Seeking phone service to be used just for outgoing messages
August 20, 2018 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I need to set up a number for people to call to receive pre-recorded announcements. The announcements will be changed every few days.

I'm currently using an old cellphone with voicemail capability, but this system is not working so well. The outgoing message is limited to 90 seconds (too short), and there is no way to shut off the ability for people to leave messages on the number. Also, it currently takes about six or seven rings before the outgoing message starts playing.

I'd like a system with the following features:
  • The number should not be forwarded to an actual phone anywhere, and the outgoing message should start playing as soon as the call is connected.
  • The outgoing message should have a longer time limit, say 3 minutes.
  • I do not want people to have the ability to leave messages on this number. When the outgoing message ends, the call should just get dropped.
  • If possible, I would like the ability to pre-record five or six messages in advance, and then change the active message via a web portal. This pre-recording feature isn't critical, but it would make my life easier.
  • Cost is important.
I've done some Googling, and there are an overwhelming number of different providers out there – and many of them have extra features that I don't really need. Just thought someone might have a recommendation.
posted by akk2014 to Technology (3 answers total)
You should be able to do this with pretty much any VOIP service that offers a virtual PBX. I don't have any specific companies to suggest, but it's definitely possible, although depending on the service may require some technical knowledge to get going (configuring Asterix)
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:18 AM on August 20, 2018

Google Voice would be fine for this, as far as I know. Have you already looked at it, and found it wanting?
posted by wenestvedt at 9:33 AM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think GVoice only allows a 1 minute outgoing message, and you can't set it for announce-only (although you can just let the recordings pile up and never play them back).

But it's super cheap and would even let you assign different messages to different incoming numbers if necessary.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:00 AM on August 20, 2018

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