GrandCentral, Faith and Web 2.0

April 13, 2008

GrandCentral is down right now, to much gnashing of teeth [techcrunch].

I’ve been a big fan of GrandCentral since the beginning, and I still am. But I didn’t trust them back when they were a plucky startup, and that didn’t change with their acquisition by Google.

One of their original promises was “a free phone number for life”. Unfortunately, “life” on the internet is usually 3-5 years, less time off for bad behavior or poor market estimation.

Frankly, I can’t for the life of me figure out who these users are who apparently gave out their GrandCentral number to other people and who are sweating bullets now that their phone service is down.

“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I signed up for GrandCentral, I forwarded my primary Vonage number to my GrandCentral number. No muss, no fuss, and I didn’t have to tell anyone my phone number changed. I set GrandCentral to ring on my assortment of cell phones and other voip services, and all was fine with the world.

When I found out GrandCentral was down this morning, I simply went out to Vonage, unforwarded the number, set it to “simulring” on all of the same numbers GrandCentral rings, and turned the voicemail back on. My phone service is back with no problems, and nothing missing except the GrandCentral call screening.

When GrandCentral gets straightened out I’ll put it back. It’s an “almost” perfect solution — except that I had to find out it was down via Twitter.

Oh yeah — and it depends on Vonage actually being reliable — I guess I’m still crossing my fingers…

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