It’s the end of the fake phone number on the nightclub scene. Because now when a drunken Vinny asks for your phone number, he whips out his cell phone and calls you right on the spot so he can test to see if you gave him a fake number or not. Uh oh.
So I was intrigued when I saw this ad in LA Weekly for NetZero’s Privatephone.com, a service that allows you to give out a private number to anyone, even people who you’d rather not call you. Of course you can also use it for legit reasons like a business number, to put on personal ads, or “Lost dog” flyers.
When you sign up, you get a free private number and voicemail, not counting Internet access and phone service. So all calls go straight to voicemail — no incessant phone ringing and no interruptions — and you can check your messages online or from any phone. Signing up for email or text alerts makes sure you won’t miss a call.
Another cool thing is that the service lets you pick your own city and state so people don’t have to know where you’re really from. I didn’t think anything of this until the sign-up template said “Choose wisely.” I guess people still judge you by your area code and even your prefix? Maybe I’ll pick a number for Yankton, South Dakota, or something just because.
I wish I knew this before I had my calling cards made.
POST EDIT: This thing is so awesome. They send the call to an email account you set up with NetZero, you can see the number of whomever called and you can listen to your message online and save the voicemail file to your computer. There’s even a “block caller” option. I can’t wait to use it!