Need Grand Central Advice
July 16, 2007 6:33 AM   Subscribe

So there has been a lot of talk about Grand Central lately. Need guidence and advice...

I signed up for the beta, got my invite and signed up last night. It looks pretty cool but a little overwhelming. I guess I want the MeFites to tell me cool ways that you use GC and how the average person (me) may benefit beyond the obvious ways. Also, how did you transition from your other phone numbers? Did you use the GC announcement? Ease into it over time? What's the best way to do that? Thanks for the help!!
posted by pearlybob to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I use Grand Central as a filter. I don't use it as a full out phone number because if I tell people that "this is the number to my cell phone" and they text (SMS) me, I will never get it.

I use my Grand Central number for my side business of computer repair. I use the number when I post to Craigslist. I use the number when I am filling out forms. I give the number to people that I don't know well or that I may not want to answer the phone to. I think it is really cool that you can block people or play the "this number is not in service" message.

I used to use Grand Central as my voicemail service when I was with T-mobile, but now that I moved to Sprint, I can no longer do so. When I had T-mobile, I changed the number to my voicemail to the GC number and then set GC to send all calls to voicemail. This was I get a text message and / or email telling me I have a voice mail. If you choose the email option, you can have the voicemail sent to you in MP3 format. I like this because you can check your GC from you cell phone from, you can also place calls from this website so it looks like you are calling from your GC number on their caller ID.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:48 AM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


a bit off-topic, but could I get an invite? there doesnt seem to be any way to get one outside of that right now.
posted by jare2003 at 7:40 AM on July 16, 2007

jare2003 -- use InviteShare. That's what I did -- worked like a charm. Asked last evening, got two invites by the morning.
posted by the dief at 7:51 AM on July 16, 2007

If I were to have it, I would be using it mostly as a way to filter in callers who I'm not so sure I want to have my number. Craigslist as mentioned above is a great example.

I would also most definitely take advantage of the "ring different callers" feature, and send priority people to my mobile phone while others would be directed elsewhere.

Finally, I do web development on the side, and I'd love to be able to have business hours filters where people not on my personal contact list get a voicemail during X hours, and get forwarded to my cell otherwise...

Alas, I have no invite either... d'oh... :-p
posted by twiggy at 7:56 AM on July 16, 2007

the dief: InviteShare rocks. I got one almost instantly. Thanks!
posted by twiggy at 8:45 AM on July 16, 2007

I have used it for a while now. I used it to record every conversation I had on that number. Until June 29th, there was no notification to the other party that there was recording going on. Depending on jurisdiction this was ok. Anyway, I used it so I could recall conversations with doctors and service providers and the like who would tell you all sorts of facts and then you would forget them when you hung up. Also allows you to download and email voice mails and recorded phone calls to others.

Also used it to hide my real numbers. I am pretty much willing to give out the GC number to anyone because I can block them later if I want. There was a mefi question about not giving your parents your address or phone number a while back. GC would work great for that.

It is also great in that it rings multiple phones at once so I did not have to have them all in the same location or stay home waiting for a call or give my cell phone which does not work in my house.

Being able to screen different callers with different messages and responses is great too.

I love it. Great product and service. Changed the way I viewed phones and their usage.

One small problem is that my wife and I cannot both put our home number on it. Only one GC number can be associated with another number. This can be a real pain.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:00 AM on July 16, 2007

Hmn, is there any way that you can switch an existing number to GC?
posted by SpecialK at 10:23 AM on July 16, 2007

SpecialK: supposedly number porting (both in and out) will be offered after GC comes out of beta. (whenever that is)
posted by dcjd at 11:22 AM on July 16, 2007

i work with 4 other regional technicians and we have different on-call days. By logging in and managing who's number is attached to our joint GC number, we control who will be taking calls on a given day.

Someone who needs help dials our number and it rings the phone of 3 of us at a time and whoever gets it first takes care of the problem. Also, using the built-in recording feature, we have a record of all of our previous calls so that if we need to look a tthe history of a problem, we have very detailed records of what was done and said.
posted by ThFullEffect at 12:46 PM on July 16, 2007

You can point your GC number at your Gizmo account. Don't have cell service, but have an internet connection, or just don't feel like using your cell minutes? VoIP for the win.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 7:46 PM on July 18, 2007

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