommendations for an answering service, with a live person that can answer our office phones for a week. [more inside]
posted by gemmy on Jan 10, 2013 - 4 answers

I'm the idiot on the phone help line that can't help you

I'm being forced to answer phones at work. I have NO clue and NO ability how to do this and I have to start NOW. How do I make this situation less horrible? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 7, 2013 - 26 answers

Inbound-only telephone service?

Our church needs a telephone service which lets us (1) receive calls (outbound calls would be made on personal cell phones), (2) record inbound messages, (3) use our existing number, and (4) have our number published in the white pages. Does such a service exist that would meet all or most of these requirements?
posted by davcoo on Dec 5, 2012 - 9 answers

How to manage the logistics of a cellphone provider switch? Added Difficulty: Christmas Gift

We are switching from AT&T cell phone to service to Verizon, and I'd like to perform the switch smoothly while also using one of the new phones as a Christmas gift. Your advice on the proper procedure would be welcome. [more inside]
posted by Rock Steady on Nov 20, 2012 - 14 answers

What's the best land-line telephone that will only function as an apartment buzzer?

What's a good tiny-form-factor POTS telephone I can purchase solely to buzz people into my apartment building? [more inside]
posted by whittaker on Nov 12, 2012 - 7 answers

International Toll-Free Telephone

What is the best (least expensive) way to setup a toll-free international business line in Canada? [more inside]
posted by rabbitfufu on Oct 22, 2012 - 5 answers

Headsets save necks! (need a headset for cisco phone)

I need a recommendation for a headset to buy to use with my Cisco IP Phone 7960 series, ideally over-the-ear (not over-the-head) and around $50 or less. [more inside]
posted by de void on Oct 16, 2012 - 4 answers

Phone Equipment

Where can I get cheap PBX phone-exchange switching equipment? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on Sep 20, 2012 - 7 answers

Dial the area code or no? Why should it still matter?

Why is it that the phone company can't figure out whether or not an area code is needed when dialing - even when I can't - and just dial the number accordingly? [more inside]
posted by attercoppe on Sep 5, 2012 - 29 answers

prepaid SIM card for use in Germany, but shipped to USA?

I will be traveling in Germany for a week soon, and will need a cell phone while there. I won't be able to use my personal cell phone (incompatible with Europe) but I have an unlocked GSM phone that I've used in Europe before. Please help me find a SIM card (with German phone number) that I can order now and get delivered to the US before I leave for my trip. [more inside]
posted by intermod on May 29, 2012 - 11 answers

How do I direct my customers' phone calls to the correct location?

My store has three locations. People often call the wrong location. Is there a low-cost way to transfer or forward a call to the correct location without forcing the customer to hang up and dial a new number? [more inside]
posted by Night_owl on May 26, 2012 - 9 answers

Please leave your answer after the beep.

Help me understand my landline phone problems and possibly buy a new one. [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on May 17, 2012 - 2 answers

Escaping Ma Bell’s Vile Offspring

Please share your experience purchasing local landline service from a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem on May 14, 2012 - 13 answers

Calling from an iPhone on wireless in china

How can I call an american telephone number (landline or cell) from an iPhone that 1. Has only wireless, and 2. Is behind the Chinese firewall? [more inside]
posted by Rinku on Apr 15, 2012 - 5 answers

Hey CLEC, who called me?

Did telephone companies routinely keep records of *incoming* calls in the pre cellphone days? [more inside]
posted by xetere on Apr 13, 2012 - 8 answers

Long Distance Rates For the Late Seventies and Early Eighties?

How much did long distance telephone calls cost in the late 1970s and early 1980s? I'm mainly interested in hearing about rates for the USA but data from other countries would be welcome as well. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 31, 2012 - 21 answers

It's so nice to meet...where was I again?

How can I learn to stay focused while talking (and listening) on the phone, particularly in professional contexts? [more inside]
posted by brackish.line on Mar 28, 2012 - 6 answers

Harshad telephone numbers?

What do harshad numbers have to do with telephone numbers? [more inside]
posted by taltalim on Feb 27, 2012 - 2 answers

Write the number dow-uhn

Why the two-syllable pronunciation of "nine" for the telephone? [more inside]
posted by activitystory on Feb 24, 2012 - 12 answers

How do we make our PBX grow with our company?

Where should I look and what should I look at for replacing our old Norstar/Meridian PBX? Should we replace the hardware or switch to a hosted solution? [more inside]
posted by MrBobaFett on Feb 1, 2012 - 15 answers

What kind of microphone do I need for recording audio for an automated telephone system?

I would like to use Audacity to record voice audio files for an automated telephone system. What kind of microphone setup (USB or standard headphone / mic jacks) that will work with my laptop do I need? [more inside]
posted by banished on Dec 29, 2011 - 5 answers

Collection of crisis call role play scenarios

Please help me come up with role play scenarios to assist me in practicing my telephone counselling skills. [more inside]
posted by KLF on Nov 29, 2011 - 14 answers

Can I plug my analog phone into the Internet? Please??

I've got high-speed Internets. Also, old-fashioned Fax machines and analog phones. Is there a Voice-over-IP box which _provides a DIALTONE_ and touch-tone-dialing functionality to analog phone devices? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on Nov 22, 2011 - 10 answers

Help Me Save Money

Seeking suggestions for inexpensive telephone and internet service in Ontario. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Nov 16, 2011 - 6 answers

Landline in Seattle?

Do I need a landline? Do they still exist in Seattle? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Oct 13, 2011 - 21 answers

Better-quality voice calling, complete with silences and breath sounds?

Is there any VOIP or other audio-chat-over-the-internet software that doesn't massively compress the audio and flatten quiet moments into complete silence? [more inside]
posted by dmd on Aug 17, 2011 - 5 answers

This is driving me and a lot of other customers batty.

Asking on behalf of someone who may not be interested in your anwers: please tell me about basic business telephone options. [more inside]
posted by jon1270 on Aug 10, 2011 - 13 answers

I'd like to call and leave myself a message. but apparently I'm unresponsive to myself.

GOOGLEVOICEFILTER: How do you call your number FROM your number and leave yourself a message? [more inside]
posted by rileyray3000 on Jul 25, 2011 - 4 answers

Lightning Fixed My Landline. Really?

Could a bolt of lightning have fixed my landline? [more inside]
posted by BitterOldPunk on Jul 15, 2011 - 12 answers

Why doesn't my landline ring?

Why isn't my phone ringing? [more inside]
posted by monkey closet on Jul 11, 2011 - 11 answers

Masking my landline's outgoing number, with another phone number.

I just moved to a new part of the state, and had a landline telephone installed through my local telco. I asked if they could port my old number (123)-xxx-xxxx to my new landline, and they said my old number was not in the same "Rate Center". I confirmed that they were telling the truth based on this AskMeFi post. I have the option to enable call forwarding from my old number to my new landline, which takes care of incoming calls. Now I am turning to you, the hivemind, to find out how to dial out from my new landline, and have my old number, (123)-xxx-xxxx, show up on other peoples' caller ID. I've done some searching and found a bunch of convoluted VoIP setups that would achieve this solution for me, but I'm not that technical, and I don't want to have to dial a million numbers just to make a single phone call from my land-line. Does the hive mind have any simple solutions?
posted by WhereAmI on Jul 6, 2011 - 4 answers

Old dial phone, new Google voice--can they be friends?

I use and love Google Voice on my Mac. I have on old dial telephone with a plastic clippy connector on the cable (so it's not that old, I guess). Is there any device that would let me connect the old phone to the Mac? I'm sure I couldn't dial through the old phone, but could I use it for talking? I want to be able to trip passersby with my sproingy phone cord, like in the olden days.
posted by largecorp on Jun 29, 2011 - 8 answers

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