Personal calls on company time?!?
Nov 21, 2006

I've been contemplating the best way to handle my phone numbers. Currently, I only have one phone: my Motorola e815 on the Verizon network. This works just fine for me as I have no objection to only having a cell phone and no land line. The problem is that it makes it difficult to distinguish personal calls from business ones. As a result, I can't really say how much I spend on business calls and how much I spend on personal calls, and, more importantly, I can't say 'I'm not working today, so I won't answer any business calls' or 'I'm busy, so I'm not answering any personal calls' very easily. To somewhat combat this I got myself a SkypeIn number a while ago. The advantage of this was that I was able to have a local Boston area (617) number while my cell phone was still a Berkeley (510) number. I set the number to forward to my cell phone, and pretty much just left it alone. However I recently discovered that Skype wasn't doing that good a job of forwarding calls. Sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't. And the ones it didn't forward went to my Skype voicemail instead of my Verizon voicemail meaning I didn't even know I had a some important messages until I happened to log into Skype one day. Another disadvantage of Skype is that, come January, it will start costing me money to have Skype calls forwarded to my cell phone. Fortunately, I think I've come up with another solution. Jessi and I, when I first moved out here, changed our Verizon accounts to put us on a family plan. Amazingly enough, this actually cut our monthly phone bills in half because the low-end family plan costs the same as the low-end individual plan, and we still only use about half the total minutes. For an extra $9.99/mo I can add another line to our plan. This line could be my business line (or my current line could be the business line and this one could be the personal one). That would solve all the problems of only having one phone, without tying me down to a particular location in terms of taking calls. It will only cost me an extra $120/year, compared to $30 for the SkypeIn number plus however much it would cost in calls, and I'll get more reliable service and better voicemail. Plus, adding this line won't increase the minutes we use at all, because I'll be making the same number of calls, some of them will just be moved from one line to the other. Additionally, I qualify for a free upgrade to my phone thanks to Verizon's 'new every two' program, so I don't even have to pay for a new phone. So really, the only question now is what phone do I want. I believe I'm going to go with the LG VX8300 pending some more research.
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