In honor of celebrating the Seattle-based #BeMoreKindDay on September 7th, we wanted to share a few stories of kindness people in our office have been a part of in their lives. Julia: “Once I was in the supermarket and an old woman came up to me. She told me she had forgotten her glasses and…
Exposing Untruth’s of and Revealing the Wonders of an Online Phone Number
Whether you are a small business owner or someone just going about their life, you have probably here and there heard something about “online phone numbers”, or at least something similar. Some folks when they first hear about them dismiss online phone numbers as some sort of scam, or something only partially similar to a “real” telephone number. Others think that you do not actually own the telephone number, or that it is easy to lose possession of it. Still others prefer the solid physical feeling of a phone in the hand, and the number which is permanently attached to that phone.
Here we will be clearing up five of the biggest misconceptions by separating the fact from the fiction regarding online phone numbers.
1. Fiction: Online Phone Numbers are not “real” phone numbers
This one is pervasive, so it only makes sense that we’d start out with it. Lots of folks out there seem to think that an online phone number is somehow not as real or as tangible as other phone numbers from mainline carriers. Nevermind the fact that no phone number is “tangible” and cannot be held unless it is written on a piece of paper.
Regardless, this one is, as said above, pervasive. It is also bunk. Online phone numbers are just as real as any other phone number. They are as real as your number from Verizon or your friend’s number from AT&T. In fact, it’s a little bit more “real” as it is completely yours, and you almost always don’t have to worry about porting (some companies make you pay, but it still becomes your number).
2. Fiction: Companies which sell online phone numbers are sketchy and untrustworthy
So this one is a holdover from the 1990s days of the internet, when it resembled something more out of the Wild West than it did a free exchange of ideas. Back in the days of dial up it was much harder to find reputable companies, as the internet was literally new, and you did not have many ways of determining whether a company based halfway across the country was reputable (seeing as your phone book probably did not list numbers from ten states away). Plus, “online phone numbers” were almost impossible to comprehend- after all, one usually could not even go on the internet if someone picked up the phone in another part of the house.
Nowadays however, it is way, way easier to find out whether or not a company is reputable. App stores are filled with hundreds of reviews, and customer watchdog organizations are a click away via Google.
Also, let’s get real for a second: does anyone on planet Earth think that companies which sell “normal” phone numbers are reputable and love their customers? There’s a reason why those companies have worked overtime to put a bad imagine in people’s heads for online phone numbers.
3. Fiction: Online Phone Numbers are only useful for big call centers
This one is understandable, because on its face it seems to make sense. Online phone numbers, after all, can often be bought for cheap, and can be used by multiple people, which seems in-line with call centers.
However, this benefit is also incredibly helpful for small businesses. Some online telephone number companies, such as MightyCall, offer unlimited extensions which can be added onto your online phone number. This essentially means that, for the cost of one or a few numbers, you can have as many “numbers” via extensions as you want. This is immensely helpful for small businesses on a small budget, especially for small businesses wanting to split them amongst employees.
4. Fiction: Having an online telephone number makes you less of a business than does a “real” telephone number
This is another fake thing put into people’s heads. When you get a telephone call and you look at the caller ID, can you tell if it’s a “real” number or an online telephone number? Have you ever even thought about whether or not it is one or the other?
Again, didn’t think so. The fact is you can’t tell where a number is from. Plus, with online phone numbers you can buy area codes from places you don’t even live, which is super helpful for small businesses trying to break into new markets.
5. Fiction: Online phone numbers can only be used on the computer
Like Fiction #2, this one is a holdover from the 1990s, when “online” exclusively referred to going on the computer (probably after putting an AOL CD into the very loud disk drive of your tower PC).
But, as of this writing, it is late 2019. Going “online” is sort of a misnomer because, like it or not, we are almost always online. Our phones are constantly receiving data unless they are off with the battery taken out, and with the swipe of a finger you are on Facebook- which is assuredly the internet.
So to is it with online phone numbers. Yes, they can certainly be used with computers, but they can also be used with smartphones, tablets, and even deskphones. If something has a decent internet connection, a way to input sound, and a way to output sound, it can probably be used to make or receive a call with an online phone number.
6. Fact: Online Phone Numbers are a great option for small businesses
Now that so many of the fictions behind online phone numbers have been cleared up, why not look for yourself at the idea of taking one for a spin?
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