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Michael Robertson Updates Us on GizmoVoice

Earlier today I received an email from Michael Robertson of Gizmo5 in response to all the questions about what the latest is with the Gizmo and Google Voice integration.

Here’s Michael’s note:


Wanted to send you a personal update on our Experimental Gizmo Voice service since you were the first to mention it publicly. For sure users are disappointed that the Experimental Gizmo Voice service went from free unlimited US calls to free 3 minute US calls. Whenever something is free and then not free people are naturally unhappy. We changed the service because the original service relied on Google Voice's callback system which is subject to change and could terminally break the service which would not make users happy.

We replaced the service with a service which relies entirely on the Gizmo5 network to place outgoing calls although they will still have the Google Voice number as the callerID, integration with Google Voice voicemail transciption and other features.

The new system is 3 minute free US calls and then if users want longer calls then they can purchase our Callout credit for $10 and have a very economical pay as you go system for low cost calls anywhere.

We would like to continue to offer free unlimited US calls via Google but since we were using unpublished callback commands which are subject to change we made the decision to alter the service to something which that could be reliable depended on. We labeled the service as Experimental for exactly this reason.

Now that we're at the beta level, we believe we have a service that is sustainable that will continue to operate in its current form for the foreseeable future.

Another issue identified is the authentication method we use for the Google Voice which is a rather crude username and password collection.

We agree this is not ideal and we are working to change this. We believe a new more secure system will be available by Monday. We still think Google Voice and Gizmo5 combined provide users with a complete phone service for a minimal price. Nowhere else can users get a US number, voicemail, free incoming minutes, free 3 minute outgoing
or low cost pay-as-you-go service with the reliability of Google and the flexibility to use any SIP software or hardware as they do with our Gizmo Voice service.

Thanks for your feedback and support.
-- MR


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I'll take totally free outgoing calls and deal with the "uncertainty" of "change" on my own terms, thanks. Some people think throwing money at things is always the way to deal with them, and some companies will break things and then demand money to fix them again.

Though it would be nice to just lift the handset and dial a number, all I have to do is continue to use GV's web interface to make free outgoing calls. It seems to me that all Google has to do is implement their own SIP servers. Why not? They have to carry 100% of the voice traffic at some stage, even when they hand it off to Gizmo5's network.

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